“The word of God cannot be chained!” – 2 Timothy 2:9

The year… AD 67. In the dark confines of a Roman prison, the apostle Paul sits in chains. His only companion is his physician friend Luke who comes to visit. Yet Paul recognizes that he is never truly alone. His bold and enduring faith reminds him that his Savior and Lord is always near… promising to be with him to the end of the age… as He promises us today (Matthew 28:20).

Paul, a stalwart man of God, commissioned personally by Jesus Christ Himself, is in chains yet again for preaching the gospel. He writes this letter… the last he will ever write… to encourage his young protégé Timothy, pastor of the church at Ephesus. Paul shares his final thoughts to inspire and embolden Timothy, his “son” in the Lord.

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David, as proclaimed by my gospel, for which I suffer to the extent of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained! For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” – 2 Timothy 2:8-10

All his time as a missionary apostle, Paul has stood strong despite suffering, hardship, persecution, opposition and imprisonment. His devotion and loyalty to his Lord has led him to travel the known world spreading the saving message of Christ. Now sits this man of tenacious faith… this powerful witness for the Lord… bound and fettered like a criminal.

Yet as always, Paul sees hope in his dire situation. We see this apostle’s writings turn optimistic. God’s Word is not… and can never be… chained. It will forever be free. Despite this intrepid witness’ imprisonment, the gospel is not restrained. Its message of salvation continues to travel throughout the world. The Holy Spirit continues to draw the unsaved to Christ.

The reason for Paul’s imprisonment stems from his confident faith in God’s Word and his devoted love for his Savior. His mission has brought many to Christ, transforming their lives eternally. He has done all to praise and glorify his mighty Lord.

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Paul must have remembered these final words of Jesus before His ascension. The Holy Spirit has indeed emboldened this apostle for the task of sharing the good news to the Gentiles. Paul has taken Christ’s message to new lands… making converts, planting churches, changing lives.

This apostle takes consolation in knowing that followers of Christ, like Timothy, will carry on his mission. There will be many who will follow his steps, many divinely anointed men and women of God, who will boldly speak the good news of the gospel. People of courageous, unshakable faith who will not be hindered or defeated by opposition or resistance. Paul confidently trusts that Christ’s message will reach to the ends of the earth.

“My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.” – Isaiah 55:11

The truth of God’s Word will stand for all eternity. Despite adversarial opposition, both worldly and spiritual, God’s truth continues to this day to advance freely to the ends of the earth. His Spirit continues to empower believers to share the message of hope in the gospel.

Jesus always seeks and saves the lost (Luke 19:10). His plan of salvation will never be stopped. His mission will never be thwarted. God’s eternal Word will never be chained. The lost will forever be found by Him.