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Theme: Apostasy in the churches
There is a strong resemblance between the first part of this chapter and 2 Thessalonians 2. The leading object of this chapter is to state to Timothy certain things of which he was constantly to remind the church; and, having done this, Paul gives him some directions about his personal life and manner. The chapter can be divided into three parts:
#1. Timothy was to put the church constantly in remembrance of the great apostasy which was to occur, and to guard them against the doctrines which would be taught under that apostasy (verses 1-6).
- There was to be, in the latter days, a great departing from the faith (verse 1).
- Some of the characteristics of that apostasy were: giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Those who taught would deceitfully speak what they knew to be false, having their own consciences seared (verse 2). They would forbid to marry, and forbid the use of certain articles of food which God had appointed for man (verses 3-5).
#2. Timothy was to warn the churches against trivial and superstitious views, such as Paul calls old wives' fables (verses 7-11).
- He was not to be influenced by such fables, but to reject them at once (verse 7).
- The bodily exercise which the friends of such fables recommended was of NO advantage to the soul, and no stress should be laid on it, as if it were important (verse 8).
- That which was truly profitable, and which should be regarded as important, was godliness; for only that had promise of the present life and of the life to come (verse 8).
- Timothy must expect, in giving these instructions, to endure hard work and to suffer criticism, but he was to faithfully teach these important truths (verse 10).
#3. Various admonitions respecting Timothy’s personal behavior (verses 12-16).
- He was to live a good life so no one would hate him because he was young (verse 12).
- He was to pay attention to his duties until Paul returned to him (verse 13).
- He was not to neglect the gift which had been given him (verse 14).
- He was to meditate on these things, so that his spiritual growth might appear to all (verse 15).
- He was to pay heed to the manner and matter of his teaching, that he might save himself and those who heard him (verse 16).
How to Recognize the Apostates (1 Timothy 4:1-5)
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (KJV)
Now the Spirit . . . clearly the Holy Spirit. It is not certain, from this Passage, whether Paul means to say that this was a revelation then made to him, or whether it was a well-understood thing as taught by the Holy Spirit. He elsewhere refers to this same prophecy, and John also more than once mentions it (2 Thes., 1 Jn.2:18; 4:3).
Speaketh expressly . . . not by mere hints and symbols, and shadowy images of the future. The object of this statement seems to be to get Timothy’s attention to show the importance of attending to it.
That in the latter times . . . latter times is an expression referring to the last days of the church on the Earth, but here it could refer to the days of the church beginning immediately after the life of Paul. The apostasy of the church had already begun, even at that time. John said, "Already there are many antichrists" (1 Jn.2:18). Error had entered the church. I do not think that Paul has in mind the Second Coming of Christ here, when he says "in the latter times."
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (KJV)
I think most likely Paul means by latter times mentioned here refers to our times today. Paul was speaking of what was in store for the church in his day and what would follow.
Some shall depart from the faith . . . Paul is warning Timothy and us, that there will be heretical teachers who will mislead many people. There will be a departure from the faith. Paul wrote also in 2 Thes.2, of the apostasy to come. This problem of apostasy has been in the church for a l-o-n-g time, and it certainly will NOT be anything new at the end of the age. My friend, it will continue to grow. When TRUE believers are raptured (1 Thes.4:13-18), what will be left behind will be a completely apostate organized church (Rev.17).
2 Thes. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (KJV)
2 Thes.2:8-10 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!!
Giving heed to seducing spirits . . . evil spirits INSTEAD of the Spirit of God. The spirits here referred to are any that cause people to err from the Truth. Although it applies to false teachers, it also applies to them under the influence of evil spirits, which includes drugs and alcohol. This may be applied to any false teaching; but it is evident that the apostle had a specific apostasy in view . . . some great system that would greatly corrupt the Christian faith (Rev.17), and the words here should be interpreted with that in mind. It is true that people in all ages are prone to give heed to seducing spirits; but the thing referred to here by Paul is some outstanding apostasy, in which the characteristics would be manifested, and the doctrines held, which Paul proceeds immediately to specify. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (KJV) . . . Giving heed to seducing spirits . . . when they depart from the faith, what is responsible for it? Paul says, Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. Seducing means wandering, roving, never satisfied. It comes from the word vagabond, deceiver or seducer. Satan is all those things. People shall give heed to satanic spirits.
