And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
—2 Timothy 2:2
Jesus taught that false Christs, false prophets, and ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing would arise and mislead many. We see this today in evangelical Christians who teach hatred instead of love. The same was true while Paul was alive. Many false teachers had already infiltrated the church, with the explicit intent to destroy Christianity and Church-age doctrine. They wanted to create a version of Christianity that suited their wants and needs and not God’s. We still have people who manipulate believers to see that their teachings and their political views are the only valid ones, even when their teachings go against everything Christ taught.
Christianity is under siege from within. The relentless attacks on Christ-driven teachings, against which Paul and others taught so earnestly, continues to flourish to this day, but has fractured into a multiplicity false and unbiblical teachings. It was for this reason that Paul spent so much time writing his epistles and correcting the many false doctrines and corrupt teachings that were seen in the early church. Sadly , it’s often mistranslation of Paul’s epistles that are used to condemn the LGBTQ+ community.
The way to counter any false doctrine is to know the truth, which is recorded in the word of God. This is why Paul and the other apostles laboured to share the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ, to share the whole council of God, to teach sound doctrine, and encourage the daily study of Scripture – so that we may be perfect and mature in the faith, wanting nothing.
In his last known epistle, Paul writes to encourage Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and to serve Him faithfully. Paul not only wrote to strengthen and encourage young Timothy, but to spiritually hearten and motivate many others believers to hold fast to the truth of the gospel of grace, and to faithfully preach the unchangeable Word of God, in season and out of season.
Paul’s message never altered, but his love for the Lord and his passion to share the good news of the gospel of God gathered momentum and intensity throughout his ministry. He knew his life was shortly to end, when he wrote this letter to Timothy. Paul, who laboured more abundantly than anyone to bring us the gospel message, was left alone near the end of his life. Towards the end, everyone had deserted him.
Nevertheless, he wrote to Timothy: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. We are blessed to be children of God because Paul, Timothy, many witness, faithful men and women, and others have shared the Good News.
Despite the many false Christs, false prophets, ravenous wolves, and relentless attacks by the enemy on the Christian Church, the pure gospel of grace has reached our ears – for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We heard the Good News, because the gospel was passed on from Paul through many witness, faithful men and women, and others – and is recorded for our learning in the holy Scriptures.
Mentoring and discipling doesn’t mean we have to have our life together in order to take part in tsp reading the Message. It’s coming alongside someone and sharing a wee bit of our wisdom gained over the years. Quite possibly, just our presence alone of consistent connection builds up another and keeps our spirits high through the difficult times. Is there someone in your life that you are consistently pouring into and passing along these truths?