Myth No: 5: Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. 1 Timothy 5:15
Recently I found an interesting blog which states that we can lose our salvation in 70 ways. For the complete list of the 70 “ways”, kindly refer to:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/70-ways-of-losing-your-salvation-1-stop-believing-luke-813/
For myth No. 3, 20 and 50 please refer to:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/70-myths-about-losing-salvation-myth-3-and-20-you-can-lose-your-salvation-if-you-shrink-back-and-when-you-sin-willfully-3/
For myth No: 4 please refer to: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/70-myths-on-losing-salvation-4-doctrine-of-demons-3/
I must state my caveats 1st. The intention of this series of blog is NOT to refute BUT to explain in context what the verses which were use to support the writer’s contentions. This series of blogs are also not to demean NOR to prove him wrong. It is not even addressed to him but to many who share his views and as such are in a position of uncertainty. The point of this series of blogs is to give you an alternative view of what these verses mean and that you when reading this will be sure of the finished work of Christ.
Let’s look at Myth No: 5: Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. 1 Timothy 5:1
What is “turning away to follow Satan”?
Once again, this is a classic case of taking a verse out of its context. Thankfully the writer left us the text in which we can make reference to. The letter concern is 1st Timothy. It is important to note that 1st Timothy is not a letter written to a church but to Timothy to teach Timothy how to act as an elder or a deacon.
Therefore Paul issues instructions to Timothy as to how to deal with leaders of society, church leadership as well as church work. As such in certain sections of the letter, Paul teaches Timothy how to deal with secular issues, hence unbelievers. You will see this in the following verses:
that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer Chapter 1: 3
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Chapter 2:1-2
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Chapter 4:16
It is here we find a “clue” as to who the people Paul is referring to in chapter 5. Timothy’s hearers. Another clue is found in verse 11 of chapter 5 “As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list.” LIST? WHAT LIST? Why is there a list?
Got your attention? This list is a list Paul gives to Timothy as a guideline as to whom the church should help. Paul was addressing Timothy on how the church should treat widows in general. Christian and otherwise.
Don’t believe me?
See Chapter 5.
“3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list.”
It is important here to note this is a list of who the church should give charity to. Paul thus list of certain parties who qualifies to this need and who does not. They include believers and non-believers.
Note in verse 16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.
See? Believing widows and general widows.
Now let’s look at the verse that writer bases his claim upon: verse 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
Verse 15 of chapter 5 is right in the middle of the list of those who don’t qualify for church help.
See the verses before “11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”
Note their disqualification was because they talk nonsense and saying things they ought not and give an enemy an opportunity to slander.
In other words, they were disqualified for being busy bodies and talking nonsense.
Let’s look at the Greek.
1) of persons uttering or doing silly things, garrulous, babbling
2) of things, foolish, trifling, vain
Now let me ask you a question. Since when did being busy body and gossiping lead you to lose your salvation? If that is the case, every elderly lady I know will go to hell!
Paul is actually saying that this is what Satan does. So he is saying these ladies are behaving like the devil, the slandered. See verse 14.
As such what Paul is saying in verse 15 is that these ladies gossip like Satan. It does not mean that they lost their salvation. It does mean however, they are not supposed to be supported by the church in terms of income. In terms of the church giving. NOT salvation.
Also the fact that Paul makes a distinction in verse 16 between the believing widow and the ones in verses 13-15, suggest strongly that the ladies in verses 13-15 are not believers.
A note here though: Do be careful NOT to be a busy body and a gossiper. Be at peace!