God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who warned of impending danger (Matthew 16:6; Mark 8:15).
After handling the purpose for writing I Timothy in I Timothy 3:14-16, Paul gives the reason why people are going to depart from the faith in II Timothy 4:1-5. This happened within Paul’s lifetime. Should we be surprised if people depart within our lifetime? Before we are done, we will see the four steps down that people take when they depart. Our adversary is wily and he knows how to play people against each other. He wants us to think we wrestle against flesh and blood. . . so that we oppose ourselves. Attacks from outside of the household of God seldom stop the furtherance of the gospel, but strife and disagreements within often do.
I Timothy 4:1a:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. . .
That happened to me before, and I didn’t even realize it. Well, I don’t want it to happen again. I lost sight of the mystery. I never stopped fellowshipping with believers. . . I still taught and ministered the Word. . . But, I quit living according to that great standard of godliness. My practice didn’t line up with what I knew the Word said. I listened to persuasive people I loved instead of standing for the truth. I had lived it before, but I stopped living it. How did that happen? Well, the Word tells us if we keep reading.
I Timothy 4:1b:
. . .giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
This isn’t something that only happens to other people. If we are not careful, it could happen to us. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, I’m just reading God’s Word, and I need to remember this and so do you if you want to be a good minister of Jesus Christ. To stay in the faith, we must champion the truth; we must be valiant for the truth. This truth of the mystery of godliness can only be lived as a body functioning together in the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
I Timothy 4:2-5:
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; [Even though people believe they are doing the right thing, they might not be. Remember sincerity is no guarantee for the truth.] 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. [That’s got to be our standard folks. If we forsake the truth, all we have left is the commandments and doctrines of men.] 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
I Timothy4:6 starts the next section about the responsibility of servant leaders. I wanted to read it before moving on because I know some people are going to be offended by what I’m teaching. I’m sorry about that, but I need to do it anyway. But I thought I’d read what God says about doing so.
I Timothy 4:6:
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
People have vast differences in their definition of a good minister. I’m glad that God had it written in black and white. A good minister encourages when he is supposed to encourage and warns when he is supposed to warn. This book is pretty thick, and we have no right to avoid scriptures that we do not like. God’s Word is profitable for three things. You know what are they! Doctrine, reproof, and correction which makes up instruction in righteousness. Leave one out and our instruction cannot be complete.
I’m thankful that I read scriptures that reprove and correct me. We can all get comfortable with scriptures we like and not go outside of our comfort zone. However, all scripture is profitable and none of it should be avoided because we don’t like how it sounds or how it makes us feel. God gave us emotions and feelings to spice up life so we could be passionate about things, but we must never allow those feelings to dictate our behaviour when they oppose God’s Word. We live by truth and control our emotions and passions according to it. God’s Word sets the standard for life and unless we rightly divide, it we do not have the Word of truth of which II Timothy 2:15 speaks. We do not need to be elitist jerks looking down our noses at people, but we need to stand for the truth. I’m willing to be valiant for the truth. How ‘bout you?