“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
Recently a prominent former minister/author made the news with the announcement that he had departed from Christianity and essentially renounced much of what he had formerly believed and taught. Blogger Chelsen Vicari observes, I believe correctly, “Perhaps it is better for him to denounce the faith altogether (and hopefully temporarily) than to distort it and mislead another generation of young Evangelicals.”
This is always disappointing but should not be surprising. It has happened all through my lifetime. I recall about ten years ago when a long-time favoriteChristian singer/songwriter departed from the faith and embraced the “alternate” lifestyle.
This has been the case all through the church age going back to the New Testament period. A verse that many of us have probably not purposefully memorized is from Matthew 24:10 where Jesus said concerning the last times, “At that time many will turn away from the faith”. This falling away was demonstrated by Paul’s ministry associate Demas who had deserted Paul because he loved this present world (2 Timothy 4:10).
Paul spoke of this in 1 Timothy 1:19,20 in a somber challenge to Timothy (and us), “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme”. Like Timothy our somber calling is to “hold faith and a good conscience”.
But today let us consider a challenge to continue in just the first portion of today’s Scripture text. We’ll examine more from this passage on Thursday and Friday.
“But as for you.” This sets up an emphatic contrast with the evil men and impostors described in the previous verse (
“Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.” Today let us just consider the word “continue” which most Bible versions use. Other versions render it “Keep on being faithful” (CEV), “But you must keep on believing” (TLB).
It is in the present imperative and calls for a constant, habitual way of life. Bible teacher William Kelly translates the word, “continue” as “stand by”. He comments that “Perhaps one of the severest tests of a believer’s character and loyalty is to ‘stand by’ the side of known truth while alluring and scintillating heresies are paraded in front of us. It is no small feat to remain faithful to God’s eternal Word throughout one’s lifetime and many there are who have left its ranks.” *
God spoke to wayward Israel through the prophet Jeremiah, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Today, we urge you to continue in your personal resolve to faithfulness.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne WeberDaily Prayer: Father, we thank You for the godly people who have taught us unchanging eternal truths of Scripture. Not only did they teach us by instruction but they taught us by their consistent example. Like Timothy, we want to continue in what we have learned and become convinced of, because we know those from whom we learned the Holy Scriptures which are able to make us wise for salvation through our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.
* Kelly died on March 27, 1906. Shortly before his death, he said “There are three things real — the Cross, the enmity of the world, the love of God.”
Finally today: Yesterday’s aerial photo was over the central valley in California.