I Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.

I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

I Timothy 5:22b Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

I Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (Also II Timothy 3:12.)

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

II Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

II Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.


MEMORY VERSE: O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith. —I Timothy 6:20-21


CENTRAL THOUGHT: As a spiritual father, Paul gave Timothy a charge to keep a faithful trust, fight a good fight, be a good soldier and a good example, keep pure from worldly lusts and entanglements, endure hardships and persecutions, study to be a good workman, and avoid making shipwreck of his faith. These same admonitions given to Timothy, who lived in the very center of idolatry, are relevant for any young person in high school or university.




I Timothy 1:19 “Which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”: willful resistance to the voice of conscience. “Hence the important lesson that deviations from the true faith are preceded by violations of the conscience. The surest way to maintain a pure faith is to maintain a good and tender conscience” (Pulpit Commentary).

I Timothy 4:12 “Conversation”: manner of life. “Purity”: chastity in mind as well as in body.

II Timothy 2:3 “Hardness”: hardship

II Timothy 2:15 “Study”: be swift, eager, earnest, diligent; make every effort. Same word as “labor” in Hebrews 4:11 and “diligent” in II Peter 3:14.




When I considered how important education is in the lives of young people today—the dangers involved and the choices presented—which major, which degree, whether or not to live on campus, etc., plus the decisions that have to be made about school costs, I knew that a lesson addressing this topic should be a part of this series. I asked God, “Where shall I find scriptures that apply?” He directed me to the counsel Paul gave to young Timothy.

Timothy’s home was Ephesus, which was the fourth greatest city in the New Testament era, and the center of the mother goddess worship of western Asia. Ephesus was known as the “Light of Asia” and the “Gateway of Asia.” With a population of 300,000, it was a chief commercial city of the province.

Ephesus, home of a huge temple to the goddess Diana (her Roman name), or Artemis (Greek), was full of wizards and witches, astrologers, fortune tellers and sorcerers. “The goddess…was at the core of so much human thinking. She derived from those early manifestations of religious belief, the mother-goddess figures to be found from Asia Minor to the Cyclades, and westward to Sicily. The embodiment of the female principle, she represented not only fertility but resurrection in the shape of new birth, the eternal return of life to the earth and, as found in a number of early carvings, the ‘Tree of Life’. As Isis she bore the divine son, Horus; and as Artemis she was the Mother of Wild Things, the goddess of all animals. The Isis-Artemis conception embraced everything. It could be taken at any level; from the simple peasant’s conception of the divinity who would ensure that his beasts and land were fruitful, to the intellectual idea of an all-creating mother who sustained the whole universe” (from Paul the Traveler by Ernle Bradford). “For over a thousand years this goddess with her temple provided a focal point for the rich religious, economic, and cultural life of her worshippers” (from Biblical Sites in Turkey by Everett Blake and Anna Edmonds).

Famous points in Ephesus included the 100-foot wide lantern-lit marble street used for parades and ceremonies, the Arcadian Way; the great theater which seated 25,000 people, where the uproar against Paul over the worship of Diana took place; Curetes street, named after the college of priests who served Artemis and decorated with inscriptions and art, such as Nike, the goddess of victory; and later, a beautiful temple, a fountain, and 1,500-seat amphitheater used for social events, political meetings, concerts and theatrical performances. A great library housing thousands of scrolls and parchments was built in 135 A.D.

Knowing about Ephesus gives us perspective on Timothy’s life there. Some scholars feel he was about twenty-three at the time Paul discipled him, around the age of many young people attending college. The influence pagan culture had on art, architecture, philosophy, science, entertainment, politics, society and literature is similar to the strong, ungodly influence today in university life. We can understand many of Paul’s warnings to Timothy as we look at his environment.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. A Good Conscience: How could this teaching be applied to college life?
  2. An Example: How important is this on campus?
  3. Purity: Explain how this virtue is attacked in high school and college.
  4. Flee: Describe how you would need to apply this warning.
  5. Persecutions and Afflictions for the Gospel’s Sake: Will you face this at college? How can you overcome?
  6. What Resonates: Share a verse from the lesson that particularly encourages you as a student.




While the emphasis in today’s lesson is primarily toward students already pursuing higher education, here are some points we all should consider:

It may not be God’s will for you to seek an education at a secular university. While that is the push for young men and women today, it is becoming more and more a dangerous risk for young Christians. “Around two out of three Christian students from conservative churches will leave the church when they become adults” (Dr. Jason Lisle, https:// answersingenesis.org/college/surviving-secular-college/). Dr. Lisle goes on to say, “Many colleges that are classified as ‘Christian’ do not teach a truly biblical worldview…I would never recommend a compromised Christian college. These are much worse than secular colleges, in my opinion. Secular colleges are honest about their rejection of the biblical worldview. Compromised positions can be far more seductive and dangerous than an outright rejection of God’s Word.”

I found many articles just like this as I researched. More and more young people who want to serve the Lord may have to look at alternative choices, even if they have to accept a field of employment with a lower pay grade. Paul warned Timothy about a materialistic mentality; going to college simply for financial prosperity may prove to be a wrong choice fraught with “many sorrows,” as Paul warned. There are also alternatives of study where you can achieve the same degrees while at home. God can direct you to just the right way for you (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If you do feel it is God’s will to attend college, you’ll need to equip yourself with all the armor to be a good soldier, because you’ll have a fight on your hands. “Let the conservatives breed,” one educator said, “we’ll get them in college.” So it’s not just that there are a lot of evil temptations to face; there’s a deliberate agenda to seduce you away from your Christian faith.

My prayer is that you will follow Paul’s message and that of the first Psalm: “Blessed is the man [or woman] who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season…and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




This section of the lesson is aptly named as it is truly my reflections on my experience as a student at a large public university. I first want to make a disclaimer and say that I in no way feel that I was a model of the way things should be done as a Christian going through college. I will be the first to say that those years were definitely not my most spiritual. I did, however, maintain a desire to stay saved. I credit that entirely to my roots in a godly home, regularly attending church service, and maintaining my godly friendships in the church.

I carefully considered what advice I would give to a new college student that is endeavoring to serve the Lord and my first thought was that I could never recommend living on campus. I feel that this is a very dangerous place that no young Christian should ever place themselves in. I know that some universities require that all freshmen live on campus for their first year, but I feel it is something that needs to be seriously prayed out.

Another thing that kept me is I never immersed myself in their lifestyle. Oh, I made good friends in college and I feel it’s important to do so; however, special care should be given so we don’t become too entwined with their lives. The scriptures are very plain in the instructions about the kind of friends we should choose.

The last key to maintaining your salvation throughout college is this: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER isolate yourself away from a congregation. There are plenty of congregations that are near quality universities. Do not choose one that has no place to worship with the saints.

Please pray earnestly about each decision regarding this phase of your life. I went through it, and I know what kind of temptations are there. The college life is not one in which any saint of God should immerse themselves. Also know that it is possible to go through it with victory with God’s help. May God be with you. Amen.

—Bro. Jared Williamson, Loranger, LA