For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:29
We are all familiar with enemies of the faith--skeptics, doubters, and mockers. To many of us they are "out there" and easily identified. But Paul warns of a different threat--those who "enter in among you".
My friend Joy told of one way this could happen. She spoke of Christian literature written for children. "It is advertised as approved by L. Nelson Bell, Billy Graham's father-in-law. To many this was a good reference for authenticity. But it was actually written by a little lady who was filled with goofy ideas."
To remove false teaching, like legalism, from the minds of children once taught, can be a lifelong struggle. Early learning seems to stay with you and haunt you. Some are turned away from church altogether.
My mother told me of her experience as a little child in church. The preacher was shouting about the fires of hell, and she was so frightened she hid behind her mother.
Paul says these wolves will be inside the church.
During wartime we were all aware of agents who could harm the war effort. I remember riding past a local reservoir and seeing a sign that said, "Anyone past this point will be shot". Very scary for a kid to see. It was explained to me that it referred to those who would poison our water. No one ever tried and no one was shot. It was all part of a very conscious mind set of caution.
In my last attendance in a Methodist church I read in the literature that one of the Psalms was really a hymn to Baal! How I wish that the caution concerning our drinking water applied equally to what is taught in churches. The lambs must be aware of the wolves in their midst.