And doctrines of devils . . . teachings of demons. This may either mean teachings respecting demons, or teachings by demons. People will give heed to doctrines of demons. It is shocking as to the great number of people in our very materialistic age, that there is a return to the things of the spirit world and with such a great emphasis on it. TRUE believers are to ". . . try the spirits whether they are of God . . . ," because there have gone out into the world these seducing spirits (1 Jn.4:1) above. The test that we should apply is the creed that was given in: 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (KJV) . . . The ONLY Way of salvation is through the death of Christ, and it is by this Truth we can test the doctrines of demons today.
There are some who CLAIM to be believers who are placing a great importance on demonism. They are very interested in this subject and are reading everything they can find about it. Faith in Christ Jesus and demonism are total opposites. BEWARE!!! Do NOT mess with the devil! The end result is NOT what you want!
Paul warns us against being seduced by the doctrines of demons. Pay attention! We should stay away, far away, from the doctrines of demons, testing each spirit by its acknowledgment of the deity of Christ and by its acknowledging that God was manifest in the flesh and that we are justified through the redemption He made possible for us on the Cross. JESUS IS GOD! http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god.htm
1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (KJV)
Speaking lies in hypocrisy . . . apostates act like they are very pious, very religious. BEWARE of these super-duper so-called saints who claim to have something special that we do not have. My friend, IF you know the Truth, it makes you humble. The first thing you will realize is just how little you know. No matter how much you think you know about the Bible, you have so much more to learn. Speaking lies in hypocrisy is pretending to be something they are not.
Having their conscience seared with a hot iron . . . the reference here is no doubt referring to the effect of applying a hot iron to the skin. The burned part becomes rigid and hard, and is dead to feeling. So too with the conscience of those referred to. Such a conscience that exists in a mind like this will practice falsehoods with NO concern. I think Paul means that persons like this are so far away from any sense of godliness, that they were hardened to a great degree of iniquity. Both terms in this verse indicate people who seduce others to false doctrine, and they could not do it without some show or pretense of piety. BEWARE!!!
1 Timothy 4:3 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. (KJV)
Forbidding to marry . . . in Christ's day there was a group known as the Essenes. The Essenes were a Jewish mystical sect a little like the Pharisees. They exaggerated great purity. They originated about B.C. 100, and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem. They are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although they may be referred to in (Mat.19:11-12; Col.2:8,18,23). It was from among them that the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. When Christianity came along, many most likely joined the Palestinian church and helped to produce most of its characteristic heresies, including the regulation of not marrying. The Catholic Church forbids marriage to its priests. As you know, that has produced some horrible sexual monsters. God does NOT forbid marriage to pastors. Essenes: . . http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5867-essenes
And commanding to abstain from meats . . . this also they taught in hypocrisy, under a pretense of piety. This too agrees with the Church of Rome whose prohibitions of meat are well known. To abstain: (Rom.14:3,17; 1 Cor.8:8; Col.2:20-23; Heb.13:9).
Which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving . . . there are those who make certain rules and regulations about diet that are absolutely NOT in the Word of God. They falsely teach as if food could commend them to God. True, if you eat the wrong kind of food you will get a stomach ache, but it has NOTHING at all to do with your spiritual life.
Of them which believe and know the truth . . . if you are a TRUE believer, the Holy Spirit within you will warn you of false teachers. He will make known the Truth to you. False teachers were then, and still are a great threat to the church. The Lord Jesus and His apostles repeatedly warned against them (Mat.24:5,23-25; Lk.17:23-24; 21:8; Mk.13:21-23; Jn.5:43; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Thes.2:1-12; 2 Pet.3:3-7).
It is NOT enough that a teacher seems to know what he is talking about, seems to be disciplined and moral, or claims that he is speaking for God. If his words oppose the Bible, his teaching is false. Like Timothy, we must guard against any teaching that causes believers to dilute or reject any aspect of their faith. Beware, false teaching can be very direct or extremely subtle. Believers should respond quickly when they sense false teaching is being promoted. The Truth does not mind honest questions. Maybe the teacher is ignorant of the error and appreciates the correction. But at least a firm warning may keep potential victims from the disastrous results of apostasy that Paul described. (1 Tim.1:3-7).
1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (KJV)
For every creature of God is good . . . not only good in itself, as all was which God made (Gen.1:1-31), but lawful to be used, pure (Tit 1:15), there is no uncleanness in it.
And nothing to be refused . . . and therefore nothing on that account is to be refused, as unclean and defiling.
If it be received with thanksgiving . . . BUT . . . it must be made use of in such a way that we may glorify God, and express our thankfulness to Him. The Word of God does NOT condemn food; it commends it. If you can return thanks for the food, that sanctifies it for your body.
