2 Timothy 1:15
This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
For Paul doth complain against it, and sets it down as a sin to be abandoned of all men (John 6:66; 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 5:11, 12). For in so doing we dishonour God; yea, no way more. For will not profane men judge that there is no profit or comfort in serving the Almighty when such forsake their profession? For thus they will reason: if that religion had been good, they and they would never have cast it off. Again, we weaken, as much as in us lies, the Church of Christ; for cut off a member, will not the body be the less powerful? And it gives the devil and his instruments the more encouragement. What? and may such cedars shake, totter, and fall? Then let the weak willows and poplar take heed of the wind. For blessed is he whom other men's harms do make to beware. And it shall not be amiss here to lay down some causes of falling away. And they be either, first, inward, or, secondly, outward. The inward be four especially.
1. Weakness. Thus many have fallen of infirmity.
2. Some affection not mortified. For one such a Jonah in the ship will unsettle all.
3. Infidelity. When men want faith, they are unstable in all their ways.
4. Want of experience of that secret comfort which the Lord enfuseth into the hearts of such as stand resolutely for His truth in an evil time.The outward causes are principally these:
1. Persecution. This hath turned millions backward, who in the days of peace had their faces to Sion-ward.
2. Some wrongs or injuries.
3. Scandal, or offences taken at some doctrine. "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him" (John 6:66).
4. The example of great men. Doth any of the rulers or pharisees believe in Him? This is a cord that pulleth thousands from the true path and rule (John 7:48).
5. When men have expected great promotion, but seeing their hopes frustrate, they turn aside. This is a great loadstone to draw an iron heart from the path to heaven.
6. Too much familiarity with men unsettled in the truth. Fearfully have some fallen by this stumbling-block. These be some of the main causes, both inward and outward, that have moved many to become back sliders. So that he that will go on constantly and with resolution must have an eye to all these things.
(J. Barlow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.