II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Deception has always been the way that the enemies of God have worked. Satan deceived Eve into believing his lie. Adam willingly accept that lie and disobeyed God. In spite of having some good men in the genealogical record in Genesis 5, we read in chapter 6 that wickedness was the dominating factor in the world. There were many who were teaching a lie and many were willing to believe the lie. The cost of believing the lie is far greater than any individual realizes and it will never be paid by those who persist in following a lie.
In verse 5 God continued to direct Paul regarding the danger that would be prevalent in the last days.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
It is sad but it is true that most people will never be saved. This is contrary to God’s will. As we see in our text in verse 5, men will have a form of godliness. We see that all over today. We see a multitude of religions that have a form of godliness. I received an email just yesterday inviting me to join a zoom meeting this Sunday from a so-called Christian College in Canada that is having a special service in their new auditorium. One of the pictures they sent with this invitation shows an auditorium with flashing lights from different angles just like any rock concert would have. This College has a form of godliness. They speak of a god and they speak of a saviour. However, as Paul continued to write, they deny the power of true godliness. True godliness is built upon the true God. It exalts Him, not the flesh and the devil.
There is only one choice for the true child of God in these things. “From such turn away.” True Christians cannot please God by attending meetings like the one I mentioned. They cannot please God by attending a church that uses the modern contemporary Christian music. They need to reject the modern “worship team” idea. Those people worship something, but it is not the true God. It is not a matter of being better than those people. It is a matter of understanding that the flesh is weak, and any true Christian can be drawn into the world’s philosophy if they entertain it. That has happened many times. God warns us often of this danger.
God knows how subtle the devil is. Adam failed to recognize that. Many others have failed to recognize this as well. In II Timothy 1 we noted that Timothy was in danger of being weakened by false teachers. He was tempted to be ashamed of the apostle Paul’s clear testimony.
True Christians desire the truth and the truth is not found in compromise. The flesh likes compromise. The flesh likes the world’s music and the world’s philosophies. True Christians seek to glorify God.
Verses 6-7 help us to see what kind of people have this form of godliness without the power thereof. They are the kind that creep into houses, and lead captive silly women. Silly women refers to little women. It is used in a contemptuous manner.
We see in Genesis 3 that the devil approached the woman first. He did not come to Adam. He went to the weaker vessel. God is not putting women down when He teaches us that they are the weaker vessel. It is true that there are women who show more discernment than some men at times. However, it is also true that women are easier to deceive than men are. God designed women with a different emotional makeup than men have. That is a good thing when the woman knows the Lord and is walking faithfully with Him. It is not a good thing when the woman is not saved or very carnal. God says so, and history also bears that out. There is a reason why God forbids women to take leadership roles. They are not designed for that and they do not have the mental, spiritual capacity to succeed in that place.
In our world we see men and women who creep into houses through T.V. and internet and they lead silly women captive. Women like Kay Arthur, or Joyce Myers, and others creep into houses. Men like Kenneth Copeland and Joseph Prince are of the same ilk. They creep into houses. They have a form of godliness but they deny the power thereof. They teach doctrines that are false. They have a way of presenting their lies so that they can lure the undisciplined and untaught to follow after them.
Paul tells us these silly women are already laden with sins. They are not submissive to the Word of God already. Thus they are an easy target for the devil. A godly woman would not fall for false teachers. She would also see the importance of trusting her godly husband and pastor to keep her from falling for these types of creepy people. A godly husband wants to protect his wife from being trapped. A godly pastor will also warn against false doctrine and false teachers. He will teach the truth and thus help those listening to see the difference between truth and error. Those that are saved will appreciate God’s truth. Those who are lost or already in rebellion against God’s Word will take offence and they will try to convince their husbands to believe the same lies they are already being drawn to. We see that in Eve. She was deceived and the Bible tells us she gave of the forbidden fruit to Adam and he ate from it. Adam knew better but he allowed his wife to turn him aside from the truth. We read that king Solomon, one of the wisest men that ever lived, allowed his many strange wives to turn his heart away from the Lord.
God does not give us these examples so that we as men can find an excuse for our sin. We have no excuse. We have the Word of God and we can know the truth and walk in it. We as men are not as strong as we sometimes think we are. We need to understand the need to draw nigh to God and walk humbly with Him. We can only be a help to our wives and children when we humbly submit to God’s will and way. Far too often men are wimps and like to hold on to mama’s apron strings. They just transfer that to their wives. They yield to a little pressure because they lack the spiritual stamina to walk faithfully with the Lord.
We have mentioned before that there is a difference between being stubborn and having Biblical convictions. Biblical convictions are important and they are necessary. Stubbornness is sin. Stubbornness will cause a person to believe a lie and persist in that lie, regardless of what the Bible says.
We see in verse 7 that these creepy people are ever learning. They are not incapable of learning. They simply choose not to learn the truth. They refuse to allow the Lord to be God and they put themselves as greater than God. That is what Paul addressed in Acts 17 as he encountered the Athenians who were always interested in some new thing. The trouble was that they were not willing to accept the truth and stick with the truth.
This takes us right back to II Timothy 2:15. We need to study to show ourselves approved unto God. We need to rightly divide the Word of truth. Humility is essential to accepting the truth and growing in the Lord. Proud people refuse to accept the truth. They are still learning, but they never come to the knowledge of the truth because they reject the truth.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
You cannot study the Bible and listen to false teachers and expect to come away with the truth. God knows that far better than we do. He commands His children to turn away from false teachers. Timothy needed to take heed to these words in his day. We need to take heed to them today as well.