“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:17-18)
Paul’s final words stand as an encouragement and exhortation to us all. We live in the world he warned Timothy would come, filled with false teachings. Many of our new immigrant neighbors, many of our other neighbors, friends and coworkers follow and promote them, teachings such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism, Satanism, materialism, reincarnation, Santeria, and every form of superstition. People will follow after any false teacher that will tell them something new and spicy, exciting and unique, that promises to lead to deeper spirituality. This includes many professing Christians. There are plenty of false teachers who have perverted the truth of the gospel with lies from their own hearts or from the devil.
We must be ever vigilant and sober. We, like Paul and Timothy, must uphold the truth of God’s Word against the onslaught of false teachings. We must always be ready to preach the gospel wherever we go, in our neighborhoods, on our jobs, when we shop, and when we play. Every place we go we may be challenged to confront lies and false teachings.
We must know the Word. We must be certain of the truth of the gospel as it stands, apart from the biases of our own cultural predisposition, or our ignorance if we want to effectively confront alien cultures. To have a greater understanding of the truth of God’s word, to reach out from a firm foundation, we must study the Scriptures daily. And we must be in fellowship with other believers who aid us to understand and apply God’s word to our lives.