4:1 I 1 charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
(1) The principal and chief of all admonitions, being therefore proposed with a most earnest charge, is this: that the word of God is explained and set forth with a certain holy urgent exhorting, as necessity requires: but in such a way that a good and true ground of the doctrine is laid, and the vehemency is tempered with all holy meekness. 4:3 2 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;
(2) Faithful pastors in times past took all occasions they could, because men were very prompt and ready to return to their fables. 4:4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto a fables.
(a) To false and unprofitable doctrines which the world is now so bewitched with, that it would rather have the open light of the truth completely put out, than it would come out of darkness. 4:5 3 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, b make full proof of thy ministry.
(3) The wickedness and falling away of the world ought to cause faithful ministers to be so much the more careful. 4:6 4 For I am now ready to be c offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
(b) Prove and show by good and substantial proof, that you are the true minister of God.
(4) He foretells his death to be at hand, and sets before them an excellent example, both of invincible constancy, and sure hope. 4:9 5 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
(c) To be offered for a drink offering: and he alludes to the pouring out of blood or wine which was used in sacrifices.
(5) The last part of the epistle, setting forth grievous complaints against certain ones, and examples of singular godliness in every place, and of a mind never wearied. 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having d loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
(d) Contented himself with this world. 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the e lion.
(e) Of Nero. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every f evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his g heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(f) Preserve me pure from committing anything unworthy of my apostleship.
(g) To make me partaker of his kingdom.