In both the Old and New Testaments, there were seasons when the majority of those who claimed allegiance to God and His Truth had actually replaced Him with other things. This was clearly seen by the rejection of God’s prophets and ultimately Jesus Himself. They were rejected, not just by outsiders, but by insiders. And, as Jesus promised, this happened to those seeking to genuinely follow Him in the early days of the church, and it continues to happen today.

This happens because people, without realizing it, slowly begin to commit themselves to the forms of faith rather than the life-changing reality of faith. Though far more subtle and less dramatic, it’s no different in its consequence than those who rejected Jesus while He was on earth. This is why Paul warned us about this danger and to stay away from people like this in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

It’s important to note that the terrible days are not the result of people having these selfish characteristics. This is what unredeemed people have always been like by nature. The warning Paul is giving is that these characteristics will become representative of those who profess to be followers of Christ and His Truth. They will have a “form of godliness” but will be “denying its power.”

How does this happen? The same way it’s always happened. While declaring allegiance to Him and His truth, they shut Him out of their lives. They make a commitment to…

  • Their traditions over His Truth (Matthew 15:1-3)

  • Past experiences of Him over present experiences with Him (Philippians 3:12-14)

  • Trying to defend what they have over trying to take new ground (Matthew 16:18)

  • Living for duty rather than for love and desire (2 Corinthians 5:14)

  • The church as a place rather than as God’s people following Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10)

  • Their church culture, structure and strategy over God’s mission (Matthew 28:19-20)

  • Talking the talk rather than walking the walk (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Here’s the reality of our world today: most of our churches aren’t creating a revolution of light and love because they’ve replaced Jesus for their routines. They have chosen the “form of godliness” over “it’s power.” Of course, this was the problem in many of the seven churches of the Revelation. So, Jesus shouted out in Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

I believe He’s shouting the same thing today to His Church. The questions is: Will we hear His knock and open the door or NOT?  How about you?

Gloria RoughleyComment