1Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (19) holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, (20) among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
What should be our response when people we have learned from, whose teaching seems to have been sound…go bad? What are we to think? Just who is such a person in reality?
Many people have the mentality of ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones.” In some situations that may be wise. But in the case of a professing christian whose actions and teaching now show a pattern of falsehood and heresy do we continue to go to them for direction thinking that we can just ‘eat the meat and spit out bones’ of their works?
Remember what Scripture says about good fruit and bad fruit –
Matthew 7:18-20 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Simply put – Evil cannot produce good.
If one sees a leader teaching heresy, it doesn’t matter what he has taught in the past – one needs to avoid that leader. If the leader has taught good in the past and it has benefitted people it was because of God’s grace, but to continue to follow that leader after you are made aware of their evil is dangerous and not scriptural. Remember, Satan himself is quite a good theologian and is very capable of teaching exactly what the Bible says…with a spin.
Some people may be thinking that sounds harsh. They think, “That person really helped me in the past. I may not agree with all he is saying now, but I can use discernment and just ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones.'”
Let’s consider how God responds to such leaders. Look again at the above verses –
1 Tim 1:20 – “…whom I have handed over to Satan…”
1 John 2:19 “…They went out from us, but they were not of us…
When leaders that have a past history of ‘good’ teaching and ‘good’ works stand before God He’s not going to say, “Hey, you taught a lot of good stuff and helped a lot of people – I will keep that in mind” NO!
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
God won’t acknowledge and take into consider the ‘good’ that false teachers did. He will simple say “I never knew you…” Never!!
God won’t soften His stance against false teachers who have taught and done ‘good’ things in the past but now walk in falsehood and heresy. And neither should we.
1Ti 1:18-20 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (19) holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, (20) among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.