“But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!” The Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
WOW! Paul wasn’t kidding around was he? That’s quite the diatribe. One might be tempted to dismiss it as mere vitriol based solely on its content. The problem is that God saw fit to include it in scripture. It is truth whether we like it or not. What caught my attention recently, however, was not the long rambling list of haters that Paul mentions, but what it says about them in the end. “Holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.” These aren’t Muslims or Jews or Hindus or Mormons or atheists Paul is talking about. They’re Christians, or at least they say they are. Ouch.
Faith, disconnected from the reality of Jesus Christ, is merely religious twaddle. And the plain fact of the matter is that for many people that’s all they have; a form of godliness that denies the power of God Himself. For one reason or another, many “Christians” decide, consciously or not, to choose another path. They decide to live for themselves, and as they do the shadow of doubt as to the true nature of their faith begins to creep into their lives. By their actions and attitudes they deny the presence of God in their lives even as they claim fiercely that they belong in His kingdom.
The Apostle John wrote, “If we say, ‘We have fellowship with Him,’ and walk in darkness, we are lying…” (1 John 1:6) And yet there are thousands (millions?) in America alone who play this game with God. Maybe you’re one. Maybe it’s time for you to settle down with a brother or sister in Christ, someone you trust, and talk this one over. Bring your Bible. Pray. The power of God to transform your life is unparalleled. Give yourself back to Him.