Serving Faithfully Despite Hardship
1So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And entrust what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well. 3Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him. 5Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules. 6The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops. 7Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this.
8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment as a criminal, but God’s message is not imprisoned! 10So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory. 11This saying is trustworthy:
If we died with him, we will also live with him.
12If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we deny him, he will also deny us.
13If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.
Dealing with False Teachers
14Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen. 15Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. 16But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness, 17and their message will spread its infection like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are in this group. 18They have strayed from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are undermining some people’s faith. 19However, God’s solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.”
20Now in a wealthy home there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also ones made of wood and of clay, and some are for honorable use, but others for ignoble use. 21So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting. 24And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, 25correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth 26and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.