1 Timothy 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (KJV)
For it is sanctified by the word of God . . . it is blessed by the authority or permission of God. It would be profane or unholy if He had forbidden it (Gen.1:29; 9:3).
And prayer . . . if it is partaken of with prayer. By prayer we are enabled to receive it with gratitude, and everything that we eat or drink may thus be made a means of grace.
Sound Advice for Pastors
In Times of Apostasy (1 Timothy 4:6-16)
1 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. (KJV)
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things . . . of the truths just stated. It is the duty of the ministry to show to the people of their charge what is error and where it may be found, and to caution them to avoid it. Paul has warned Timothy of the apostasy and false teachings that would come into the church. There will be some who profess their faith in Jesus, and then deny it. Timothy is to warn the believers about these things.
Thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ . . . I think that every believer is a minister, but here Paul has in mind for Timothy to be a teacher of the Word of God. Teaching is a gift that some people have, while others do not have . . . but all believers are ministers.
Nourished up in the word of faith . . . this is how the believer is to grow in the Word of God.
You will be then a good minister of Jesus Christ, as becomes one who has been nourished in the words of faith, or trained up in the doctrines of the Gospel.
Whereunto thou hast attained . . . I think this means to follow closely; to trace or examine. It is rendered having had understanding in Luke 1:3, and hast fully known in 2 Tim.3:10. The meaning here seems to be that Timothy had followed the doctrines in which he had been trained to their legitimate results; he had accurately seen and understood their meaning, as leading him to embrace the Christian religion. His early training in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, (2 Tim.1:5; 3:15), he had now fully carried out, by embracing the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, and by revealing the proper results of the early teaching which he had received in connection with those Scriptures. If Timothy now followed the directions of the apostle Paul, he would be a minister of the Lord Jesus, worthy of the attainments in spiritual knowledge which he had made, and of the expectations which had been formed of him. Paul has warned Timothy about apostasy and false teachings, but he will mention more things that Timothy should avoid.
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (KJV)
But refuse profane and old wives' fables . . . all disrespectful discourses, which do nothing to promote either faith or holiness, Paul scornfully calls old wives' fables, teachings having no root in the Word of God, are not fit for pulpits.
And exercise thyself rather unto godliness . . . Paul tells Timothy to let his constant study be in things that may promote godliness, and instruct those things to people, and live up to them in his lifestyle.
1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (KJV)
For bodily exercise profiteth little . . . There are some people who think that Paul is downgrading physical exercise. I do not think that is what he means here. Paul spent about three years in Ephesus where there was a great coliseum in which the Olympic Games were held at times. The coliseum seated thousands of people, and foot races were often held there. Paul uses the figure of the race and compares it to the Christian life and walk in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. I feel sure that Paul knew physical exercise was important. Paul walked where ever he went to preach the Gospel of Christ. He did not ride a horse or even a donkey. Paul walked and it took a tough individual to cover the ground that he covered throughout the Roman Empire.
Paul's emphasis here, on godliness rather than on physical exercise is because the Ephesians were a people given over to games and athletics, like America! There are church officers who spend more time in the ball park than they spend in prayer meetings. Paul is NOT saying bodily exercise is wrong. He is saying, "Let's hold things in the right viewpoint."
Physical discipline, abstaining from certain meats, keeping set fasts, lying upon the ground, going barefoot, wearing sackcloth or haircloth, abstaining from wine, forbidding to marry (verse 3), is of little or no advantage. The mind and soul of man is not bettered by them. Paul does not completely scorn these things, some of which may be useful, IF moderately used to make us more fit for prayer. BUT none of these are things can help a person spiritually.
But godliness is profitable unto all things . . . godliness lies in true worship and service of God, out of a principle of the fear of God and faith in Him. Holiness of life in obedience to God's commandments, is of universal advantage.
Having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come . . . not from any worthy thing we do, but from the free grace of God. We can grasp not only the promises of health, peace and prosperity, and all good things while we live here upon the Earth, but also the Promises of salvation and eternal happiness when this life on Earth shall be no more.
1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. (KJV)
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation . . . this saying about the advantage of godliness is true, and should be received by all men (1 Tim.1:15). Paul emphasizes the point he has just made. He is saying, "This is something you can count on." You could count on it in the times of Paul and Timothy in Ephesus, and you can count on it today, where ever you are.
