Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. This passage very clearly points out to us the propensity that the human race has to be very religious, very ecclesiastical, and yet lack God’s power. Also note in verses 1-4 of 2 Timothy 3 that these people are not atheistic nor agnostic; rather, they are rebellious, church-going people who love pleasure more than they love God. These words, inspired by God the Holy Ghost, are a prophecy of the last days.
Does this verse imply that a believer must reach perfection in this life? No. It does mean that an individual or a church can become so mechanical and program-oriented that they actually leave their first love, and their faith or church becomes more like a business than a living relationship.
How close is the Church today to being like the one in Ephesus nearly years ago? Are we beginning to lose that deep devotion to Christ? If so, God’s message to you and me is simple – repent. You see, Christ measures power in terms of devotion, not in vast numbers or fancy buildings. To deny the power of God means that we are essentially denying Jesus Himself because Jesus is the power of God. In fact, He is the head of all principality and power. When we receive Christ as Lord, we receive the power to become the children of God. That power is being manifested in our day-to-day lives.
I find that another evidence of last days will be a cross-less gospel. We see so many gimmicks and emotional methods used to get a decision for Jesus, but Scripture declares that the cross is the power of God unto salvation. Our Lord Jesus humbled Himself on that cross. He made peace through the blood of His cross. The handwriting of ordinances against mankind was nailed to that cross. That way, and no other way, is the basis of a person’s salvation. Jesus took no short-cuts to obtain our salvation and we should take no shortcuts in leading a person to salvation. Without the cross our faith is impersonal and merely a form, although we may indeed be recognized by man. Seeking souls will still be saved by our loving Father, but I wonder just how devoted God’s people are today.
You see, to accept Christ’s cross is to receive yours. His crucifixion preceded His powerful resurrection. That is why we, like Paul, glory in Christ’s cross because we realize that, although to the unsaved we seem weak and insignificant, in God’s eyes we now live by the power of God.
Child of God, don’t settle for a form of religion, a form of prayer, a form of tithing, a form of witnessing. Rather …be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.