“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
There are times to stand and there are times to flee. There are some things so fearful and deadly that it is foolish to try to face them at all. The only rational course, when confronted by them, is to flee!
The most obvious of all such enemies is the wrath of God, for His judgment is terrible and eternal. Therefore, His message to all unsaved men and women is to “flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7—the first occurrence of “flee” in the New Testament) by receiving Christ as Savior.
It is wise to refrain from all kinds of sin, but certain sins have such deadly consequences, even in this present life, that the Scriptures warn us to flee from them. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:11). In context, the apostle Paul is here warning against “the love of money” (v. 10) and those who suppose “that gain is godliness” (v. 5). Those who desire to be rich, he says, “fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (v. 9). Therefore, flee from this temptation!
He also warns us to “flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14)—that is, from worshipping and serving any part of the creation “more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). This warning is especially appropriate today when there is such a wide resurgence of evolutionary pantheism.
Also, we must “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). This is a deadly danger to the Christian in this day of amorality. Finally, as our text says, young believers (and old believers need this admonition, too!) should “flee also youthful lusts,” if we are to be able to “call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” HMM