“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the overthrowing of the faith of the hearers” (II Timothy 2:14).
Overthrow (Gr.): Katastrophe from Katastrepho: Turn upside down, Apostasy, Demolish, Overturn
It is a sad day, indeed, to witness in the life of a believer their turning away from the faith as it is overthrown and subverted by error, false doctrine, apostasy. It has happened to many and is to be guarded against by the true disciples and followers of our Lord.
The Apostle in his Second Epistle to Timothy addressed the matter directly and warned against the strife of arguments and being disputatious on trivial matters that profit no one, but cause much harm to the hearers and overthrow, ruin and destroy the simplicity of their faith.
In his First Epistle to Timothy the Apostle also addressed the matter writing:
“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith, so do. Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of sincere faith, from which some have swerved and have turned aside unto vain jangling (meaningless chatter)” (I Timothy 1:4-6).
The Great Catastrophe: In his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians the Apostle speaks concerning the Man of Sin and the great falling away to come, writing:
“Now we beseech you, Brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us that the Day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you, by any means, for that Day shall not come, except there will come a falling away (Gr. apostasia) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).
The Antichrist is coming and the great catastrophe, the apostasia will come, as well; but there is a way forward in the truth to avoid the pitfalls of apostasy and the overthrow of our faith. The Apostle outlines these to Tinothy writing:
“You have fully known my doctrine, my manner of life, my purpose, faith, longsuffering, love and patience. What persecutions, afflictions that came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue in the things which you have learned and of which you have been assured, knowing of whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 3:10-15).
Challenges to our faith will always come to the believer, but the great catastrophe, the overthrow, the ruin, the demolition of faith can be overcome by the sage advice of the Apostle:
“Study (Gr. Spoudazo: make haste, promptly) show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (II Timothy 2:15-16).
Rather than having our faith be overthrown, let us by our faith be overcomers instead:
“For whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).