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. (2 Tim 3:2-5)Other common Bible translations say the same:
Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (NASB)
Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (NKJV)
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV)NOTE: From 2 Tim. 3:2-5 we observe:
* There are many people who claim to be Christian, but have only a form of godliness! They actually deny the power of godliness (the ability to get free from sin's addictions and live holy). Such are filled with sin. That is the perfect description of an eternal security Christian,- not a real Christian, but the product and victim of the once saved always saved security-in-sin gospel -- the popular social gospel, which has made the preachers rich. The proponents unwittingly admit to having only a form of godliness by the teachings they declare:
The same Greek word translated power in 2 Tim. 3:5 is found in Rom. 1:16 and 1 Cor. 1:18, dunamis. In fact, the Greek word for power associated with the power of the real gospel is the same one from which we get our English word for dynamite. That Greek word is dunamis and it can be found in the following Scriptures:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Rom 1:16)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1:18)In other words, false teachers deny the real gospel can give them power to live above sin. The Bible is clear in speaking of the miraculous power of the real gospel. It has the ability to change a person into a new creation and set him free from sin's addictions to live holy NOW.
The chief problem in our day is, the devil has many counterfeit, easy-to-listen-to gospels that share a common trait. They are all powerless to change a person into a new creation. They are social gospels with only a form of godliness - designed not to offend even the sin-loving, God rejecters. Such appease sinful people with itching ears, but do nothing for their SOULS. Such false gospels are not only worthless, they are dangerous. In spite of their great danger, they are rampant, even in Bible believing churches - shocking but true! It is a horrible day. While false doctrine leads to sin addictions, the truth leads to genuine godliness:
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness (Titus 1:1)Another pivotal Scripture to this is Col. 2:23:
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.The counterfeits can't restrain sensual indulgence. Since the proponents think they themselves are Christians, but know they are ensnared by various sins, they consequently think one can be a Christian and be addicted to pornography, etc. like they are!
Furthermore, if you are in sins as cited in 1 Cor. 6:9,10 again, after being set free through the real gospel, you are no longer saved and are now worse off than you were before you were saved (2 Pet. 2:20-22):
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit, and, A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.'If that describes you as a modern day prodigal son, then you are back on the road to hell again and need to repent for salvation's sake again. God wants you back, backslider.
Those are just some of the demonic ideas about salvation floating around in various groups which call themselves Christian. With so many clashing ideas, many people remain frustrated in their effort to know what to believe, which was part of the devil's plan to begin with.
Again, the truth is: All false gospels lack the spiritual power to transform a sin-addicted, hell-deserving person into a purified, truth and people loving, holy, new creation and child of God. Remember that key truth.
Any counterfeit gospel (social gospel, etc.) is so dangerously wrong and harmful that Gal. 1:8,9 declares that all who preach such lies will be damned just for preaching such - even a person once saved!
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal 1:8,9)
If any will take issue with that statement about the powerless form of godliness called once saved always saved, he should ponder how those grace-changing, scripture-distorting teachers twist Rom. 7:14-25. In that passage they openly teach the normal Christian life is described there! Imagine that. The truth is, what is described there is the sinful nature personified (v. 18) as constantly doing evil and not doing good. Notice verse 19:
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing. (Rom 7:19)Some who use the Rom. 7:14-25 passage also overlook the fact that the evil in v. 19 is a continuous, habitual practice, yet deny such is possible at other times for a real convert! They teach multiple double messages, but their followers can't seem to notice these or even care. Regardless, they say the one described in Rom. 7:19 is a Christian, based on their own personal sin addictions. NOTE: The eternal security version of a Christian, as described by them, is a weak, powerless, continuously evil-doing, religious person, yet one bound for heaven in his wickedness - so they think! Again, they have only an empty form of godliness with their social gospel.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house."... (Luke 19:8,9)
Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God he and his whole family. (Acts 16:32-34)
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, NKJV)Paul's example was most noteworthy:
Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. (1 Tim 1:13)In each of the aforementioned cases there is observable evidence of the grace of God and a changed life. It is reflected in one's behavior:
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10)Paul went from Christian-hater and persecutor to Christian lover and helper. He was the greatest example of Christianity. He too, like all others, had a radical change, which reflects the grace of God in the new creation.
The gospel that the Lord Jesus and his Apostles believed in and preached had power over sin and an ability to change people. They were not a mere form of godliness like the predominant, popular, social and politically-correct dangerous gospels of our day! They lack that power because they are not the word of God. They are not true. They are based on lies from demons, which are trying to deceive and damn souls to hell.