Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:17-18 (NIV).
My wife and I went to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky last week. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a full-size recreation of what Noah’s Ark may have (even probably) looked like; a three-story museum of what it must have taken to create the Ark, then to tend to the animals, then to repopulate the world. Ken Ham Ministries, which operates the museum, did a great job intertwining this story of how God saved physical life through the Ark with the account of how God saved spiritual life through the Good Friday Easter ark who is Jesus Christ.
At the end of walking through, it occurred to me that I had absorbed the message: Jesus is the only way. It was no surprise, but it was pleasantly shocking how much I agreed with it, how easily I identified with it. Jesus is the antidote to false teaching. He’s the opposite of all our sinful experiences. Jesus as He was, is, and is to come. Jesus as He is presented in the Bible is the only truth that matters. In Paul’s day, the gangrenous teaching that Hymenaeus and Philetus had spread had already been overcome by Jesus and His resurrection. All that Jesus said and taught was the highway to heaven. Whether we receive that teaching in a tourist attraction, our neighborhood churches, online, or in person is all part of our human experience.
Duh. Better do it while we can.
Back in Noah’s time, nobody other than his family believed that God had told Noah to build the ark because devastation was coming. After Noah’s descendants repopulated the world, few believed that God would send His Messiah to redeem us from our sins. In our world, even though there are over 2 billion Christians, there are also over 5.2 billion non-Christians who think our faith in God’s Son as Messiah is foolishness. Some reject it as that. Others, like Hymenaeus and Philetus of Paul’s day, spread false teaching about it for ungodly reasons. Still others would have you and I suffer or die for our belief in Jesus. Think ISIS or other radical Islamic sects; think Communists in China, Cuba, and elsewhere. Think even about dilletantes here in the peaceful US of A.
Noah or now, some things never change. Through it, the message of the Ark Encounter remains: Jesus is the only ark, the only way to live through this terminal adventure called humanity. How will you share that message today?
For further reading: 1 Timothy 1:19-20, 2 Thessalonians 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:19.
Saving Lord Jesus, You are the only ark into eternal life. You are the only truth. Forgive me when I’ve failed You. Thank You for today in which to do better. Help me to do so.