The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars.
These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth.
They will tell you not to get married. They'll tell you not to eat this or that food - perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by Christians!
Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out.
God's Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
You've been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and you'll be a good servant of Jesus.
Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God - no spiritual flabbiness, please!
Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.
You can count on this. Take it to heart.
This is why we've thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.
Get the word out. Teach all these things.
And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching.
And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed - keep that dusted off and in use.
Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes!
Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don't be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)