Have you ever had a scripture passage just stick with you? I want to share just such a passage with you today. These verses have become the basis for the novel I am revising. In fact, I'm thinking God will lead me to subsequent novels with this scripture basis.
2 Timothy 3:1-9
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
They 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, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth - men of depraved minds, who, as far as faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."
When you read that list above of the evil ways of people in the last days, do you definitely feel we are living in those last days? Yeah, me too.
Here is the scary thing to me about this passage. Look closely at the line, "having a form of godliness but denying its power," and the line, "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth." These two statements refer to those among us. I'm talking about Christian brothers and sisters.
The Message version of the Bible says, "They'll make a show of religion ..." and that their thinking is twisted.
My first inclination is to examine myself. Am I living in true godliness or just a form of godliness of my own creation? As Christians we can slip into going through the motions or relying on what we learned in the past instead of always pursuing the holy life we are to strive for.
Read through the list of evil ways above. Aren't the opposites the very things were are to do and focus upon? Not being self-centered, not allowing money to control us, not boasting in anything but God, not allowing pride to blind us, being kind, loving, forgiving, obedient to parents, not speaking ill of others, loving the good, being loving, and loving God above all.
Here's another verse that spreads a warning vibe through my bones: 1 Timothy 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
Some brothers and sisters in Christ would read this verse and scoff, saying this is a little over the top. Really? Deceiving spirits and demons? Yes. Please allow me to warn us all that Satan would want nothing more than to pull a Christ follower away. He'll use whatever deceptive method he can.
In these last days, living a godly life isn't easy, but it is necessary. Let's make a pact, dear brothers and sisters, to pursue godliness with its inherent power. Let's live by the Spirit so we will be discerning to false teachings and practices. Pray and test everything through God's Word and by His character.