But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--
having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
persecutions, sufferings--what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Do your best to come to me quickly,
for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.
You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.
But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.
Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.
Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness--
a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.
They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."
This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith
and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.