Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks


Today's Headlines

  • Sorry... Not Available
Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area

Locally Contributed...



Special Interest

“Nominal Christianity”
by Ian C. Kurylyk   
September 8th, 2013

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3:5). God designed, planned and instituted Christianity. He sent His own Son to die so Christianity would be possible. He sent out the apostles to get it started and gave us the Bible for its continuation. God also foretold its deterioration in practice as time passes.

Our opening text regarding a form of godliness is very revealing. When movie makers want to film a Western they do their best to make it look real. They build a set which looks to the eye of the camera like the real thing. They do not, however, go behind all the facades on main street to ensure the unseen parts are genuine. They do not really build a town exactly like Dodge City or Abilene or Tombstone was over a hundred years ago. In fact it is empty. It is only a “form”. It is not a real town at all. Even when people are there they are only acting a part. This illustrates well what this verse is talking about. Church going and religion may flourish while Bible Christianity is absent altogether.

God has shown us beforehand that with time Christianity would deteriorate from the life-changing reality revealed in the New Testament. We are warned of a lifeless form with no “power” against the great problem of humanity’s sin. In fact, the earlier verses in the chapter recite a long list of sins that we are told will prevail in lives as Christianity becomes simply a nominal religion. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (II Timothy 3:1-4).

These are the same people that are described in the next verse as “having a form of godliness” (verse 5). The attitude is very up to date. Many people now have the idea that they can make Christianity to be what they want it to be and nobody dare wonder at the inconsistencies. The point of this passage is to refute such confusion and that Christianity must be what God says it is. Bible Christianity cannot be made to coexist with what the Bible condemns as evil. Three things stand out in the list of sins which will emerge and be embraced in the last days. Men will love self, money (“covetous”), and pleasures (rather than God). This self-centered, self-indulgent, self-worshipping lifestyle has many other things that go along with it. Many of the sins mentioned speak for themselves, and a little comment helps us understand some of the others.

“Unholy” people drag the holy things of God down to the level of common things. “Without natural affection” describes those without even normal human feelings towards others who should be dear to them.. This leads to abuses of all kinds: elder abuse, wife abuse, child abuse, infant abuse, and even hardness of heart to the unborn by abortion. “Trucebreakers” refers to a heart condition that will not allow itself to be reconciled to others but clings to hatred and grudges. “Incontinent” means an absence of self control morally, “fierce” means savage, and “heady” describes a person who is driven to a reckless state, disregarding the consequences of his actions.

These things are revealed so that those who live in these last days of the church age would be able to see if they have missed the life-transforming salvation offered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible distinguishes in many passages between nominal Christianity and the Christianity of the New Testament preached by the apostles. Bible Christianity cannot be made to fit into a lifestyle of sin. It is God’s answer to sin. It opposes sin. It imparts forgiveness from sin. It is a new life that is lived in harmony with God. Bible Christianity is a gift for those who are willing to receive the Saviour from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ.

go back button