the right day to stay away from people like that.
“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:5 NLT
After being imprisoned for what would be the last time, Paul wrote what would be his last recorded words. Before he was executed by Emperor Nero as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, Paul wrote his second, and final, letter to Timothy, encouraging him to continue Paul’s faith and remember his teachings as pastor of the church at Ephesus.
One of the things he wrote about in this impassioned letter was the need for Timothy, and others, to be wary of individuals who would use Christian doctrine and traditions for their own benefit. This danger is as real today as it was then, and Paul’s admonition needs to be heeded now more than ever.
We all know someone who goes to church, knows the words, praises the Lord, and espouses Christian values, but upon close examination we realize this individual is using Christianity and the church for their own selfish purposes. We all have read about individuals and groups that have done the same thing.
Twisting the words of God, they take advantage of people and situations. They have elevated themselves to a lofty position and condemned – even killed – those they have deemed “lesser” than them. These individuals use God’s forgiveness, or out-of-context Bible verses, as a ‘green light’ for bad behavior.
On the surface, they may appear to be stalwart members of the Christian community, but close examination (and sometimes the examination doesn’t even have to be very close) of the way they live their daily lives will reveal them for the deceivers they are.
Do not be fooled, or mislead, by people like this. Smooth talk is a skill they have mastered and with it they will prey upon the weak, disadvantaged, and confused.
Even cloaked in prominent religiosity, they will be easy to spot. They will be a little too attached to their money; a little too boastful of their accomplishments; a little too eager to betray their friends or gossip.
It is important that we not be seduced, swayed, or influenced by these individuals and that we help others avoid the incorrect teachings that will come from them.
Follow the instructions that Paul gave to Timothy when he said, “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT).
Today is the right day to do the right thing in the right way. Avoid anyone who would try to persuade you to do otherwise.
As Paul wrote, “Stay away from people like that!”
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson