Realize this, that in the last days…men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 2 Timothy 3:1-4
Quite a list, isn’t it? As you read many of the descriptions what came to your mind?
Sounds a lot like the society that we live in doesn’t it? Everywhere we turn we see one or more of the traits described above displayed openly.
However, before we go too far down this road, we must read the rest of the scripture:
holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power… 3:5a
So, evidently, the descriptions above aren’t addressing the society’s issues. Those issues have always belonged to society. What is new is that these traits have seeped into the Church. It is only the Church that has the position to “hold to a form of godliness”; the world has never been interested.
Too easy it is to think of examples of the above traits within the Church. The music is too loud, it is too hot, the message was too long, church isn’t fun/friendly/applicable anymore and on and on.
Lost within the ugliness is the “power”. Long ago the manifest power of the gospel message has been buried under the self-interest and self-promotion. Each weekend we see displayed only the “form of godliness” while privately God’s people carry on the sickness.
Hear the Word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah. “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer; incense is an abomination to Me. I am weary of hearing them.”
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, yes, even though you multiply your prayers, I will not listen.”
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease evil, learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:10-17
As the Nation of Israel was equated to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah perhaps today’s church is not far from the equation as well.
We are well aware of who makes up today’s Church. Individuals like you and me are responsible for the loss of power. Jesus is inviting us to “wash yourselves, make yourselves clean”.
Let’s agree together to quit “trampling His courts” with our worthless prayers and come into agreement with how He sees us. It is only then that we can once again discover the power!