Denying Its Power

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

Lovers of Pleasure

The Scriptures teach that out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander, etc. These are what defile a person. So these things have always been with us, but in these last days they are being greatly amplified and largely promoted and accepted as normal even for Christians (Lu 6:45; Matt 15:17-20).

I believe that a huge contributor to this is what we call the “cheap grace gospel.” It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ but a half-truth gospel created in the minds of human beings who wanted to destroy Jesus and his gospel and his followers. Why do I say this? If we look at what this cheap grace gospel teaches it is obvious that this is of Satan who is out to destroy us.

Let’s look at it this way. Jesus said that if anyone wants to come after him that he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die with Christ to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. The cheap grace gospel, though, says that we do nothing and that Jesus does it all. They say we are not required to submit to Jesus as Lord or to forsake our sins or to obey our Lord.

The Scriptures do teach we are not saved by our own works, of our flesh, of our own making, but that we are saved to good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. And it enumerates for us the good works that we are to do and the evil works that we are not to do. But the cheap grace gospel says no works are required and if we think they are that is “works-based salvation,” i.e. it is us trying to earn our salvation.

But even if we show the Scriptures that teach the works that we are to do and the works we are not to do, probably most people who are following the cheap grace gospel will ignore the Scriptures and they will just keep giving out their cheap grace gospel message. It doesn’t matter to them what the Scriptures teach even if they are right there for them in front of their eyes. And I can give witness that I see this taking place on a regular basis.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32]

In Every Good Work

According to the Scriptures we are to always be abounding in the work of the Lord. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Therefore, we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

And we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work. And we are to cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable so that we will be vessels for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, for Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

And what happens if we don’t do the works of God but we continue to do the works of our flesh, deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over and over again in God’s face in full defiance of his commands? We will be judged by God and we will not inherit eternal life with God but we will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sins.

[Eph 2:10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rev. 2-3; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Mtt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

2 Timothy 3:6-7 ESV

“For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

And this goes way beyond manipulative and conniving males who are able to capture weak women and to lure them into sin. This is about multiple church denominations who would, in the past, never have joined forces together and who would never have taught the same materials now pretty much all teaching this cheap grace gospel to their people and marketing their church gatherings to the world by appealing to the felt needs of the world.

They have joined forces and have been patterning their gatherings in a manner acceptable and appealing to the people of the world and to the flesh of humans, desiring to please humans, but not God, and to do what will draw the masses from the world into their gatherings. And so they have diluted the gospel to make it more palatable to human flesh, too.

Therefore, they removed such things as us having to deny self and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus in obedience. They have removed such things as living in the fear of God and honoring God with our lives and with our bodies. They have removed God’s requirements for holy living, for repentance, for obedience to his commands, and for submission to him as Lord. And they have removed the judgments of God from our lives, too.

And what they are teaching is a “faith” in Jesus that does nothing and which changes nothing in the lives of those professing to be followers of Jesus. For it still leaves them in slavery to sin, still living to please the flesh, still habitually and deliberately sinning against the Lord, only now guilt free, with the false hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God in heaven.

2 Timothy 3:8-9 ESV

“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.”

So, those who are promoting and who are teaching and who are expounding this cheap grace do nothing gospel are those who are opposing the truth of the gospel, for what they are teaching is the exact opposite of what the Scriptures teach when it comes to God’s requirements for us for salvation and for eternal life with God. And many of them know it and do it anyway, so they do it deliberately in order to turn people away from Jesus.

But God is going to have the final word. For he is going to judge us all by our works. And if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.

For if we walk according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, and if we do not obey our Lord, but we walk in disobedience, and if sin is what we practice and righteousness is not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess.

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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