Jump Start # 3173
2 Timothy 3:6-7 “For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sin, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.”
Our verse is found in a long stream of expressions that describes the coming troublesome times that the young preacher Timothy was being warned about. Rather than loving God, these people loved self, they loved money and they loved pleasure. Sure sounds like our times, doesn’t it? And, among them, as our verse indicates, is a planned and concentrated attempt to mislead some to follow them. And, those who would dance to the tune of these pied pipers are described as “weak women” who are “weighed down with sin.”
Weak women weighed down by sin. Now, that’s a statement! It could just as easily be, “weak men weighed down by sin.” Now some thoughts for us:
First, spiritual weakness is caused by a lack of faith and little spiritual desire to engage in the kingdom. Doing as little as one can is all that some are after. What’s it going to take to pass the test, is what some students ask. Wrong question. What they ought to be asking is, what’s it going to take to get an A in this class. Doing as little as possible often isn’t enough to make a difference in the heart or the lives of a family. Barely coming to services. Barely interested. Never bringing a Bible. Sitting in a pew, with no intentions of taking notes, singing a hymn, or praying along with others. Just starring off into space, bored, day dreaming, playing on the phone and convinced that they are Heaven bound because they are sitting in a church building.
In the Thessalonian letter, the apostle said, “Help the weak.” In dealing with the abuse of the Lord’s Supper among the Corinthians, Paul said, “for this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.”
It’s hard to imagine being weak in a time when apostles walked among the people. How can one be weak when some were witnessing miracles and spiritual gifts? But they were. And, they are today. Too much world and too little Christ. Too much time spent on self and not enough time spent doing spiritual things.
Second, spiritual weakness is a choice. It’s not about the church building. It’s not about who is preaching. It’s not about the size of the church. It’s a choice that happens because faith was not built and spiritual habits were not developed. I don’t think anyone starts off planning to be weak. Often, it’s just the opposite. The were weak, have been weak and were always weak. They never got strong. They never had good spiritual health. This is all that they ever knew and it’s all that they want to be.
In these days, it’s so easy to be spiritually strong. So many tools available for us these days. One can read passages from dozens of translations right on their phone. Blogs, podcasts, recorded sermons – all around us. Every day we can connect, grow and become what God wants. But in the midst of an amazing spiritual banquet, there will be some who starve. There will be some who are undernourished. It’s their choice. All they want is to stick their big toe in the water and no more.
Third, to our passage today, the weak are vulnerable. The weak women were captivated by the smooth talking false teachers. They didn’t know. They couldn’t recognize error. They would not know a serpent if he introduced himself to them. And, being captivated, they dance off to new fads, new ideas, new teachings, embracing the fascination they have with these slick and smooth talking teachers that are peddling poison and not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
· They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women (NIV)
· For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women (ESV)
· Some will slither into households and control immature women (CEB)
You get the picture from these various translations. Weak women now believing what is false. Weak women chasing after ideas that are not Biblical. Weak women unstable in faith, now influencing their children in the false and wild ideas that captivated them.
Fourth, you notice from the passage that the impact is upon weak women. It’s not strong women. They know better. They can see through the fog of error. They search the Scriptures and realize that what these false teachers are saying is false. They know. They recognize a snake when they see it. They are not fooled by charism, charm, twinkling eyes and popularity. Sound words are not coming from the lips of these foolish teachers. They are not confused by the persuasive speech, the phony humbleness, and the promise to only say what God says. No. Not the strong women. They see right through it. They look beyond the messenger and look at what he is trying to sell. And, what they see is fake and they will have no part of it.
How does one get strong? Get into the book. Then, get the book into your life. Don’t be persuaded by “one of us.” Know God’s word. A wolf wearing sheep clothing can be very convincing from a distance. But up close, one sees the difference. Jesus said you’ll know the tree by it’s fruit.
It is a challenge working with weak brethren. Their attendance isn’t consistent nor good. They won’t help out. They are a constant struggle. So much time and effort is devoted to those who haven’t made up their minds if they are walking with the Lord or dancing with wolves. The leaders often care more for their souls than they do. Constantly praying, teaching, and influencing is what shepherds must do.
But in the end, if a person doesn’t care about their own salvation, little can be done. There were weak folks then and there will be weak folks today. We never give up, but onward with the Lord we must go.