1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge [both] those still alive and those who have already died, and in view of His appearing [i.e., at His second coming] and His kingdom [i.e., when it is revealed in its eternal splendor], I solemnly urge you: 2 Preach the [Gospel] message; be prepared [to do it both] when it is convenient and when it is inconvenient; reprove [i.e., convince people of their wrongdoing], rebuke [i.e., convict people of their sin], and exhort [i.e., urge people to act], with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound teaching, but will assemble to themselves teachers who will satisfy what their "itching ears" want to hear. 4 They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn their attention to myths. 5 But you should be sober-minded about everything, [willing to] endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
6 For I am already being "poured out like a drink offering," and the time for me to leave has come. [Note: Paul here likens the prospect of shedding his blood for the work of Christ to the pouring of wine and oil on an Old Testament sacrifice]. 7 I have fought the good battle; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith [i.e., I have been true to my commitment]. 8 So, now there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, who is a just Judge, will award me on that day [i.e., the judgment day], and not to me only, but also to everyone who has loved [the prospect of] His appearing.
9 Hurry up and come to me as soon [as possible], 10 for Demas loved this world and [so] has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke is the only one [of my fellow-workers still] with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you for he [will be] helpful to me in [my] ministry. 12 But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring my cloak that I left at Troas with Crispus, along with the scrolls and especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the metal worker did me much harm; the Lord will repay him for what he did. 15 You should beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense [Note: Paul here refers to his initial hearing before the Roman court] no one supported me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message could be fully proclaimed and that all the Gentiles could hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. [Note: This is probably a figure of speech indicating that Paul had escaped some immediate danger. See Psa. 22:20-21]. 18 The Lord will [continue to] rescue me from all harm and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. May He be praised forever and ever. May it be so.
19 [I send] greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, and to the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed on at Corinth, but I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 21 Hurry up and come [to me] before winter. Eubulus sends his greetings, along with Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia and all [the rest of] the brothers.