There are those who have a form of godliness and yet deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5). What does this look like? How will Christians recognize this around them and even among themselves?
Even in the 1st century, false teachers came out of the churches of Christ (Acts 20:30). This is not because Jesus erred in His Word or by building His Church. This is simply a work of the evil one. False teachers will also arise from those who have a form of godliness with the power. Speaking about these people, 2 Timothy 4:3-4,
“For the time will come when they will not endure [Greek: ‘hold it up’, ‘sustain’] sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up [Greek: ‘to accumulate in piles’] for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the Truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
This is a reflection of pseudo-Christians and the corrupt world around them. They will pile up teachers for themselves.
Do churches do according to their own desires today rather than Christ’s? Do they turn away from the Truth? Churches have become like the invented religions of men. Are not pagan religions governed by their own desires? Are not secular schools (public and state schools) doing this too? Do these people not honor the earth rather than God? Do they not teach fables? Do they not sprinkle doubt into ears to allow in sin?
Where there are teachings of lies, there are teachers of lies. Second Timothy 3:6-7 says,
“For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.“
Evil men are appealing. They’re attractive. They’re great speakers. Are people swayed by their lusts today? James 1:14 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” Fleshly desires and desires of ego have no purpose being at the center of our life’s decisions. Especially when such desires will die with our bodies. Such people are always learning and never able to know the Truth. Buildings are filled with people learning about spiritual things, and most them are not able to know the Truth. Why? Because of their own corruption in worshiping their desires over God. Their teachers have been piled up to support such an effort.
Such evil men will grow worse and worse; deceiving and being deceived. Christ’s Spirit says in 2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Are there impostors today? Are they deceiving people? Could these men be deceiving people in the Church today? Are these the preachers and teachers among the Faithful today? Can such corrupt people help it if they are being deceived? Yet, is it really their fault? Will God really hold them accountable for not knowing the Truth? Isn’t it interesting that false teachers say that we cannot know alike?
Add to this that Christians will endure persecution from those of false godliness. Paul speaking to Timothy said in 2 Timothy 3:10-12,
“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra — what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
The people, who have a form of godliness but deny the power, will persecute faithful Christians.
What will we do? Second Timothy has much to say about this as well as this study will be conclude in part 3.