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Godless Talking Is Cancerous

2 Timothy 2:16-18
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. (NIV)

We either talk about what is true or false. Truth reflects God’s mind and is therefore godly; falsehood is like cancer - it spreads undetected until it becomes unstoppably destructive. It is also addictive; it creates a compulsive habit of mind and heart which enjoys playing with lies and spreads them to others. The gospel is uncompromising. So, to talk about Jesus, God’s Word and the gospel falsely offers all sorts of attractions to rebellious hearts. It seems kind to minimise the judgement of God and the need for repentance; but taking people’s eyes off the need to live a holy life until the return of Jesus jeopardises their eternal security in Christ.
Paul had seen enough of such well-presented lies, even by once respected teachers. Lies spoken with authority quickly become accepted as true; and as more people believe them, they become the ‘right things to believe’. But they are lies. Timothy must avoid that situation in the church. He must start by warning against the chattering undercurrent of false teaching, not even allowing it to be discussed lest it should gain credibility and eat away at the faith of the immature and corrupt those who would like to be leaders. A soul is too valuable and the gospel too powerful to be recklessly destroyed.
Yet many perversions of the gospel can still be found around the world. A large number of these offer heaven-on-earth now, in one way or another. They say that it is foolish to live in the hope of eternal life when you can have what you want now. That is a cruel delusion because Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36). As our human quest for fulfilment always seems so urgent, we must constantly examine our motives as we choose our friends and teachers. Are we choosing to listen to sound and godly teaching – it will bring hope and peace to many; or do we tolerate, encourage and love the pleasant chattering which is based on lies – they will eat into many souls like a cancer.

Holy God. Thank You for always being right and always saying what is true. Thank You for the Bible which is trustworthy. Please forgive me for the times when I have chosen an easy way instead of Your hard path, and not resisted those who have persuaded me with lies. I am sorry when I have tolerated godless chatter, assuming that it is harmless. Please help me to distinguish between what is true and what is false according to Your Word, so that I can live courageously until Christ’s return; and encourage others to do the same. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams