Garamond – (I could say I have had poison ivy worse in the past, but it is agonizing at the moment. My arms and a leg are covered with the condition. Now an eye of mine is slightly swollen. I guess it could be worse, but I don’t see how.)
2 Timothy 3:1-9, “1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
My pastor has been elaborating on this verse for some time. He pointed out that the last days will be so terribe because the behaviour of people in the church will match that of people outside of it. Even now the church has much in common with the world. Some of our leaders are corrupted. Many of our families are broken. Some of our finances are questionable. Many of our futures are at risk.
Perhaps our biggest crime lies in our treatment of the Holy Spirit. Is failing to honor Him as bad as outright disbelief? It’s no wonder we could be charged with having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Godliness, Christlikeness, are talked about, but not Holy Spiritlikeness. Some of the people that are in the news are people of the cloth who took money from their congregations or betrayed a decent standard of behavior. They seemed like holy people, but they didn’t care about holiness. Being set apart for God’s use didn’t stop them from comitting crimes against Him or us. Even worse, some refuse to seek forgiveness and continue on living an unholy lie. With such things God is not pleased.
In the same way that not everybody who seems holy actually is holy, not everybody who claims to worship God actually worships God. Not every god out there is actually God Himself. In fact, the vast majority of them are not. The glory that is due God, he will have it. When he does, we will all plainly see how that powerless form of godliness has led countless souls into destruction.
So church, acknowledge the Holy Spirit, give Him the same treatment as you would the Father or the Son. Don’t settle for seeming holy and different, be holy and different. Actively teach people to combat these tendencies in the church that match us to the world.