2 Timothy 4:1-5
2 Tim 4:1 (KJB)
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Charge - Warn or testify
Paul now begins to wind down his final letter to Timothy and his final letter before his home going. On the tail of the warnings he gave concerning the false teachers and their teachings plus his description of the Word of God being all the believer needs to fulfill a complete ministry. Just an example here that fits perfectly. Some time ago I was listening to the broadcast of Dr. Charles Stanley and he was telling the story of visiting his grandfather when he was young. His grandfather was a preacher and Charles asked him, “where is your library?” His grandfather then proceeded to take out his Bible and laid it on the table. His grandfather was stating that the Bible alone is sufficient for a life time of ministry and a full library was not necessary to supplement something which was already complete and sufficient.
Now back to our verse. Paul was now giving Timothy a final charge and he emphasized that charge by stating that he was in the presence of God when he made that charge. He also includes the Lord Jesus Christ who will return to judge both the quick and the dead, that is, those who are alive and those who have already died in the past. This is speaking of the unbelievers at the time of Christ’s return because Christ already paid for the sins of the Elect in their entirety on Calvary so we do not come in to judgment. (John 5:24 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Paul is stating here that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He will judge all the unbelievers and when that is finished, then the New Heavens and New Earth will be created, and the Kingdom of God will dwell in righteousness for eternity. Paul includes all of this in his charge because he never wants Timothy to forget the dire future of those who are unsaved and the glorious future of those who are saved.
2 Tim 4:2 (KJB)
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Preach - Proclaim
Be instant - Be urgent, Stand by or near, or be present
In season - Conveniently or appropriately
Out of season - Inappropriately timed, not convenient, or untimely
Here Paul tells Timothy that he is to focus his ministry on proclaiming the word of God. The word “proclaim” is in the Imperative Mood making it a command. Timothy is not to be one of those people who will not proclaim the word unless it is in a certain environment. He is to always be standing by with an attitude of urgency knowing that he could be called upon to preach. There were two conditions by which Timothy was to be ready to preach. The first one, was that of an appropriate setting which could be a church or a home where he had been called to proclaim the word. The second condition for preaching was an inconvenient time such as defending the Word of God, challenging a false teacher when he hears one teaching, maybe he would be put in jail for his testimony and from there, like the Apostle Paul, he would proclaim the word. Both in season and out of season means that a Christian is to be ready at all times to proclaim and defend the truths of God’s word, in any situation, even if it costs him something, even his life. Then Paul gives Timothy three subjects which he is to preach.
Reprove - Paul charges Timothy that he is to refute or convict anyone who is teaching God’s word incorrectly or to confront and challenge the false teachers and their teachings. He is also to confront those who are living a life of sin while claiming to be Christians since this would bring shame on the name of Christ and the Christian community. Timothy is not just to proclaim sweet words but must proclaim the word of God with the authority it carries.
Rebuke - Paul charges Timothy that he must also rebuke, which carries with it the meaning of warn or admonish. If someone is holding on to a false teaching, then they are to be rebuked, that holding to false teachings will cause both the speaker and the hearer to face condemnation. Timothy is also to warn his hearers about the false teachers and that it is not a joking matter when someone takes the word of God and teaches it in error. Christians must be warned not to entertain any of the teachings of the false teachers.
Exhort - Paul also charges Timothy with not only rejecting the false teachers but also to exhort the Christians, which carries with it the meaning of encouraging them. Churches who constantly condemn their people are the ones you want to stay away from because while there are things we must be aware of, we are also to encourage the brethren in their endeavors. We are also to bring comfort and edification to the brethren so they may grow. If you consistently hit somebody over the head, they will always remain at the same height but our responsibility is to help them grow in the Lord. This theme is also to be remembered if you are called to proclaim or defend the word of God out of season. Christianity is not comprised of rebuke and rejection only, but there is much encouragement in the Bible for Christians and that must be brought to light.
Paul ends this verse by telling Timothy that he is to proclaim these things from the word of God, but he is to have much patience with those who are hearing, since it is a good possibility that many are hearing the truths for the first time. He is also to teach the doctrines of the Bible and not his own personal opinion. It is the personal opinion of the false teachers which has caused them to stray and their hearers to stray. So when Timothy begins to refute the false teachings, it must be done from the scriptures and with much patience toward his hearers. It is Bible doctrine which changes a person and not our commentary.
2 Tim 4:3 (KJB)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Endure - Tolerate, receive, or accept
Sound - Healthy or wholesome
Heap - Heap up or accumulate
Paul now introduces something which will happen in the future. Now this is not speaking of hundreds of years in the future but almost immediately after the Bible was penned back in 95 A.D. (Acts 20:29-30 KJV) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Not long after Paul was martyred, in the second century, there was already a move afoot to change the word of God. Many Gnostics got their hands on the pure manuscripts from Antioch and began to change them. In concert with them changing the manuscripts, which were the forerunners of the modern versions, the teachings also began to change and Gnosticism was born which was only one of the scourges which attempted to amalgamate with Christianity. Not only was there Gnosticism, but there was the following:
Sabellianism: Sabellianism is named for its founder Sabellius (fl. 2nd century). It is sometimes referred to as modalistic monarchianism. The father, son, and holy ghost are three modes, roles, or faces of a single person, God. This, of course, implies that Jesus Christ was purely divine, without humanness, and therefore could not truly have suffered or died.
