Week 34: Some Will Fall Away

Today’s Text: First Timothy 4-6

Key Text: First Timothy 4:1

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”

Wow. There are times when the Apostle Paul simply puts it on the line.

When you want to have a nice, calm philosophical discussion about God, the Church, world conditions, and all the various opinions that are expressed on those subjects, Paul comes along and shakes things up.

There’s little room for polite speculation over tea when you have to confront a phrase like “some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”

Sounds like something out of Hollywood – the latest zombie thriller or “The Exorcist: Part 4”

But Paul is serious, and there is little room for misunderstanding.

From his vantage point, some are bound for spiritual destruction, lead there by spiritually dark forces.

What do “modern” and “sophisticated” believers do with such scriptures?

I find they often dismiss them as naïve or at the very least, as a product of “pre-scientific” thought.

I can’t do that though.

I take such writings quite seriously and quite literally.

I look around at the world today and see plenty of evil at work.

I find no difficulty believing in “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”

In fact, I can find no other satisfactory explanation for much of the evil I see at work in today’s world.

On the other hand, I don’t fear that such forces will ultimately be victorious.

Some may indeed “fall away from the faith” but I know others will not – and God will ultimately vanquish evil forever.

So take heart. We need to take evil seriously. We need not fear that it will win the day.

God has already done that – a long time ago.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

1 comment

  1. Good encouragement! May God bless us as we stand against the evil tide and hold fast our profession of faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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