We live in a day where we have many leaders teaching many different ideologies of scripture. Some of differences that are taught we can agree to disagree, but those who teach in opposition to scripture we must hold strong to scripture and warn those who are in the body of Christ. Paul had this difficult issue arise in his day. There was a man by the name of Hymenaeus who professed to be a followers of Christ, but disagreed with the physical resurrection of the believer after death. They believed that the resurrection was a spiritual resurrection when one was born again. This teaching spread throughout the Ephesian church and was leading many believers astray. Listen to how Paul addresses Hymenaeus’ teachings.
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:16-18
Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:18-20
One of the things that we must see is that Hymenaeus along with Philetus were teaching the Gnostic doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which in essence was a doctrine similar the to teachings of the Sadducees, which stated that there was no such thing as the resurrection of the body. We see in 1 Thessolonians 4:15-17 that “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” It wasn’t just a Sunday morning teaching that spread through the church leading people astray. It was the godless talk of people sharing this teaching that led them astray. When we do not know / understand scripture or are not willing to challenge false teaching that people within the church are talking about, this will ultimately spread throughout the church and destroying the faith of many.
The second thing that we must see is that Paul was very direct how he handled the situation. Hymenaeous was excommunicated from the church and handed over to the world where Satan rules. This would be a loss of spiritual covering from the body of Christ and from God himself. This would be as equivalent today as excommunicating someone from the church and stating that a person’s teachings were of a cult. People would not associate with this person and would stay away from anyone associated with them.
Scripture is clear that we will see more false teaching in the last days. Each of us need to understand scripture and have an action plan in mind if we are going to battle this destructive force that could shipwreck the faith of those who are part of the body of Christ. What will your action plan be?
This a side note: I just watched a Youtube post at Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee. It is really sad when you read false teaching in scripture and then you watch Shirley Phelps Roper of Westboro Baptist Church.