2 Timothy 3:5 ESV having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
In these now 38 years of pastoral ministry I have met a long list of the kind of people the Apostle Paul is warning Timothy about here. Identify them. Avoid them. Go no contact with them. And who are they? They are people who claim to be Christians. People who have an appearance of godliness. But who, by the rotten evil fruit they demonstrate, are not born again by the power of Christ.
In fact, I can confidently say that in these nearly four decades of ministry, the large majority of people who were members of the congregations I pastored, fit this very description. And I do not believe that this is at all atypical in the local churches today. You must be born again, and they were not.
In this chapter, I want to talk to you about Mary. Mary, like so many on my long list of these kind, was not just a church member. She came from a family of church leaders. The large part of her time was spent doing “church.” She and her husband established numbers of church outreach ministries. They were present at every single church event. They religiously maintained daily Bible study and devotions. But there is more.
Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 9)”
But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you. (Deuteronomy 19:11-13)
Let me apply this Scripture by paraphrasing it a bit:
If anyone hates his wife and sets traps for her and attacks her and strikes her so that her health is ruined and over time she sees herself dying, and he runs off to another church, the elders of his first church shall contact the elders of the church to which he has fled and he shall be put out of both churches, handed over to the Lord for the destruction of his flesh. You shall not pity him, but you shall purge your church from him, lest your entire church share in the guilt of innocent blood, so that the Lord will bless you and it might be well with you.
You shall not pity him! To pity him is to keep him in your midst, and in doing so everyone in that church stands guilty before the Lord of the wicked man’s evil! How many churches today are guilty then before the Lord? How many have innocent blood on their hands because they are harboring and enabling the wicked?
Continue reading “Do Not Pity the Wicked – Pity is Their Ploy”
Every Good Friday our church here in Tillamook holds a special service in remembrance of Christ’s death on the cross. We have followed exactly the same format for many years now, ending with everyone departing the sanctuary in silence as a reminder of the grief of that “good” day. Of course it was good in the sense that the work was finished. Christ atoned for our sins and the power of death was taken from the devil. The author of Hebrews puts it this way:
Continue reading “Good Friday: A Remembrance of Our Lord’s Passion on Calvary”