Posted by: SandreS | September 9, 2009

The Church In Ruins (Brief Thoughts On II Timothy), Part 3

The Warning to the Elders

Upon leaving the region of Asia, Paul warned the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:17-38; A.D. 60) of the serious dangers that lie ahead of them.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).

Paul did not say, “There is a good chance, that after my departing …” He said, “For I know this …” Paul prophesied concerning the future of the Asian saints. The Body of Christ would not be spared this severe test; but would they heed this serious warning?

The Warning by His Epistles

That’s not all!

After leaving, Paul also wrote three epistles to the saints in these provinces of Asia:

Ephesus (A.D. 64)
Colosse (A.D. 64)
Philemon (who resided in Colosse; A.D. 64)

Paul warned the Colossian saints of the real danger of being spoils of a spiritual war:

Beware lest any man spoil you … you are complete in Him … (Colossians 2:8, 10).

Let no man therefore judge you … Let no man beguile you … not holding the Head (Colossians 2:16-19).

Paul warned the Ephesian saints to be prepared for “the evil day” of testing that lay ahead.

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all to stand … (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Nevertheless, in less than a six-year span from the time he warned the Ephesian elders of these dangers, all those in Asia had turned away from Paul and his message (II Timothy 1:15).

What does Paul say would be the ultimate result of the Asian saints turning away from him?

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Just where does Asia – this region in which Paul invested so much – stand spiritually today? It is in the western portion of Turkey and is 98% Moslem! It does not pay to neglect the writings of Paul!

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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