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Christless Society Is Terrible

2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (NIV)

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.

Loving Lord. Thank You for the transforming power of Jesus Christ in a believer’s heart. I am grateful for all that has happened in my life since I submitted to Jesus as my Saviour. Forgive me for being tolerant or indifferent to the wickedness in the world around me, and for even accepting some behaviour which You say is evil. Please help me to reach out to my friends and colleagues who do not know Christ, without allowing myself to be corrupted by their way of life. And please help pastors to be wise and discerning, so that wickedness will not be tolerated in the church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams