And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. (2 Tim. 2:17-18 NKJ)
In Paul’s time, Hymenaeus and Philetus were two teachers who brought false teachings to the early Church. They taught that “the resurrection is already past.” No further details were given.
For this reason, the Apostle Paul said that “they have strayed concerning the truth.” And he added that “they overthrow the faith of some.” Of course, Paul meant that they overthrew the faith of some honest, true believers.
This is the reason why subtle but serious false teachings like these are very important: because they undermine faith. Our faith requires accurate knowledge of the Word. The moment that what you know or believe is wrong, your faith has already had a shipwreck and cannot work.
If you have believed the wrong teachings about salvation, grace, the Holy Spirit, etc., you have already shipwrecked your faith. Perhaps you have already been experiencing the shipwreck for the past ten, twenty-five, or fifty years without realizing it.
Also note that there is a difference between false teachers(fake, unsaved) and false teachings. A sincere, true man of God can teach a false doctrine. It is therefore important that you develop an attitude to search the Word of God for yourself, as the Berean Christians did. (Acts 17:10-11)
A typical believer today holds on to many teachings which they have personally never verified. They grew up with their belief and just hold it dear to their hearts. But faith cannot produce results based on inaccurate knowledge of the Word, irrespective of your sincerity.
What is the reason Jesus gave for errors in our knowledge of God? See Mark 12:24.
APPLY THE WORD
Develop a habit of double-checking the teachings you have accepted so far as a Christian and those new ones that you are getting, including this one!
Please pray earnestly that the Spirit of truth will protect you from the error of both false teachers and unintentional errors of sincere men of God.
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