Don't Fall For Woke Speculation
In the last verse, Paul urged Timothy, his younger disciple, to stay in Ephesus because he was known for being a little timid. But in this next verse, he's going to tell him why. And I am going to read part of verse three from last time, and all of verse four:
that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. — 1 Timothy 1:3b-4
The metropolis has always been the epicenter for sharing "new" ideas. This is why Paul focused on preaching the gospel in major cities. Ancient Ephesus, where Timothy was at present, was one of those cities. Ephesus was a coastal city with roughly 250-500 thousand residents. And because it was a major port, it was always full of activity. Some of the wealthiest people in the world of the time lived on the hillside of Ephesus because it was beautiful and modern. It had a modern water system, modern businesses, and a large modern theater that held about 25,000 people, which still exists today. Before Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, we know he previously presented at this theater, which resulted in a major riot.
One of the primary issues for Christians at Ephesus was the constant development of new ideologies. Because Ephesus was a port and thought center in the Roman empire, new ideas were always on the rise. We have seen this happen in our time over the last couple of years. And their woke ideas threatened the gospel just as much as our new woke ideas do. This is the reason Paul is writing the letter. He has heard that woke ideas have infiltrated the church, and some people with more influence than others are mixing these ideas, concepts, and beliefs with the gospel's truth.
But notice in the text that Paul says these ideas "promote speculation." For me, this signals the reasons for the issues at Ephesus. Paul is warning Timothy that he hears believers are embracing new ideas and that they have speculated on for too long. These speculations have now captured their attention, like a magic trick or sleight of hand. But like a magic trick, these ideas have shreds of visible truth that conceal something hidden — a falsehood or lie (which is the trick). But by the time they figure out the trick or the lie, they have speculated too long. Thus the idea has been embraced to the point it's being supported and taught to others. I don't think I need to make a contemporary connection, but this is happening in our schools and churches today. And by the time we've figured it out, the ideology is seeded too deep, and the return to truth becomes challenging.
And guess what? Paul wants Timothy to deal with it. To address this issue — woke speculation.
Fellas, this is why we need to be reading God's Word. We cannot sit back and accept what we are being taught. We need to test everything. We need to read God's Word, study it, and test all new ideologies against it. If we don't, we might drift and discover we no longer follow God because we've been following man-made speculations with only shreds of truth. So the next time you find you are speculating, or your church is speculating, then right at that moment, stop speculating and start searching. Truth is found by searching for the Truth in the Truth, not by speculating about it.
ASK THIS: What one woke idea are you most concerned about today?
DO THIS: Search God's Word for a response to that idea.
PRAY THIS: God, give me the wisdom to discern truth and avoid meaningless speculation.
PLAY THIS: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.