Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But
understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of
great stress and
trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
2 For people will be lovers of self and
[utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate
[greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous
boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents,
ungrateful, unholy and profane.
3 [They will be] without natural [human]
affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or
appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers),
intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and
fierce, haters of good.
4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers],
rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual
pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of
5 For [although] they hold
a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are
strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their
profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].” (Amplified
When we first take a glance at this scripture we
assume Paul is speaking to Timothy about the lost or unsaved. However, these
things Paul describes has been going on among sinners since the world began.
Paul would not warn Timothy to stay away from heathens or the lost since this
is whom Jesus came to save.
Then who is Paul referring to when he warns Timothy
to turn away from them? Paul is speaking to those who have a form of godliness
or true religion, those who proclaim to be Christians. But they deny the power
thereof, those who do not walk in the regenerated life. They may know and
preach the scriptures, but they do not live or abide by them. They have their
own standard of living and interpretation of the word of God to suit their
2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 “For the time is coming when [people] will
not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears
itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves
one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own
liking and to foster the errors they hold,
4 And will turn aside from
hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.”
We cannot profess to be Christians and live a lifestyle
contrary to the Word of God. Christianity is not just a multiple-choice answer
that people check off on a form. Christianity is not a denomination or a
religion, it is a life style. There seems to be a falling away from the faith.
I have personally witnessed pastors and ministers who once were on fire for the
Lord turn away from the truth. Some pastors lusting after other people, leaving
their spouse to be with another. They believe that they are unequally yoked with their Christian
mate, and God has brought them someone else. Others who are gifted in leading
worship at their local churches are now leading Karaoke or a Disc Jockey at the
local taverns. One minister is struggling with pornography and homosexuality
while studying for a pastoral position. Each one think they are justified in
their actions. Why?
I read this statement and I couldn’t agree more
with it. “For years, we have preached a cheap gospel and peddled a soft Savior.
We have taught salvation without self-denial and the crown without the cross.
We have catered to the unsaved and, have compromised with the world. Now we are
paying the price.”
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy to be aware, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine”(
2Timothy 4:3);. I understand this was directed to Timothy, but it is written for
our benefit. I am convinced that we are living in a time and age where the
gospel has been compromised, and our own faith is in jeopardy. We are indeed
paying the price for teaching and preaching a compromised message, and not
preaching the Truth. We have gone from one extreme, hell and damnation to the
other extreme, love and mercy on the pendulum. Then there are others who are
stuck on prosperity messages, instead of messages to prosper the soul. We are
living in a spiritual famine, and a falling away from the faith.
We must come back to the foundational
truth and build precept upon precept. To those who choose to preach the
uncompromising Word of God, continue. People may leave the church because they
are offended by the preaching of the Word of God. Let them leave, God’s
judgment is on them, not on you. However, if we choose to save our congregations
instead of souls, then we will face God’s judgment.
God is not concerned about the size
of our church, but the size of our heart. He is not pleased on how large the
offering was, but whether we are offering ourselves as a living sacrifice unto
Him. He is not listening on how well the choir sang, but rather how quickly we
repent. It is not how talented we are, but how yielded we are, that will result
in spiritual growth and fruit.
Death couldn’t keep Jesus in the
grave, this life should not keep us from heaven.
The Lord is knocking at our hearts,
will we let him in as a temporary guest, or will we allow him to take resident
in our hearts and lives. Only when there is a difference in our own lives, will
we make a difference in the lives of others.