Archive for October 24, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 47

October 24, 2009

Standing Alone

Paul was not the first of God’s servants to stand alone. M.H. Reynolds[1] has written movingly regarding this crucial point:

It is human to stand with the crowd, it is divine to stand alone. It is man-like to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is God-like to follow a principle, to stem the tide.

It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure; it is divine to sacrifice both on the altar of truth and duty.

“No man stood with me, but all men forsook me” (II Timothy 4:16), wrote the battle-scarred apostle in describing his first appearance before Nero to answer for his life of believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world.

Truth has been out of fashion since man changed his robe of fadeless light for a garment of faded leaves. Noah built and voyaged alone. Daniel dined and prayed alone. Elijah sacrificed and witnessed alone. Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. Jesus loved and died alone.

The church in the wilderness praised Abraham and persecuted Moses. The church of kings praised Moses and persecuted the prophets. The church of Caiaphas praised the prophets and persecuted Jesus. The church of the popes praised the Savior and persecuted the saints. And multitudes now, both in the church and the world, applaud the courage and fortitude of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, but condemn as stubbornness or foolishness the same faithfulness to truth today.

Wanted, today, men and women, young and old, who will obey their conviction of truth and duty at the cost of fortune, friends and life itself.

Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His Own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:12-13).

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s


[1] Marion H. Reynolds, Jr. (1919 -1997), Standing Alone, Foundation Magazine.

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