II Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
These verses are a continuation of what we looked at yesterday. The word translated as “shun” means “to keep away from, avoid”. The word translated as “profane” means “unhallowed”. There are many things that are like a boat anchor to the true child of God. True Christians are built upon the Rock which is Jesus Christ. True Christians are held in the Father’s hand. A boat anchor is something that holds the boat from moving. However a boat anchor is attached to the ground. The Christian needs to be attached to the Lord.
Personally, I cannot remember the last time I was in a “Christian” bookstore. The reason being that there is nothing “Christian” about those stores. They promote all kinds of self help and twisted theology type of material. We need to major on what matters. We need a good Bible, and we need a good church where the pastor and others have been called to assist him in the work of perfecting the saints. The pastor is called to serve the Lord full time. He needs to have the time to do that work. If he is too busy to do that, then he needs to change his schedule. That is his primary calling. Sometimes, and it seems more often, pastors need to be involved in some type of tent-making work besides being a pastor. That is often because those who are saved do not see the value of a godly pastor. Godly pastors do not charge a fee for serving God. The Bible has much to say in regard to taking care of the pastor.
Trusting a godly pastor to teach you is not the same at all as being a part of a cult and worshipping the cult leader. A godly pastor does not set himself up as THE authority. He will point people to God’s Word and to the God of the Word. That is where he gets his counsel and that is where he wants others to get their counsel. We need to be learning, but we need to be learning according to God’s Word and way. We already noted yesterday that we are commanded to study God’s Word in a way that meets with His approval. Thus, when we look at today’s verses, God is not telling us not to study God’s Word. What He is telling us is to avoid profane and vain babblings. Stay away from all those smooth talkers and smooth writers that are grooming you to buy their next book and to give to their “ministry” rather than supporting a true local church that is designed by God to help you to grow in the Lord.
The pastor of the local church can get to know you and you can get to know him. That cannot be said for the multitude of internet celebrities and the prolific book writers. Christians need to be fed good food. Paul was directed to warn Timothy that profane and vain babblers will lead you to more ungodliness. That is certainly what we have seen over the past many years. There are many books being printed and sold. We do not see a world that is more godly as a result of all of this. We see a greater turning away from the truth as people become more and more arrogant and self-reliant. They determine who they will listen to based on that which scratches their itching ears, rather than that which addresses the true need of the heart. Paul addresses that further in chapter 4.
In verse 17 Paul continued to address the danger of wrong interests and wrong teaching. God directed Paul to mention two men whom Timothy likely knew as well. Paul had already mentioned these two men in I Timothy 1:20. If you look at that verse, you see what God had to say about these two men. It was not at all flattering. It was a very sober warning.
A “canker” is like an ulcer or like gangrene. It festers and gets worse and worse and can lead to greater problems. Nothing good comes from it. That is what happens when a person feeds on the wrong teaching. God knows. He is not blowing off some steam here. He knows what happens when a person does not feed on the right food.
Judas likely spent just about as much time with Jesus as the other disciples did. However, Judas allowed the false teaching of the chief priests and the Pharisees to infect him. He allowed that to happen. He did not need to, but he made that choice. Look where Judas ended up. Even though he heard Jesus talk to different people about forgiveness of sin, yet when he sinned in betraying Jesus Christ to the religious false teachers, and he realized he had done wrong, he did not turn to Jesus for forgiveness. He went back to the false teachers and tried to make things right there. His sin of betraying was not his only sin. He lived in sin and sin has a way of snowballing and leading a person into greater depravity. That is what the canker of false teaching will do. That is what Paul was warning Timothy of. Timothy had been struggling with this already. He had allowed some type of opposition to infect his heart and soul and he needed to turn back to the truth and accept the reality of true Christianity and reject the lies of the smooth talkers who were in fact profane and vain babblers.
In verse 18 we see what the issue was with Hymenaeus and Philetus. They were teaching that the resurrection was already past. They were overthrowing the faith of some. Untaught Christians can get drawn into all kinds of false ideas. God’s leaders are called upon to expose the false teachers and encourage those who have been led astray to get back on track. It does not help to just leave them out there in the dark. A loving pastor will seek to help the wayward to get back to a right standing with God. He needs to be directed by God in his work. If he is, that may require some very straightforward talk at times. Beating around the bush does not help anyone. The pastor needs to speak plainly so that people are not left to try to figure out what he is saying, but rather that they know what is being said and they can take it to heart as needed.
These two men were teaching that there was no further resurrection to be expected. It was done. God directed the apostle Paul to write about the resurrection in great detail in I Corinthians 15. That is a great part of the hope of the true child of God. We look forward to being raised with our new and glorified bodies. In heaven we will not just be a bunch of spirits drifting around. True saints will receive their resurrected bodies and will look the same. They will be completely free from sin and from the decay that sin has brought to bear upon us here. There will be no glasses in heaven. No one will be in a wheel chair. There will be no heart issues or diabetes or anything else that is part of the curse on this earth.
The saints are looking forward to receiving their heavenly bodies. To teach that there is no hope of that takes the wind out of the sails of the child of God. What are we looking for? The reason this is so critical is because God promises there will be a resurrection. If God did not promise that, we would not be expecting it.
Job understood there was a resurrection coming.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
God addressed this false teaching very clearly here. You do not mess with God’s doctrines. They are all important and they must be understood and taught exactly as God declared them to be. Woe be to those who want to play around with God’s truth. As we continue on in this study we see that even though there are many false teachers, they cannot change God’s truth. They can sway those who are not well taught and grounded. However, they cannot change the truth. It is up to the faithful preacher and teacher to be fully persuaded of this fact and to encourage others to lean fully upon the Lord and to shun the false teachers. If you are truly saved, then get up today and get into a good church that can help you to grow in the Lord. You will be blessed for doing that.