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)”

Don’t be One of These False Prophets Promising False Peace

“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:13-15)

The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day kept announcing “peace and prosperity and God’s blessing on everyone” even though the thing was a fallacy. They minimized the seriousness of what was the real cause of troubles among them: “They have healed the wound of my people lightly.” They didn’t acknowledge the depth of their evil and be ashamed. They were arrogant.

I would suggest to you that this kind of thinking and utterance is characteristic of an evil heart. And I will suggest something else to you. Namely, that all of the minimizing and discounting of abuse victims in the “church” by leaders and members is a plain example of the very same cry of “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. There is NO peace in the victim’s life because her abuser is at war with her. But what is she met with when she calls for help?  “You exaggerate.” They pronounce peace, you see, when there is no peace.

Continue reading “Don’t be One of These False Prophets Promising False Peace”