Tuesday, February 22, 2022
“And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:14 KJV).
Was the Prophet Elijah really “the only one left?”
Indeed, the Christian’s life is difficult, for it concerns surviving the pitfalls of the pervasive evil world system. Everyone, everywhere is actually walking through a spiritual minefield. As grace-oriented Christians, dispensational Bible students, we are even more mindful of the perils. Religious apostasy is universal!
Spending his last moments on Earth imprisoned in Rome, the Apostle Paul lamented: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). The precious believers in Christ in Turkey—that is, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, Laodicea, and so on—had forsaken grace doctrine. Paul himself had led them to faith in Christ, and taught them several years. Awaiting his execution, he recalled the heartbreaking news of their departure from the truth.
Demas, once an immensely helpful ministry friend (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24), deserted Paul too: “[Timothy] Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus” (2 Timothy 4:9-12). Despite all that heartache, Paul was not the only one left: faithful Timothy, faithful Crescens, faithful Titus, faithful Luke, faithful John Mark (having recovered from his own disappearance from ministry a decade-plus prior; Acts 13:13), and faithful Tychicus remained. Paul himself would soon pass off the scene—but the Holy Spirit would use his epistles, Romans through Philemon, to continue his ministry right up to our current moment.
If ever our associates in even grace ministry leave us, or even if we must take a stand against them for their error, we will feel like the “only one left.” Yet, we are not alone, for if we are on the Lord’s side, He is with us, and He (that) is sufficient! 🙂