Docetism: The name comes from the Greek word dokesis, meaning "to seem." Along the same lines as Sabellianism, Docetism says that Christ was not a real human being and did not have a real human body. He only seemed to be human to us. In a nutshell...

Monophysitism: Monophysite comes from the Greek words for "one body." This heresy says that Jesus Christ was a joining of the eternal Logos with the human person Jesus, which occurred at incarnation. He therefore is two separate natures joined in one body. Monophysitism is very much alive in several present-day Egyptian and Middle Eastern sects of Christianity.
Adoptionism: Adoptionism says that Jesus was a human being who was "adopted" by God at his conception, at which point he developed a divine nature. Later versions sometimes suggest that he was adopted later, such as when he was baptized by John the Baptist.
Nestorianism: Supposedly, Nestorius, Patriarch of Antioch (fl. 410), believed that Jesus Christ had two natures -- man and God -- which remained separate throughout his period on earth. This is not really what Nestor said (although he did deny virgin birth) but the name stuck. You can still find a few Nestorian churches in Iran.
Apollinarianism: Named for Apollinaris of Laodicea (fl. 350), this heresy says that Jesus Christ was not a real man, but not totally divine either. Apollinarians suggested that he had a human body and a human soul, but his mind was taken over by the eternal Logos.
Arianism: Arianism is named after Arius (c. 250 - c. 336), a priest in Alexandria. This is considered the most serious heresy. Jesus Christ was thought of as a special creation by God for man's salvation. Arianism was the form of Christianity that the Goths adhered to, and it was popular in all the areas they conquered, including Italy, Spain, and Africa.
Socianism: A version of Arianism called Socianism (from the Latin socius, meaning "companion“), simply says that Jesus was an extraordinary man. This heresy still lives on in two very different forms, the Unitarians and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
From: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/heresies.html
This is only a short list of the heresies which attacked true Christian doctrine and that was only the first few centuries. Think about what we have today and the many teachers which propound each heresy. Every false system we have in our day is manned by many false teachers. Just look at Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholicism, mystical emerging church teachers, Environmentalism, Social Gospel, etc. There are many different systems of false teachings which are attempting to derail the true Christian at every turn. Unless we stay upon the Scriptures and scrutinize every teaching, no matter who is teaching it, we can fall prey to any number of heresies which plague modern Christianity.
2 Tim 4:4 (KJB)
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Shall turn away - Reject, repudiate, or desert
Fables - Myths
Since these people will totally reject true Christianity, they will hear these false systems and will turn their ears from the truth and will adapt themselves to these false systems which are nothing more than myths and I listed some of them in the previous verse and many had followers, even today these systems have followers. Of course, the majority of these people are unbelievers but because many Christians are weak in the Scriptures, especially those who read books about the Bible instead of reading the Bible, will fall under these false teachers. Just look at how many Christians are following the false and deceitful charismatic preachers, especially the frauds on TV who are telling people that live in poverty that God wants to make them wealthy. As they send the money in it helps to pay for the million dollar mansions of the false preacher. You eat bologna, they eat steak, and yet you still send your money to them. WAKE UP! So many false systems exist today such as New Age where you can become a spiritual giant on the Spiritual plane. Jesus is taught that He is on the seventh plane, up there with Buddha and Confucius, and many people buy into this. It is the kingdom of Satan trying to destroy as many Christians as it can before the last day. Anything outside the grace of God for salvation, is a myth and leads only to destruction.
2 Tim 4:5 (KJB)
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Paul gives four commands to Timothy in this verse but they apply to all Christians no matter whether they hold a position in the church or not. The first command is to watch and that means to be sober minded so you are able to spot a false teaching which is specifically designed by Satan to derail you from your walk with the Lord. It also carries with it the idea of self-control to keep oneself from any sins which could cause a fall in our Christian walk. The second command is that he is to endure affliction which means hardship or suffering. The true Christian is going to face hardships in this world because this is still Satan’s kingdom where we walk and his people are completely opposed to the truth and will cause affliction. One only needs to look at the martyrs in Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages. One can also look at the afflictions of those involved in the Great Missionary Movement of the Nineteenth century.
Even in the presence of affliction comes the third command and that is to do the work of an evangelist. In the heat of opposition, he is to continue to proclaim the word of God, until the time comes when he is unable to but as along as he is free to do so, the door remains open for evangelism. Timothy’s duties included many things in reference to the church at Ephesus but one thing he was never to do and that was to neglect the preaching and proclaiming of God’s word. The fourth command is that Timothy make full proof of his ministry, that is, to do the ministry to the utmost. He is to engage in the duties of the ministry to the fullest extent no matter what task he was working on. If it was preaching, the whole counsel of God. If it was counseling, then rebuke and exhortation. If it was confronting the false teachers, then no holds barred as they had to be exposed in the widest manner possible so people would see their fraudulence. These four commands must also be adopted in the lives of every believer. Ministry that is done half way, is ministry undone! We are speaking of eternal things and that is why there must be fullest involvement without cutting corners.