1 Timothy 3:14-15 “I’m writing these things to you so that you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”
The Apostle Paul identified the church as a ‘pillar and buttress of the truth‘. If there is any group of people on the planet that needs to know and represent the truth of Jesus Christ well, it’s the people of God. Representing the teachings of Jesus well doesn’t mean selecting a few verses out of the gospels that suit your position on the latest social issue but requires understanding the whole context of the bible, including the Old Testament, the epistles, as well as the historical and apocalyptic literature that make up the New Testament. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a shift away from truth as the bible reveals, within the church, because of pressure from the surrounding culture. The antichrist spirit is gaining momentum across the media and culture at large, making it easier for fence sitters in the church to choose the broad pathway that leads to death instead of the narrow pathway that leads to life. More and more believers are using Jesus name to justify ideologies that aren’t even in the ball park of what the Scripture teaches. This demonstrates poor exegesis and a growing ignorance of the fundamental teachings of the Word of God. It appears that some believers are basing their beliefs on feelings to suit their conversations with family, peers and voices in the media rather than on the solid rock of God’s Word. It’s becoming a case of the blind leading the blind. The universal church, by and large, has held onto essential orthodox beliefs for 2,000 years because the truths underpinning these beliefs have been painstakingly clear in Gods Word for 2,000 years. It’s only been in recent times that we are now seeing such liberal views of Scripture infiltrate the church on a mass scale. This is a time for the church to be revived in its passion for God and truth, and not only for people and grace. This is a time for the church to be revived in its belief in the authority of Scripture, interpreting it and applying it in a way that honours God first and foremost, whether it’s popular or not. Explosive Insights!
John Maxwell once said, “If we could kick the person responsible for most of our problems, we wouldn’t be able to sit down for weeks.” Life is an invitation to get out of our own way, so that God can have his way through us. The economy isn’t my problem and the devil isn’t my problem, I am my biggest problem. Too many of us are committing self-sabotage and blaming it on external circumstances. What you can’t see, you can’t guard against or prepare for. We need to ask God to gently reveal to us areas in our character that are blind spots and apply Gods grace to whatever he reveals to us. The more out of the way you are, the more God will have his say through you.
Having the form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Tim 3:1-5
We’re living in difficult times. The day and age we live in can be summed up in the fact that we love ourselves more than we love God. The more infatuated we are with ourselves, the more difficult our times will become, because self-centeredness produces death, whereas, God-centeredness produces life. The bible records that in difficult times, people who carried the power of God rose up to penetrate the darkness with God’s light. Pharaoh had a form of power but Moses had God’s power. Goliath had the form but David had the power. Ahab had the form but Elijah had the power. Sadly, in our current day, some of the modern church has a form of godliness but not the power of godliness. We have the ritual but not the relationship. We have the ‘want’ to change but not the ‘will’ to change. Our Gospel has become way too polished, as if we’re ashamed of it. We are all dressed up with no power to show. A form of godliness isn’t going to bring lasting change. We need the power of godliness. Paul said, ‘The kingdom doesn’t consist in talk but in power.’ Don’t settle for an imitation of power, pursue intimacy with God and you’ll possess the real thing.
2 Tim 3:1-7 But understand this that in the last days.. people will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.. always learning but never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Life is difficult on its own let alone life in the last days. We are living in the last days described of in Paul’s words to Timothy. The issues outlined here are marks of complacent Christianity.
Complacency loves pleasure more than it loves God. Complacent believers make church more about them than about God. Its characterised more by apathy, passivity and selfishness than by action, passion and sacrifice. In a cultural climate of self-help, self-talk and self-love, complacent Christianity thrives. Complacent Christianity attempts to bring God down to the lowest level of non-commitment possible.
Complacency has the form but not the power. Complacency engages in the ritual but lacks the power. It appears godly but it never lives up to what it looks like. Complacent Christianity is religious but lacks substance to change people’s lives. Complacency leaves you wondering, there’s got to be more to following God than attending endless events but not seeing heaven break into the earthly realm.
Complacency always hears but never obeys. The western church is more educated than we are obedient. We’ve heard sermon after sermon, read book after book but seen very little change. We’ve got to move from hearing only to obeying promptly. Jesus said, ‘Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I tell you to do?’ Love for God is marked by obedience.