An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 2)

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

This is the second installment in this series – which is going to have quite a few installments before we are finished. As I mentioned last time, my intent is to end up compiling these posts, including many of your comments and insights, into a book by the same title – An Appearance of Godliness.

The Apostle Paul warns us here that the last days, that is, the church age in which we live and which will terminate with the return of Christ, is not going to be an easy time for Christ’s true people to live in. There will come times of difficulty.  But the difficulties Paul had in mind are not things like economic downturns, pandemics, car crashes, or broken water lines. No.

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 2)”

A New Series: An Appearance of Godliness – Case Studies in Evil

I have the outline of a new book sitting here on my desk, which I never seem to have time to get started on. So I thought what I would do is write it here with a weekly installment, and have you all provide your observations and comments and thereby…help me write the book!

Here is the central theme scripture the book title is drawn from and which is really a statement of the purpose of the book:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Most all of the wicked people I have had to deal with as a pastor, in the church, were this very kind of person. They had the appearance of godliness, but they denied its power. Let’s see if we can think through what this means.

Continue reading “A New Series: An Appearance of Godliness – Case Studies in Evil”

Is Your Faith Supernatural or Superstitious?

Hebrews 11:1 ESV  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

If we do not have the “direction” of what we think is faith, that genuine faith given us as a gift from the Lord, then we are going to get it wrong. And getting faith wrong can really cause us some troubles.

As you can see from the above scripture, faith does look ahead. We “hope” for things that lie in the future, not the past. But we must also notice that this faith’s eyes do not see!  Yes, certainly we see God’s promises, by the eyes of faith. We “look for” Christ on the horizon. But faith does not see in the sense of actually possessing its object. One day, in the new heavens and earth, we won’t need faith because we will literally see the things which we now hope for.

But back to this issue of the “direction” of our faith.

Continue reading “Is Your Faith Supernatural or Superstitious?”