II Tim 2: 19-20
- Paul had to deal with opposition brought about by false teachers in the Church. These false teachers claimed that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred. Some Gnostics believed that the physical body will not be resurrected at the end of time and that the Christian’s resurrection from the grave of baptism was the only resurrection he would experience
- Paul warns Timothy to avoid getting distracted by such foolish talk that only leads to more ungodly behaviour because such talk could spread like cancer and engulf the whole Church as some members have already been turned away from faith.
- Paul concludes by assuring Timothy that regardless of the propagation of erroneous doctrines, the truth will prevail in the minds of those who seek God. The seal of our salvation is that God knows those who are saved because of their loyalty to him.
- Against this background, we can deduce that they are those that claim be men or women of God but God does not know them as his.
Those that think that God knows them as His but God does not know them
- Those that have the zeal for God but not according to knowledge (Rom 10: 1). Paul was like that before his conversion (Gal 1:14).
- Those that go about establishing their own righteousness, instead of submitting themselves to the righteousness of God (Rom 10:2; Prov. 12: 15; Prov. 30: 12)
- Those that proclaim Lord, Lord but will not enter Heaven (Math 7: 21- 23) because they fail to do God’s will.
- Those that are wise in their own eyes but not wise at all (Prov. 16: 2; Prov. 20: 6). “He knows not and knows not that he knows not”.
- Those that have a form of godliness but deny the power that makes people to be godly (II Tim 3:5)
Those that claim to be God’s but are not known by to God to be His
- Those outside the Church of Christ
- The so called “men of God” in denominations who claim to be ministers of God – they will be surprised on the day of Judgment when the Lord will disclaim them – Did we not do miracles in your name? Some of them allegedly participated in sharing election money, received import duties waivers running into billions of Naira to import private planes, luxurious vehicles while most of their followers wallow in poverty.
- Those that have anointed themselves as sole spiritual heads, General Superintendents, General overseers (taking over the position of Christ as the Chief Shepherd- 1 Pet 5: 4). Who claim to receive God’s calling to establish one denomination or the other.
- Those that claim to be born again in denominations who are not borne of water and of the spirit (John 3: 1- 6)
Those that only claim to be God’s but are not known by God to be his:
- Those Within the Church of Christ
- Those that are trying to introduce strange doctrines into the Church – I hear some of them have turned their congregations to “prayer houses” have their own holy oil, holy water to deliver those that need deliverance and also cast away witchcraft. Recently I Creek Road congregation in PH disfellowshipped 78 members including the minister for doctrinal reasons.
- Those that still engage in “secret sins” – sexual immorality, drunkenness, malice, patronage of Prophets and Prophetess. Any slight sickness is attributed to some family person who must be bound in prayer houses through undergoing assignment.
- Those who claim to give to “Caesar” what is Caesar’s by engaging in idolatrous acts to please people sometimes during marriages or when seeking deliverance from some afflictions.
- Those that God knows that they are his:
How can we identify this category of people – “By their fruits ye shall know them”- Matt 7: 16; 16-20). They must first of all be members of the Church of Christ. They must have totally surrendered themselves to Christ and his doctrines “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me ……. (Gal 2:20).
- Those that have the fear of God in them and would avoid anything that can lead them to sin. They seek to please God at all times rather than men (Gal 1: 10; 1Thess 5: 22). They will not hide sin.
- Those that seek holiness and also make enormous sacrifice in time and resources for the sake of the gospel of Christ – I have come across some of them and I am overwhelmed by their levels of commitment. They have overcome self centeredness, greed and covetousness. The have overcome the 3 main sources of temptation – Money, Sexual immorality and alcohol/drugs addiction.
- They do not hide their identity but remain Christians everywhere.
- Like Paul they are confident that they have run a good race and their names are written in the book of life – II Tim 4: 7-8; Phil 4:3
- There will be surprises on the day of judgement for many that proclaim to be Men and women of God but are not known by God as such.
- Those in the Church of Christ who secretly commit all manners of sins and patronize Prophets and Prophetess thinking that they will never be found out. They ought to remember that judgement is starting from the household of God. ( 1Pet 4:17)
- Some will ask “Did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name”? He will reply that he does not know them. (Matt 7: 22-23)
- If the righteous can hardly be saved what will happen to those that are not worshiping God in Spirit and in truth? 1 Pet 4:18
- Those that nameth the name of the Lord must depart from iniquity. (2Tim 2:19) .You cannot be hot and cold at the same time (lukewarm- Rev. 3: 15-16), you must decide if you want God to know you as his or you choose whom you want to serve.