I have had a number of readers ask me about my views on false teachers this week–questions provoked in large part by my writing on recent events. Providentially, my sermon last Sunday at church was on this very issue. I had no idea what would unfold this week as I preached the sermon, but I think the message answers most of the questions that folks have been asking me. You can download the message here or listen below.
I argue that there are two kinds of false teachers: those who repent and those who do not. Those who repent when admonished are those “who come to their senses” and “escape from the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:26). But those who don’t repent—those who aren’t correctable—are those who suffer “shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:19-20).
In short, how we engage a false teacher will be determined by how recalcitrant they are in their false teaching. Paul treats the recalcitrant in one manner and the repentant in another. Paul hands the recalcitrant over to Satan. He hands the repentant over to God’s mercy. If you’re interested, you can listen to the rest above.