Having the Appearance of Godliness

2 Timothy 3:1-9 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. 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. 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.”

Not all people are like this, but many are, to one degree or another. And it does seem to be getting worse as time progresses. Lies and deception abound, even among those professing the name of Jesus, and even among pastors and those who are training them in the ministry. Manipulating people to get what they want from them is commonplace now in the church.

The cheap grace gospel is permeating today’s modern church here in America, and many people are adopting it as their gospel. But it makes no demands of the “believer” in Jesus to forsake his sins or to follow Jesus in obedience or to submit to Christ as Lord of his life. Instead, it gives carte blanche for the “believer” to continue living in deliberate habitual sin.

And so the love of many is growing cold, and they are becoming lovers of self and not of God, for God is being portrayed to them as someone who is there to do everything for us but who expects nothing at all of us in return. It is all about what God can do for us, but the focus is not on us walking in the fear of the Lord in humble submission to doing his will for our lives.

And so much of the church now is geared toward attracting the world to their gatherings using worldly means and methods, so that even the gatherings of the church are focused more on pleasing the flesh of humans rather than or in place of focusing on what we can do as followers of Jesus Christ to live morally pure and upright lives pleasing to God, in his power.

It’s all backwards. Now truth is being attacked as though it is false and the lies are being embraced as though they are truth. Now walking in sin is acceptable behavior while walking in holiness and righteousness is being frowned upon. Now if you actually take God and his word seriously you will be accused of being legalistic or of being self-righteous or of being hateful or bigoted or intolerant or whatever the common word now is against us.

2 Timothy 3:10-15 ESV

“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Are you living an immoral life, doing the sin, confess, sin, confess thing with no real change in sinful patterns of behavior? You don’t need a 12 step program. You need the Scriptures and you need to surrender your life to Jesus, and to cast off those sins and to obey the Lord. That is your only hope of freedom from addiction to sin. Jesus died to free you from your addiction.

Are we perfect people? No! Will we ever be perfect? One day if we get to be with Jesus for eternity. So, is it okay to use lack of perfection as an excuse for deliberate and habitual sin? No! We know right from wrong. We know when we are doing wrong. So stop doing wrong and do right. No excuses! Turn from your sin and now follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.

Stop following the lies of these charlatans, these liars and deceivers who are tickling itching ears with their feel-good messages. Get into the Scriptures. Read them in context. Do it prayerfully, seeking God’s face for truth. Then reject the lies you are being taught and embrace the truth of God’s word and forsake your sinful practices and become followers of Jesus Christ.

Will you be persecuted if you do that? Most certainly! But I would rather be persecuted for righteousness’ sake and spend eternity with my Lord than compromise my faith in order to appease the flesh and to be acceptable to other humans, and then end up in hell. For if you walk in the flesh and if you don’t obey the Lord, you will NOT inherit eternal life with God.

So, believing in Jesus is not just words we say but it is dying daily with him to sin and it is daily living with him to righteousness in the power of God. It is walking daily with him in his truth and righteousness, in fellowship with him, in doing what he says for us to do. And there is no greater peace and no greater joy ever than to be living right in the center of God’s will.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Again, get into God’s word. Read the Scriptures or listen to them wherever you can find them. But read them in context, for many false doctrines are being taught in the church because Scriptures are being taught outside their context and they are being made to say something they don’t say. But don’t just read a little devotional. Read the Scriptures themselves!

And read both the Old and the New Testaments. Yes, we are not under the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, and purification laws that the Jews were under before Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected from the dead, but so much of the Old Testament was looking ahead to when Jesus would come to the earth and would die and would rise from the dead.

And so much of what was taught in the Old Testament is repeated for us in the New Testament. They parallel each other in so many different ways. But we should always read the Old Testament in light of the New Covenant relationship God has now with his people, and also in light of the Messianic age in which we now live, for we are now under the New Covenant.

Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His will for us has not changed. What he demanded for salvation then he demands for salvation now. For he saw then and he still sees now our faith as obedience and disobedience as unbelief. And he says if we walk in sin and if we don’t obey him and if we don’t love our fellow humans that we don’t have eternal life with him. And we will all be judged by our works. So take this to heart.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

He Gives Purpose

An Original Work / June 9, 2012

“Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
Obey freely My word.
Follow Me in all of My ways.
Do all that I say.
Hear Me gently whisper to you
My will for your life and future.
Give all of your life and heart to
Follow Me always.”

Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
He’s your Lord and Master.
He died for your sins so you could
Live with Him today.
He has a plan for your life and
He gives purpose and direction.
He gives meaning to your life,
So follow Him today.

“I love you so much I gave My life for
You to walk in My ways,
Living for Me each day as you
Bow to Me and pray.
Witness for Me of your love for Me and
Of My grace and mercy,
How I died to save you of your
Sins now and always.”

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