We are living in challenging times as Christians. Our faith is being undermined by wayward Christian teachers and prophets in our day. How does this happen? I Timothy and II Timothy give some explanation as to how this occurs. Teachers start to wander off the path of truth and are in a position to ruin the faith of others. For some teachers it is their desire to be preeminent among others. For other teachers they have accepted and confessed beliefs in a worldly knowledge. These causes are based in inward personality faults that have not been overcome or resisted by someone who is teaching God’s word. Through their influence they can shipwreck the godly faith of other Christians. God’s word says that those who teach will receive the greater condemnation in a judgment if they get it wrong. We have some Christian teachers in our day that have really gone out on a limb teaching that godliness in conduct and behavior is not needed in the life of a believer. Others teach that financial gain is what Christianity is all about. Still others teach mystical, spiritualistic practices interspersed with the Word of God.
The names of some of these men are given in I and II Timothy. Hymanaeus, Philetus, and Alexander are specifically identified by Paul. To have lived in that day teaching believers and then to find your name written in the Bible as a faith-wrecker would be devastating. We need to be careful as teachers and as receivers of ‘christian’ teaching. Many popular teachers of our day teach half-truths or even less godly content in their teaching about the Christian life. We cannot be enamored with the ‘popular’ at the expense of our faith and eternal life. Paul exhorted Timothy to hold onto his faith and his good conscience. Contrary to much of the Christian teaching today our conscience means something to us. If we are feeling guilty, confused or uncomfortable then we need to pay attention to the Holy Spirit and examine ourselves by the Word of God and what the Bible Scriptures teach.