Posted by: SandreS | September 17, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 11

All Heard; All Turned Away

Paul had spent a two year teaching ministry in the capital city of the Roman province of Asia, the result of which was that, “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:10).

Now, sadly he states that, “all they which are in Asia are turned away from me” (1:15) – the church in Asia was in wholesale apostasy.

Turned Away from Paul

The Asian saints had turned away from Paul. This was an apostasy from Paul’s divinely bestowed revelation and authority. This was what was at issue; it was what had been forsaken. They had not abandoned “Christendom” (in fact they were establishing it!); but they had abandoned Paul.

To abandon Paul, the messenger of the risen, ascended, glorified, enthroned Lord Jesus Christ, Who had sent him, is to abandon the Savior Himself. That makes it a serious matter.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, “He who receives whomsoever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me” (John 13:20).

To disregard the importance of Paul’s apostleship is to bring about disaster. Those in the “Asia” of biblical times turned away from Paul (II Timothy 1:15) and were themselves turned unto fables (c.f. II Timothy 4:4). Even after over nineteen centuries the people occupying this area are still in spiritual darkness.

The answer to the current ills and “isms” of the church are to be found in Pauline truth. Paul says to us,

Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 11:1).

Christ is our goal; Paul is our guide.

The only hope of Christianity is in the rehabilitating of Pauline theology. It is back, back, back to an incarnate Christ and the atoning blood, or it is on, on, on to atheism and despair. – Francis L. Patton (1843-1932), president of Princeton University, 1888-1902.

(to be continued)

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

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