2 Timothy 3:1-5, Jude 4

Lets take the 2 Timothy passage first. This chapter begins with a long list of very bad behaviors. Go ahead, read it. They really are very bad! At the beginning, Paul has prepared us for this; these verses address the end (eschatos) times here on this planet. Of course these times will be difficult (v. 1)! Such behavior is reprehensible! Wow, maybe Paul saw our news on the internet!

Verse 5 pops this bubble…

“Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

Paul is talking about… the Church… people in the Church… It is in this unthinkable context that all these hideous behaviors will be found! These people in the church, maybe even people that go to your church, their disobedience might prove something is amiss. How do you deny God’s power? By refusing to live for Him!

Jude 4 is dealing with the same problem… Jude felt he absolutely HAD to cry out to his audience; they needed to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (v3b). This happened in the first century; the Church was still very young! But the problem was the same…

“These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves…” (v13a).

Read the rest of Jude. What do you find? Horrible ungodliness rooted in rebellion, refusing to accept Christ’s Lordship… …And they were blending right in with the rest of the believers at church…

Look and feel… All too often, it is so easy to master this, mimic this, put this on like a nice suit, and then go to church with the rest of God’s people… and blend right in…

How do you tell?

You often cannot, maybe should not try to discern other people, although the “fruits” (spiritual results) flowing from their lives might be a hint. But if even this becomes a matter of secondary importance, or even worse, if God’s people just aren’t too concerned with such a personal distinction…

But for yourself… Answering this is easy, and springs directly from your attitude towards Yahweh God in Jesus’ name, how committed you are to Him, and to what He wants to, needs to accomplish on this hurting planet… Are you seeking to, do you want to be, every second, pleasing the Lord God, Yahweh God, in Jesus precious name? This might be a good place to start. Otherwise…

There is just a few degrees difference…

between honest, humble, growing godliness…

and a heart so horrible it is an abomination to Yahweh God…

even though you have that “look and feel” down pat, and blend right in…

— ACR, c2018

 

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