II Timothy 4:19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
God directed Paul to make some closing remarks in this letter to Timothy. Paul had some good friends who had helped him through the years. However, there were limitations to their ability to travel to Rome at this time. Paul, of course, was in prison and thus not free to travel.
Paul began with greetings for some dear friends: Prisca and Aquila.
Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
We have the same people mentioned here in Acts 18:2. We find that they had lived in Rome earlier but were commanded to leave by Claudius. It is a common trend in church history to see Christians chased out of certain places. Those who do this, wrongly assume that they can stop God from working if His people are removed. God does call on His faithful servants to preach His Word wherever they are. However, God is not limited to using people to work in other people’s hearts. Further to that, it is truly sad when God removes His presence from a certain place. Trouble multiplies when God gives the devil more liberty.
Communism has tried to eradicate God from the picture since its inception. We are seeing that ugly system taking root in this country. They have used the virus as a pretence to try to shut down churches. Some provinces have been more evil in this regard than others. God has designed true local churches as His instruments of reaching the lost and encouraging the saints in this dispensation. However, Jesus taught that if the people would not cry out, the rocks would. Communism has been a loser wherever it has been implemented. However, lost people just keep hitting their heads against the wall and expect to succeed eventually. The Bible describes people who reject God, as fools.
The world will see trouble like it has never seen before during the Tribulation time. The Bible tells us that.
In Romans 16:3-4 we read:
Romans 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Prisca and Aquila were an asset to the cause of Christ. They did not count their own lives dear to themselves. They were willing to assist the Apostle Paul in his work. They were not like so many who draw back when persecution comes.
Onesiphorus was the servant of Philemon who had fled and made contact with the apostle Paul. Through that contact, he was saved and Paul was directed to write to Philemon, encouraging him to take Onesiphorus back as a brother now, not just as a servant. Onesiphorus gives us a picture again of what a true Christian looks like. They are changed. They have been blessed by God and they are a blessing to other saints.
In verse 20, Erastus is mentioned. In Romans 16:23 we read that he was a chamberlain in Rome. He had a government job. He was not a secret Christian who put his employment ahead of his Christian testimony. God saves people from various walks of life. However, when they are saved they are changed. Some of them, like Paul, face greater persecution than others. However, Paul does not warn against Erastus as he did of Alexander and a few others. The important fact is to put God first in your life if you are saved. If doing so costs you the job, God will provide something else. Compromise does not help anyone.
We see also in verse 20, that Trophimus was left sick at Miletum. This also shows us that God does not always heal those that are sick. The Charismatics, who claim that sickness is due to a lack of faith are liars. God has His purposes for what He does. Sometimes He uses sickness to draw a person closer to Him. Sometimes He allows sickness as in the case of Job to prove the faithfulness of His child. Job also had some things to learn through that. It is important at all times to first of all know the Lord as personal Saviour and then submit to His leadership.
The Bible gives us a pattern for dealing with sickness in James 5. None of that excludes doctors. They have their place in our lives. Many of them are greatly deceived by their evolutionary faith, but God can and does still use them to do good things at times.
In verse 21 we see that Paul again urged Timothy to come soon. He wanted him to come before winter. Then he was directed to mention a few more names. Tradition gives us some details of people with these names, but whether they are these actual people, we do not know. God did not record anything other than what we have here. We learn from this verse that Timothy knew these people.
In verse 22 we have Paul’s final words as directed by the Lord in this letter. It is a great blessing to have the Lord Jesus Christ with our spirit. Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is what will carry the true child of God through whatever challenge they may face in life. The Lord knows what we need every time and He meets that need as well.
It is also of great importance to have God’s grace available at all times. We have talked of this before. God’s grace is there to strengthen the true child of God. We need that strength to remain faithful in spite of challenges we face.
Thus we see in this letter that God used different ways to encourage Timothy to be stedfast in his walk with the Lord. We see that Paul was not an enemy of Timothy, but rather a caring friend. Those who are saved need some real friends that can encourage them to remain faithful regardless of the challenges they face. Life can be tough at times. However, the faithful child of God does not need to draw back because life is tough. They need to draw closer to God and trust Him to provide just what is needed to help His child in the midst of each and every challenge. God is good.