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.