Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. – 2Tim. 3:5 KJV
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The Apostle Paul was sharing his experience with Timothy, the young Pastor, left behind to lead the affairs of the Church in Ephesus. This was in a bid to let him know the challenges that he may likely come across in the course of his ministry work and suggest to him ways to counter them so as to be successful. Some of those potential challenges is as listed in the first part of chapter three, of his second letter to him, where he highlighted the possibility of the existence of godlessness, which he says will characterise the visible events of the last days. According to Paul, those days will be characterised by;
- People being lovers of themselves.
- People being boasters, proud and blasphemous.
- Acts of dis-obedience to parents.
- Rampant cases of ingratitude and unholiness.
- Lack of natural affection as people will not adhere to agreements and be false accusers, incontinent, fierce and despisers of those that are good.
- Preponderance of traitors, heady and high-minded people who love pleasures of life more than God.
Paul drew the attention of Timothy to all these negative traits because the same people who are neck deep in all these are the ones that will appear in Church. As noted in the scripture for today’s devotion, they will put up a physical form of godliness but they will deny the power of God. Paul advises Timothy in today’s scripture to turn away from such people. To turn away from such people is to see such people as closed cases just awaiting judgement.
Although, the Apostle Paul wrote his letter referring to those who will be exhibiting these character traits in the third person plural, it must be noted that the people that will be involved in the display of these traits are not going to be outside the Church. They will be members of the Church, at least in name and this should get the Christian today worried and on the alert. Worried because it is the same brother or sister worshipping with you today and who is expected to display Christ like nature, that is in reference here. Yes! The same one that was preached to and claimed to have given his/her life to Christ. The same one that was baptised and expected to have received the baptism and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The same one that has been charged with winning souls for Christ and populating the kingdom of heaven. That is the same Christian that is in reference.
The Christian today should be on alert simply because he/she could easily be one of those members of the church that will be displaying these traits. There is no point trying to think that you cannot be part of those who will display godlessness in the days that the Apostle Paul is referencing in his letter to Timothy simply because you dwell in the Word regularly. You just need to be alert, just as Jesus Christ advised his disciples (Matt. 26:41) and Peter, who himself was also once, almost a victim of the devil advised (1Pet. 5:8), or can you dwell in the Word more than Simon Peter (Matt. 26:69-75) and Judas Iscariot? – Lk. 22:1-6; 47-53. Both could have sworn they will never be associated with such anti-Christ actions only to find themselves leading the long queue of Christ denying people and Christ betrayers respectively.
It may not even be about a time in the future as you may already be manifesting what you are denying so before you lay claim to that your great love for God and His Christ, and your self assurance that you will never be associated with godlessness, honestly assess yourself in the mirror that all those character traits that the Apostle Paul lists earlier represent, and you may see someone who looks like you in them. To go on denying that you are not one of those people that the Apostle Paul was referring to after seeing yourself deep in it will mean a decision to behave like Judas Iscariot who after been pointed out as the betrayer in reference still went ahead to carry out his godless act. He only ended up committing suicide – Matt. 27:3-5. That is the fate that awaits you if you refuse to repent today. If however, you are lucky not to see yourself in that mirror, then take care and note that those days of godlessness are here and the devil is actively recruiting members – Lk. 22:31. Avoid been enlisted unconsciously. Be on the alert because he is on the prowl looking for souls to destroy – Jn. 10:10. May God save us from being agents of godlessness at any stage of our existence on earth in Jesus name. Amen.