DECLENSION FROM WITHIN
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
It is obvious that Paul is warning Timothy, a young pastor in the first century church, that deceivers and heretical teachers would come into the church for wicked, self-seeking motives. Ignoring sound doctrine and even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul says that they err in three distinct areas. First, they “teach otherwise”; indicating contradictions to Scriptural truth. Secondly, they “do not consent to wholesome words.” And thirdly, they “reject doctrine which accords to godliness.” He is saying that correct belief matters.
Nearly nineteen centuries later, theologian C.H. Spurgeon was also having to deal with these issues of faith. From Germany and Switzerland were coming aberrant teaching which was denying the inerrancy of Scripture. The church throughout Europe was coming under such evil influence from those who had risen to leadership positions within the church.
Spurgeon wrote, God was being robbed of His glory and men and women were being robbed of their hope. These destroyers of our churches appear to be as content with their work as monkeys with their mischief. That which their fathers would have lamented, they rejoice in. A vowed atheist is not a tenth as dangerous as those preachers who scatter doubt and stab at faith. The church throughout history has triumphantly survived the attacks that come from the outside. The church throughout history has scattered itself in ruins when the declension has come from within.”
Be careful dear church of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. (Acts 20:29)