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.
Who were Hymenaeus and Alexander? I suppose that you, like myself, have often read these verses and moved on rather quickly. Here were two fellows, you see, who were enemies of the cross. Unbelievers outside the church who persecuted Paul. Gotta watch out for those pagans, you know.
Hymenaeus and Alexander, says Paul, had made shipwreck of their faith. They were not pagan unbelievers. Nope. They were “Christian” unbelievers. In some way they blasphemed and they did so by failing to hold faith and a good conscience. I am not positive what that means, but I would venture a guess. They must have been hypocrites whose practice did not mesh with their profession of Christ. Furthermore, they must have taught others that their brand of counterfeit Christianity was the real deal, so y’all come and join us.
Welcome to the fight. This is the war we wage as Christ’s soldiers. Hymee and his buddy Alex are still with us today, probably in larger numbers than in Paul’s time.
Let me give you a true example.