Now, Paul gives Timothy some advice: stay strong, man.
It'll be Timothy's job to pass on everything he's heard from Paul and, honestly, it's not going to be an easy task.
He needs to be like a solider who's willing to suffer to make the commander happy or a star athlete who wins by following the rules or a farmer who gets to take the first bite of the crops he grew.
If Timothy's having trouble understanding any of these metaphors, he should just take some time and think. Paul says God will give him the answer key shortly.
Paul may be in chains because of Jesus, but God's words can't be chained. (Oh Paul, you wordsmith, you.)
He's willing to go to any lengths so that God's people can be saved and spend an eternity with Jesus.
Basically, God helps those who stick by his side. If you die with him, you'll live. If you suffer for him, you'll be on top one day. But if you turn your back on him, good things will not happen.
Paul tells Timothy to remind his students in Christ that they shouldn't sit and argue about dogma all day. More obeying, less questioning.
If Timothy is always on his best behavior, no one will ever have reason to question him, right? Because questioning leads to sin. So everyone just needs to listen up if they want to stay on the path to Heaven.
Paul doesn't want anyone else to end up like Hymenaeus and Philetus, who seem to think the resurrection already happened.
It's kind of like that drawer in your house that holds all your utensils.
Stay with us here.
Some of those utensils are fancy silver serving spoons that last for years. And others are just boring wooden spoons that you toss in the trash when they get old.
Basically, Paul is saying that you want to be like God's special silver serving spoon. Valuable, sturdy, and the kind of thing God doesn't want to toss aside.
Paul also tells Timothy not to act childish. He should keep his record clean and not get involved in stupid arguments all the time.
Even when people are oh-so wrong about Jesus, Timothy needs to treat them with kindness. Hey, maybe God will change their silly, Devil-possessed minds one day, he says.