The message of the gospel was so radical that it went against the voices of society. There were those within the community who purported a gospel which was more enticing than the one preached by Timothy. Drawn by the love of money and power, there were those who believed that they could present a message that was more palatable.
Jannes and Jambres are historical figures, believed to be the magicians who worked for Pharoah. Every time Moses presented the truth, they providing an opposing perspective which seemed a bit appealing, but eventually led to death. They could almost present the same works which Moses was doing, and therefore, they led both Pharoah and his people into a counterfeit faith. That faith was a reliance in themselves, a dependence upon their own skills and abilities. They were their own god, and therefore continually opposed the truth. Sadly, they led many to destruction because they cared more about themselves, than their people. They opposed God’s messenger and enticed people away out of selfish ambition.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is very counter-cultural and is not always as appealing as the cheap religion that others may sell. The concern in Ephesus was for sexual purity. Christ-followers were to exercise self-discipline when it came to their sexual practices. Just because a person had particular desires didn’t give license to act out. The false voices of the world were encouraging them with enticing words. “Follow your heart.” “Do what you want to do.” “Why wouldn’t God want you to enjoy yourself.” All of these enticing words, almost the truth of God, but not really, became distractions to what Timothy was to be teaching.
The love of self, and quite specifically money, can be an enticement away from the truth of the gospel. When someone comes and preaches a little more palatable gospel, one that gives license to the things we want to do, we can be easily enticed. In the long run, however, the easy gospel will not gain much traction because it ultimately will lead to destruction.
Spiritual discipline in the area of sexuality is a requirement for God’s people. Generosity and restraint in financial matters are a great need. Discipleship, the call to a deeper walk with Jesus Christ is necessary for all of God’s followers. Beware of those who sell a cheap gospel. There was nothing cheap about what Jesus did for us. He gave everything that he had so that we may become like him. Our participation in Christ is only possible when let go of all the things that keep us tied to the world. We must release that which false teachers may entice us to cling to. Then, and only then, can we live in truth that will set us free.
Lord, please give me a discerning heart, releasing anything that may hinder my life in you. Amen.
This post was written by Dr Carla Sunberg, General Supt to The Church of the Nazarene. For the original post, go to: reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/2017/11/enticing-opposition.html