1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. (KJV)
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach . . . both Paul and Timothy worked hard for the Lord, and suffered reproach. Reproach = blame, criticism, rebuke in making this Truth known, that all might be saved, and that salvation was offered to all. It is the same today! There are a few (Mat.7:14) who labor to bring the Truth to people today, that Jesus is the only Way of salvation, and they are criticized and condemned. Liberals rise up in anger and fury and these conservatives suffer reproach. The labour in the times of Paul and Timothy was chiefly experienced when this Truth was carried to the Gentiles, and the reproach rose up mainly from the Jews for their doing it. People do NOT want the Truth! See the Truth about salvation. http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_truth_about_salvation.htm
Because we trust in the living God . . . this does not mean, that Timothy labored and suffered because he opened his heart to God, or that this was the reason of his sufferings, but instead that this trust in the living God was his support in these labours and trials. Paul and Timothy labored and suffered reproach, for they had hope in God. Through Him they looked for salvation. Today pastors should make the Gospel Truth made known to men, as these two men did, even though it quite likely may be attended with reproaches. God has revealed “a” plan of salvation for all people, and invites that all should be saved. The friends of God (Jn.15:13-15) are willing to labor to make the Truth known, even though it is attended with reproaches.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . Only ONE Way to Heaven!
Acts 4:10-12Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV) . . . Only ONE Way to Heaven, and JESUS is the Way!
1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (KJV) . . . This is SO true today!
2 Thes. 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (KJV) . . . IF you do NOT receive the love of the Truth, you are NOT saved!
2 Peter 3:8-9 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV) . . . God wants NO one to perish in the pits of Hell! He wants ALL to repent! SO many people scoff at idea that Jesus shall return! It’s been many years since this Promise has been made by God. TRUE children of God should not get discouraged at God’s delay of executing His judgment. He is faithful to His Promises, because He cannot lie (Tit.1:2). Since 1000 years is like ONE day with God, it is just a little over 2 days since this Promise was made! God has a different clock that we do! God NOT forgotten about His Promise. Jesus shall return! Judgment Day shall arrive! BEWARE!!!
Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (KJV) . . . Jude foretells their destruction, because they bring to mind Cain's shameless malice, Balaam's filthy greed, and Core's (Korah) seditious and ambitious head (Numbers ch.16-17).
Who is the Saviour of all men . . . this must be understood as meaning that Jesus is the Saviour of ALL people . . . ALL those who believe God (1Jn.5:10-13).
Specially of those that believe . . . there is something that applies to TRUE believers in regard to salvation that does NOT belong to "all people." Christ Jesus is the Saviour for all people, BUT, this salvation becomes effective ONLY for those who believe God, and trust in what He did on the cross for the sinners of the world (Jn.3:16-18,36; 1 Tim.1:15). NOT all people take advantage of this FREE offer of salvation! It does NOT mean that He brings all people to Heaven, as some heretics (false teachers) teach. BEWARE!!! NOT everyone will go to Heaven! Only a “few” will make it (Mat 7:14).
1 Timothy 4:11 These things command and teach. (KJV)
These things command and teach . . . all the things before mentioned, in this or the former parts of this Letter. Paul wants Timothy to teach Truths, rejecting worthless and hurtful teachings.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (KJV)
Let no man despise thy youth . . . Paul knew that there would be those who would say Timothy was just a young man, too young to know very much. Maybe there were some things he did not know, but he was not to let anyone despise his youth. HOW could Timothy keep people from despising his youth? By not acting like a young fool. By making sure he set a good example of godliness.
But be thou an example of the believers . . . Timothy was to be a good model, a pattern to the Christians, by word and deed, by not talking proudly or profanely, or idly and impolitely, but seriously and gravely.
In word . . . good words, kind words, and caring, loving words about Jesus.
In conversation . . . in his lifestyle, behaving himself honestly, honorably and seriously.
In charity . . . performing to all, all the offices of charity and brotherly love.
In spirit . . . in eagerness and warmth of spirit, truly inflamed with the love of Christ, and for His glory.
In faith . . . in a steady confessing and professing of the doctrine of the Gospel.
In purity . . . in clean morality and holiness of words and deeds. This is how ministers of the Gospel will not be despised. Pastors who use immoral and impure methods, may end up like Hophni and Phinehas (1 Sam.2:12,34; 4:11-17; 8:3).
1 Sam. 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (KJV)
Timothy was a young pastor. It would have been easy for older Christians to look down on him because of his youth. He had to earn the respect of his elders by setting an example in his speech, lifestyle, faith and purity. No matter your age, God can use you. Whether you are young or old, do not think of your age as a handicap. Live so others can see Christ Jesus in you.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (KJV)
Till I come . . . and after that time too, when Paul will further instruct Timothy.
