Christless Society Is Terrible
These are the Last Days; that is, the time before the Lord Jesus comes back again. Paul wanted Timothy to be under no illusion that when people reject Christ they also forfeit God’s blessings in their society. In God’s mercy, He has arranged for the worse excesses of social disorder to be restrained by governments and laws; but no law can ever change perverse human hearts. Without Christ, human nature will express itself in increasingly wicked ways.
Paul’s list of societal sins is as relevant today as in the 1st Century. Strangely, many people who behave in that way think that they are acceptable to God (although they may not be confident of His existence or identity). But whoever they think God is, their religious practices are useless in changing their heart: therefore there is no power to live in a godly way. Some of those people liked to get into churches; but Paul is clear – they should have no opportunity to spread their poison. Although they might seek a dialogue to share their views, Paul instructed Timothy to have nothing to do with them.
It should not surprise us that when people become followers of Jesus Christ, they will bring old habits with them into the church. However, when they are in Christ, He has divine power to change them; wise pastors will identify the need to change and encourage the lifestyle changes. But those who are still rebellious against the Lord (even though they may be religious) have no inner desire to change, and no power to do so. Although it may seem strange, Paul’s instruction to Timothy is wise – do not allow them to corrupt young believers.
© Dr Paul Adams