When Paul left Timothy in Ephesus he saw the danger signs on the horizon for the flock and in fact Revelation 2 shows that indeed this precious flock did lose their first love. Are we discerning that we too see the danger signs and know how to act upon them?
Note that Paul references the Holy Spirit who “explicitly says” that in the later times certain things will come to pass; the first of which is the desertion of some faithful to the unfaithful camp. What might have triggered this departure? Dr. Constable writes: “this would come about as a result of their listening to persuasive arguments put forth by God’s spiritual enemies and, behind them, demons.” Rather than following these liars, as Paul references them, we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts, study to show ourselves approved as the Bereans did, and be mature in our perceptions to discern good and evil.
Now to Timothy Paul exhorts him to seek to “Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach” It is our speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity along with the power of the Holy Spirit’s conviction that will draw them back.
Secondly, he is to be busy about “giving attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” Much is avoided when truth is taught from the pulpit. 2Ti 4:2 Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. The public reading of God’s Word and the teaching of the doctrines of the church is our Biblical compass against the false teachers.
Listen carefully this week as you sit under those who stand in the pulpits. Pray for them and pray for yourself. Pray that the anointed empowering Holy Spirit will direct, discern, and discriminate between what is truth and what is error.