What is Your Legacy?
Phygelus, Hermogenes, Hymenaeus, Philetus, Demas: that’s quite a mouthful! But who were these people, and why did the Holy Spirit determine to include their names in the Scriptures? These men, along with other nameless, equally destructive people, are described throughout the book of 2 Timothy. In the time under Nero’s cruel reign, Christians were being persecuted: burned alive, tortured, and executed.
We expect persecution from outside the church, don’t we? After all, as our Lord Himself taught us, even members of our own families can rise up against us when we stand firm for the Gospel’s sake. If the world hated Christ, it will hate us too.
Some of these people in 2 Timothy looked like believers. Some of these that Paul names worked alongside him in the furtherance of the Gospel. And yet each one turned against him, until, at the end of his life, he finds himself virtually alone in prison.
But what brings me up short in thinking about this, is not so much from Paul’s perspective as a persecuted believer (as horrific as that is, and as important to our walk as that is); what brings me up short is that these people exist today… in the church… maybe even in the mirror.
How do I know that I am a true follower of Christ? How can I ensure that I will stand firm until the end, and “finish well?” This is one of the challenges that I see Paul addressing in his letter. This is the question I need to ask myself: How do I know I am a true and faithful follower of Christ? What will keep me persevering until the end?
What about you? How do you know that you are a true believer in Christ?
How do you persevere, firm until the end?