But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! - 2 Timothy 3.1-5
‘Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear…’ So starts a great gospel song called ‘Jesus is Coming Soon.’ No matter what your eschatology (unless you are a preterist) everyone can identify with the truth of these words. We are in perilous days.
A big problem of those perilous days is not outside the church – it is on the inside. There are plenty of examples where there is a 'form of godliness' without the power of godliness. The sins here are not necessarily the 'biggies.' These are the things that even people within the visible church can do and get away with. I am not going to go through the whole list - just go back and look at the words one at a time.
The form of godliness that some present is not enough. It denies the power of God to work in a life.
Paul makes it pretty clear that we are not to keep company with those who only have the form of goliness.
But I think it is also important that we check out our own lives to see if we are manifesting true godliness or just a show. We may go to church and sing the songs and say the amens and do all the 'right things' and still have the form of godliness. What about you and me? Is our godliness real, or is it a show? True godliness is powerful enough to effect change - does mine show that change? By the grace of God may our godliness be true godliness.