II Timothy 3:1-5
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
We are living within the “perilous times” that the Bible has foretold of for thousands of years. Perilous here refers to times that are hard to bear. We watch as what was once thought right is now thought wrong, and what was wrong is not only tolerated but is now the norm.
This passage is often referred to as speaking of the world in general during the last days. However, Paul is actually warning his son in the faith, Timothy, of what would be occurring within the churches during the last days. Paul then admonishes Timothy to continue in his faith despite the persecution he was sure to face.
Today, amidst the turmoil of the world, some are seeking religion. Many churches are beginning to rise in attendance due to their inspirational words and lack of preaching against sin. There is persecution from without, and corruption from within our churches. Jesus warned us of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and Paul here warns of those that have a form of godliness, yet deny the power in which they claim to have.
Many are called Christian in name, yet they only have religion, and no relationship. This is what Paul is referring to here in our text. The word “form” speaks of a resemblance. These are those who look and act as if they are a Christian or a follower of Christ. They resemble what the world now considers a Christian…perhaps one who sometimes enters the doors of a “worship center” or auditorium for a few hours on Sunday morning singing their praises and then leaves their “Christianity” behind as they blend in with the world the rest of the week. To resemble something is not to possess it.
What does the Scripture say to do when we find people who only possess a form of godliness? Turn Away. We are Biblically told to withdrawal ourselves and avoid them.
II Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
This avoidance & turning away does not mean we should not love them and share the Gospel with them. We are simply not to fellowship with them.
When you find a person or church with a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof… turn away.
I Chronicles 23-24 | I Thessalonians 4 | Proverbs 6
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