Sunday, July 19th
Can you believe it…we are already half way through week 3. How are you doing in your study? Are you persevering through the homework each day? Has the Holy Spirit been opening your eyes to the truth of God’s Word?
Today our focus was looking at the contrast between believers and unbelievers. I want us to look a little closer at one instruction but also a warning. Grab your Bible and open it to 2 Timothy 2 and let’s look at this truth together. The truth that I am writing about is as true today as it was in the day of Timothy.
Let’s start at 2 Timothy 2:2 which says “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others” Paul’s instruction here is to now relay the many truths that God gave to Paul and Paul gave to Timothy. An example of these divine truths is the gospel. Timothy was to pass the Word of Truth on to faithful men; this was the task set out for him. Now that we have set that stage, move down to verse 14. Remember, we want to contrast the believer to the unbeliever.
In verse 14 Paul tells Timothy to “remind them of these things” I hope you asked, “What things?” “These things” is the message of the gospel that is found in 2:11-13. The fact that it was necessary for Timothy to remind the people that the gospel is truth shows us that there were false teachers who were, in fact, twisting the truth. We see this in our day and the Bible is clear that it is going to get worse as we come closer to the return of Jesus.
Notice what else Timothy is to remind the believers of: “not to wrangle about words, which is useless.” Why is it useless? It leads to the ruin of the hearers. The warning here is that believers are not to spend their time arguing with false teachers. Paul also warned Timothy in his first letter, “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. Instead, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). Proverbs 14:7 says it is foolish to argue with those who do not accurately handle the truth, “leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge.” Jesus, in Matthew 7:6, tells us that it is useless and ineffective –“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” The pearls that Jesus refers to is the gospel. He is telling us to not keep preaching or trying to give the gospel to those who adamantly reject it. The contrast is go and share the gospel with those who are ready to receive it.
So wrangling about words is useless. That’s clear. But why? What does Paul tell us is the result of this useless wrangling? It leads to the ruin of the hearers. One thing is clear…false teachers do not care about truth, they determine their own truth. The word ruin (katastrophe in Greek) is only used one other time in the New Testament. It is found in 2 Peter 2:6 “and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.” The word katastophe in 2 Peter 2:6 is destruction; the definition is overthrown. False teaching has the ability to destroy all those who fall into the belief that false teachers know the truth. The question we must ask today is “Do we want to spend all of our time arguing over what is truth, or do we want to find those who are ready to hear truth?”
This is the challenge to us all; for me useless arguments that lead to nowhere is NOT time well spent. What is far better, is to be diligent in handling the truth of God’s Word and then give it to faithful men. That’s where I want to spend all of my time. How about you?