Hymenaeus & Alexander
By Kent Heaton
Found only in Paul’s letters to Timothy, Hymenaeus is an example of a man who once had been enlightened of the truth, tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the partaking of the Holy Spirit and yet found himself shipwreck concerning the faith. It is tragic to witness the shipwreck of one’s faith when for many years an example of fidelity is shown. Much like a ship sailing the oceans with its tall mast and canvas filled with wind, gliding across the waves with the grace of its maker – a person’s life is summed up in the same figure. We sail the wide seas of life being guided by the direction of our helmsman Jesus Christ. It is the trust and faith we have in him that allows our lives to be directed by His will.
Hymenaeus and Alexander enjoyed this blessing for time. For reasons we are not told, they rejected Jesus Christ as their guide and began to take control of their own lives. In a figure they threw the Lord “overboard” and took control of their own lives, steering as they willed. Sadly, without the guidance of the Lord, the ship wrecked on the shoals of falsehood and deceit and broke apart on the rocks of apostasy. How difficult to watch precious souls destroy themselves as they desert the faith of God.
Shipwrecks are caused by carelessness and indifference. The seas of life are very treacherous and can only be safely traversed with the Lord at the helm. Jesus knows every obstacle that will be in our path. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Without Him at the helm, our lives will be in shambles.
The Lord knows what we need and He knows where we need to go. We look at the horizons of life and are filled with doubt. We worry about what is over the next horizon and how to overcome the coming storms. Our hearts are filled with fear as the storms of life pound upon us and we cry out to the helmsman for relief. If we simply trust in His guidance and His will, we will find safety in the harbor.
Hymenaeus and Alexander lost their faith. This story reminds us that ships can sail that are hollow inside. Their hearts were corrupted and they rejected God’s will and turned to their own desires. Paul declares in 2 Tim. 2:18 that Hymenaeus (and Philetus) “have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:18). Their actions not only caused them to lose their souls but also impacted others whose faith was “upset.”
This lesson shows the danger of listening to the doctrines of men. It is possible to lose one’s faith as seen in Hymenaeus, Alexander and Philetus. False doctrine will shipwreck the faith of God’s people. Turning to the doctrines of men will cause men to lose their way and lose their soul. They erred concerning the truth and became advocates of falsehood.
The clear pattern of apostasy is when Jesus Christ is no longer the one who guides our ship through life. These men had the faith but threw it away. Let not Satan take control of our lives to lead us upon the shores of destruction. Throw him in the sea and implore the Son of God to lead your life in every shifting wind of time. Share not in the evil of Hymenaeus and Alexander. &
A few years ago, a group of salesmen went to regional sales convention in Chicago. The convention lasted all week, and all the salesmen had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.
As they hurried to the airport to catch their return flight, they rushed down the airport's corridor with their briefcases in hand. In their rush, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.
Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all continued running so they would make their plane.
All but one.
He stopped after running a few more yards, took a deep breath, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did. The 16 year old girl running the apple cart was totally blind. She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of the apples had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears.
He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister....."
He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"
He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"
Do people mistake you for Jesus?
That's our call, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world (shopping, working, reacting to others that are serving us) that is blind to His love, life and grace.
If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
May God bless you! &
WHO DID JESUS SAY “WILL BE SAVED”?
By Bob Myhan
Men may disagree with one another on this important subject but no one can afford to disagree with Him who is “the author of salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9) Therefore, let us consider the only words He spoke on the subject after He became the author of it.
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:14-16).
Here, in Mark’s account of the Great Commission, Jesus identifies those who “will be saved” and those who “will be condemned.” Notice that, while there is only one condition for condemnation, there are two conditions for salvation.
The two conditions for salvation stand or fall together. If one cannot be saved without believing, then he cannot be saved without being baptized. On the other hand, if one can be saved without being baptized, he can also be saved without believing. If this is not the case, why is it not?
Some argue that, if Jesus had meant to make baptism a condition of salvation, He would have said, "He who believes not and is not baptized will be condemned." However, if Jesus had said this, He would have made both not believing and not being baptized essential to condemnation. Those who believed but were not baptized [or were baptized but did not believe] would not have met both conditions for being saved, and would not have met both conditions for being condemned. This would result in some people being neither saved nor condemned, which is impossible.
As the statement stands, however, all unbelievers "will be condemned," but only baptized believers "will be saved." The believer who refuses to be baptized simply does not trust Jesus and has no promise of salvation. On the other hand, the alien sinner who trusts Jesus for salvation would not hesitate to be baptized, knowing that Jesus requires it of him.
This writer recently asked a person the following question. Would your pastor be more likely to say “He who believes and prays will be saved” or “He who believes and is baptized will be saved”? The person replied that her pastor would definitely say, “He who believes and prays shall be saved.” This person’s pastor does not agree with the words of Jesus.
Inasmuch as God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:2), Jesus has the last word on who “will be saved” and who “will be condemned.”
Dear reader, have you submitted to these words of Jesus Christ? If not, then you have not been saved. &