"For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain," (Titus 1:10, 11).
Paul's pastoral heart comes through here, as he considers the immeasurable damage being done to families of believers by false teachers. Judaizers had slipped into a number of congregations, teaching a works-righteousness, convincing some that salvation may have begun by grace through faith, but works completed the process. Hence, they needed to be circumcised if they had not been previously, and they must adhere to the Mosaic ceremonies.
Families who were grounded in the truth, who understood the lie represented by this teaching, were understandably upset. Any teaching which mixes works with grace nullifies the cross and trivializes the atonement (Galatians 2:21).
These men spoke from hearts of rebellion, deception, and greed. Cloaked in religiously-acceptable language, their manipulative mandates had the insidious intent of "sordid gain." False teachers' goal of affluence remains the same to this very day.
Paul instructs that these apostates "must be silenced." In our day, with the incredible financial resources at their disposal, the extensive array of technological tools their ministries enjoy, how can they be silenced?
Prayer. The most potent resource in the universe, the most effective weapon for the destruction of fortresses, the greatest channel for tapping the omnipotent power of the living God, is prayer. As Jeremiah prayed, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You," (32:17).
You've established Your throne in the heavens, and Your sovereignty rules over all. As You've declared so clearly, Your thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways Your ways. Your purposes and plan in allowing apostasy are inscrutable, yet You are good and You do good.
The enemy and all his forces operate only as You sovereignly allow, and the damage he is doing through false teachers is within Your providential permission. Still, I would beseech You to silence the heretical teachers who are distorting the truth of Your Word.
Grant discernment to Your people, the training of their spiritual senses to detect and shun doctrinal error in all its forms. You know our laziness, our lack of diligence in persevering prayer. Impress upon us afresh the urgency of the hour, for the sake of Your Name and men's souls.
In the matchless Name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus, I pray,