4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and instruction. 3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, ⌊because they have an insatiable curiosity⌋, 4 and they will turn away from the hearing of the truth, but will turn to myths. (2 Tim 4:1-4, LEB)
I have preached this text a number of times over 15 years of pastoring churches and preaching sermons. In the beginning it was more toward those who spoke of a call to the preaching ministry (being a pastor as they call it). I exhorted those men to always be ready to preach, never turn down an opportunity. I also taught those same men to preach the whole counsel of God (the whole Bible, not just pet doctrines or passages) and not only the easy passages. In these “last days”, I taught, people won’t want to hear the truth and will only follow after those they agree with. They will even try to get rid of you as a pastor if you don’t preach what the congregation wants to hear (boy, did I verify the truth of that statement in my own ministry!!!). The people in church, you know, the Christians, will even begin following after the likes of Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyers, the feel good preachers of health and wealth. The only way to combat this was to keep preaching the truth and God will change their minds when He is ready. But, we pastors should not “go easy” on them but keep telling the Christians the hard truths, like turn from your sin and false teaching or burn in hell forever.
Well, here is my truth statement: Most Christians deny the power of God!
Listen to what Paul says in 2 Tim 3:1-5:
3 But know this, that in the last days difficult times will come, 2 for people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 hardhearted, irreconcilable, slanderous, without self-control, savage, with no interest for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God, 5 maintaining a form of godliness, but denying its power. (2 Tim 3:1-5, LEB)
As I have been misled and deceived by one church leader after another , this list of Paul’s truly showed me that this is an apt description of many Christians today, not just people outside the church. As I have been thinking lately, something struck me hard, right between the eyes, as they say. Most Christians deny the power of God. How, you ask? Most Christians are trying to maintain a form of godliness, following the laws laid down before them (the 10 commandments, the by-laws of the church they are members of, membership rules, any other legalistic do’s and don’t’s church leaders can come up with). And, on the outside they look and feel like godly people. They look good, smell good, but they still deny God’s power. Again, how, you ask?
They deny God’s power by saying or believing that God is not able to save all mankind (all people who have ever lived, past, present, and future). They say that God is loving yet most of mankind will be consigned to an “eternal hell!” They say that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) yet He can’t stop people from going to an “eternal hell,” forever separated from God and His loving presence. My God is capable of saving all mankind and in fact will save all mankind because His Word says so. Take a look at 1 Tim 4:10 for yourself (10 For to this end we labor and suffer reproach, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.) This is one of many verses supporting my claim, that God will save all His creation, including all His people, you know, His image-bearers. Your challenge today, is to comment and ask me to supply you with further evidence of my claim. Should you accept my challenge, you may come to an understanding that the reason my theology changed was due to overwhelming evidence contrary to what I had been taught for so many years.
Let me know your thoughts on this statement and the supporting verses!
God’s blessings to you and His peace to you as well!