Give attendance to reading . . . be diligent in reading the Holy Scriptures, both for thine own instruction and for the edification of others.
To exhortation . . . to exhort means to comfort, encourage, urge and also could mean to warn.
To doctrine . . . to instruct, to teach others in the principles of religion.
The pastor is to read the Scripture publicly to comfort and to teach the congregation. The Word of God must be read, and until the church gets people into the habit of reading and studying the Word of God, it is missing its mark! This applied to Timothy personally. No one can grow personally except by reading the Word to encourage and instruct. A growing minister makes a growing church. Are you further along spiritually today than you were this time last year? Are you growing in grace and the knowledge of Christ? The ONLY way to do this is by reading the great Truths of the Word of God.
1 Timothy 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (KJV)
Neglect not the gift that is in thee . . . highly skilled athletes lose their ability if they do not exercise regularly, and it is this same way that we will lose our spiritual gifts if we do not exercise them. Our gifts, our talents are improved by exercising them, while failing to use them will cause them to waste away from lack of practice and nourishment. What gifts and abilities has God given to you? Use them often in serving God and others.
Which was given thee by prophecy . . . when apostles laid their hands on men, they usually received the Holy Spirit. This may be what the apostle Paul calls to the remembrance of Timothy, and tells him not to neglect what he had received, nor the purpose for which he had received it.
With the laying on of the hands of the presbytery . . . Timothy was ordained in the usual way, and at the ordination the Spirit conferred upon him gifts. It must be kept in mind that the ancient evangelists had no New Testament to guide them, and so they needed special qualifications, which are no longer necessary in today’s times. When that which is perfect is come , could mean the New Testament (1 Cor.13:9-10).
1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (KJV)
Meditate upon these things . . . ponder, consider carefully, be deeply impressed with the above things; make them the subject of profound and serious thought.
Give thyself wholly to them . . . let them be your whole work, not just a side-line, but your main business. Timothy was to spend his time, attention and talents, he was to be immersed in the proper duties of his work. He was not to strive for money, fame, pleasure or power; he was not to seek the reputation of an elegant or profound scholar. His goal was not to be distinguished as an accomplished gentleman or teacher.
That thy profiting may appear to all . . . as all men's gifts improve by study and exercise, Timothy was to improve, so that all men would take notice his improvement. A minister of the Gospel should make steady improvement in everything that concerns his office. No one should be satisfied with certain attainments and then stop. If a person really makes progress, it will be seen and appreciated by others; if not, that too will be well understood by observers.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (KJV)
Take heed unto thyself . . . take heed how you live, that it may be a model to others.
And unto the doctrine . . . the meaning is, that Timothy should hold and teach only the Truth, he was to "take heed" to public instruction that is, both to the matter and the manner. The object was to get as much Truth as possible before his hearers and in such a way as to produce the deepest impression on them.
Continue in them . . . and do both these things not just for a while, but continually.
For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee . . . Timothy was to do what lie within him to save his own soul (1 Pet.4:18), and also to save the souls of others to whom he preached, so that they might be converted. Consider: suppose a person refuses to continue in the doctrine of the Gospel, would he then save himself? I don’t think so. IF a person is truly saved, he would want to continue in the doctrine of the Gospel!
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Timothy would be the means of salvation to those who would hear him. I do not think that Paul meant to say that Timothy would save all that heard him. I think this is to be understood that a faithful minister will be the means of saving many sinners. Timothy brought forth the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Way to be saved . . . BUT it then rested upon the hearer whether it would be believed and accepted!
The assurance provides a ground of encouragement for a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dear friend, if a pastor would be the means of saving just one soul from the horrors of the eternal suffering of Hell, and remove them from eternal sinning, it would be worth the most self-denying labors of the longest life. Dear friend, this also applies to us as well! I believe it is the DUTY of all TRUE believers, to speak up on Jesus’ behalf, of what He did on the cross for us. He paid the price of sin’s penalty for us! We need to tell others that Jesus is the ONLY Way to get to Heaven. I believe that all believers are ministers (verse 6).
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . The Father is in Heaven. IF you want to go there, you must go through JESUS!
God have mercy on the preacher who is NOT giving out the Truth of the Word of God! There are many in this category today! That is a most dreadful sin. Anyone who is supposed to give out the Word of God and fails to do so is in BIG trouble in God’s eyes! And as I said above, this goes for all believers. We must tell others about Jesus!
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