17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:17-19)
These two Christians had “strayed concerning the truth” by teaching error about the resurrection. With their false teaching they were overthrowing the faith of others. Yet, their error did not destroy God’s plan. The faithful are reassured that God knows those who are faithful: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7). Those who identify themselves with Christ practice holiness (“depart from evil”). Here then is God’s seal of approval and authenticity of those who are His: God knows who they are – they are the ones who shun sin and practice purity. If you name the name of Christ, then depart sin and walk in the truth. Otherwise, you do not have the Lord’s seal of approval (read Matthew 7:21-23).