Monday, August 20, 2012

Jude pt. X

Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.(2 Timothy 3:4-5) 

The first description in this- traitors is used two other times in scripture: once in Luke 6:16 in reference to Judas Iscariot, and once in Acts 7:52 in reference to those who betrayed and murdered the Lord Jesus. In the last days many so called believers will be like Judas Iscariot towards his fellow brethren in Christ. In these times when persecution of christians becomes more common, there will be some who out of the covetous nature of their heart will betray and give over their "fellow" believers to the authorities. I put fellow in quotations for in reality, these men described here in 2 Timothy are not our fellow brothers in Christ; They are impostors and hypocrites. 

The next word that the King James Version uses is a bit archaic-- heady. Modern translations use the word "reckless", and other translations prior to the 20th century use the term "headstrong". "Haste" is a word with a similar meaning as "heady" which appears more frequently than the latter. To be hasty, make haste, or act hastily, is not always a bad thing. Many times in both the Old and New Testaments people acted most righteously when they made haste. The psalmist of the 119th psalm wrote concerning the commandments: "I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments." Zacchaeus made haste in coming down from the sycamore tree when he met the Lord (Luke 19:6). But there are many verses--especially in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes-- that speak negatively of the man who speaks or acts in haste and behaves rashly. 

Proverbs 14:29 says: "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." This seems to be in agreement with 2 Timothy 3:3 in that a men in the last days will be fierce. Proverbs 28:20 says: "A faithful man shall abound with blessings; But he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent." This verse agrees much with 2 Timothy 3:2 where the word "covetous" is used to describe man in the end times. As previously mentioned, there are some verses in Ecclesiastes that warn man not to speak rashly or to be hasty towards anger, (Ecc. 5:2, 7:9) both of which would be appropiate if only space would permit to include in this article on how man will act near the end of the age and what the inspired word of God has to say about said behavior.

Highmindedness is another word for proud, or to be puffed up. In Paul's letter to the christians at Corinth, he uses the phrase "puffed up" five times in describing that assembly. Now, imagine all of Christendom puffed up as the Corinthians were. It's really not too hard to imagine when observing the current state of Christianity. 

In the end times men shall be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The greek transliteration for "lovers of pleasure" is philedonos. The greek transliteration of "lovers of God" is philotheos. Men will be fond of sensual, fleshly pleasure more than being fond of God. Quite often these days, I see fellow believers showing more fondness for earthly activities such as sports and games than being fond of studying God's word with brothers and sisters in Christ, or giving thanks for what He has done. 

These men have a form of godliness; An outward semblance of piety and respect towards God. But they deny the very inward power of such godliness. While they display external fruit of a pious, God-fearing life, there is no internal reality of respect to the Creator of all things. I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 11:3-15, the well known passage which speaks of Satan transforming himself into a messenger of light. Satan can take a form of one who speaks on God's behalf, but preached a different Jesus than what is presented in the gospels. In Jeremiah 3:8-11 says: "And I saw that when for all the causes wherein backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce, yet the treacherous Judah, her sister, feared not, but went and committed fornication also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her fornication that she polluted the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And even for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith Jehovah. And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath shewn herself more just than treacherous Judah." A professing believer who only shows a form of godliness is by principle less just than those carnal christians who know they lack reverence for God. Just as Judas Iscariot for a time appeared to be one of the most trustworthy disciples and in time would become the one who betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver, many christians today some of them even more reliable than your pastor, will deal treacherously with Christ and His followers. 

If the experiences of Israel and Judah when the kingdom was split into two-- a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom-- could be considered illustrative of the current state of Christendom today with a Protestant side and a Roman Catholic/Orthodox side, then I would submit to my reader that the Protestant side is in greater sin than the RCC's. As far as professing believers go, those in the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have not committed half as many sins as those who profess to believe and do not in the Protestant churches. The RCC's and Orthodox churches are quite blatant in their spiritual harlotry. But Protestants who have a false profession of faith are guilty of committing more whoredoms than that of the Roman Catholics. For it was in Protestantism that justification by faith reclaimed, but now many Protestant churches preach salvation by baptism, going to church, tithing, saying a prayer, etc.

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