An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 8)

2 Timothy 3:5 ESV  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

“Well, you know, those two couples have been fighting with one another for years. This is nothing new.”

Almost three decades ago when I had first come to be the pastor of our present church (though it had a different name then) there was no peace. Not even in the first few weeks. Our feet hit the ground and the battle began almost immediately. And I bet you know the reason why by now – you must be born again, and the large majority of the people weren’t. 

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 8)”

An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 3)

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.

Before we move on to some case studies in evil disguised as godliness, there are one or two more points in these verses which we do not want to race by. They are:

  1. The people with these wicked hearts, these lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant….and right on down this devilish list of adjectives, are the ones Paul tells us have an “appearance of godliness.”
  2. The fact that we are instructed to avoid such people plainly implies that we are able to identify them.

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 3)”

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)”