THE INFLUENCE OF UNGODLY PEOPLE OVER YOUR LIFE

God’s Marvelous Light (Photo by Pastor Davis)  Godly living must spring from an inward love and reverence for our awesome God. 

Children of God, in the past few weeks we have been speaking to you about Godliness and what it means in all of our lives.  Today, we are continuing that discussion because we are living in very dangerous times. The world is changing, people are changing, and nothing remains the same.  We are faced with many obstacles and difficulties ahead.  Satan, the old devil is roaming the neighborhoods, seeking out the weak among us in a vain attempt to take control of God’s Kingdom.

His evil band of angles are entering and dividing our families, our churches, our communities and our government.  We are becoming passive and submitting ourselves unto him by allowing the type of gun violence that recently destroyed the lives of so many in Colorado and Wisconsin.  I tell you this one truth, and that is this, “we must stop allowing ourselves to become so influenced by ungodly people, that we put our own godliness in jeopardy.”

At this very moment in time, let there be no mistake of the importance of how godliness ought to govern

Living Godly Lives In A Sin-Filled World

our lives and our relationship to others, and that include our churches, communities and especially our government and our government leaders.  There is a real sense in which godliness should and will dictate whom you hang out with.  Godliness will determine whom you enter into a covenant with.  It will determine your fellowship.  This is by no means an exhortation to remove you from the realities of life.  Godliness is a commentary on whom you let into your life, whom you trust, and whom you allow to influence your life.

When we study Paul’s teaching on this in (2 Timothy 3) we discover a serious conversation that Paul was having with his young son Timothy, who was pasturing the church at Ephesus at the time.  Paul felt very strongly that his son Timothy needed to be aware of the times and the signs of the times in which he lived.  In fact Paul began Chapter 3 by saying, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.”  This was a warning to the young, struggling Timothy.  He needed to be watchful, for these were dangerous times.  He drew Timothy a spiritual map complete with landmarks, signposts, and pitfalls.  He said there were specific things that would characterize the culture in the last days.

Now listen to how Paul described this culture to his son Timothy, he said, “Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 MSG)

Godly Living in an Ungodly World

As I read and studied this lesson, my question was to Paul, why are you so concern about this time being the last days?  Why specifically highlight these moments when there was violence, persecution, and evil before the last days.  There were unthankful, unholy men before this point in history.  In the Old Testament Scripture it is replete with examples of heady, high minded, boastful, covetous pleasure seeking men who loved many things more than they loved God.  What is it that separates these last days from every other time in history?  Sin was nothing new in Paul’s day.  Wickedness was then, as it is now, a fact of life.  Why then are these times so dangerous that Paul must warn Timothy and us about them?

What always amazes me by studying scripture is this, no matter what question you may have, if you look deeply and study with an open mind, always seeking God’s guidance’s for truth,  the answer to the questions you are seeking is always right there in front of you.  Paul answered the question quite actually for me when he showed me that it was not the tendency of the culture that concerned him, but it was the target, and that target was the Church.  We know this because in Paul’s exhortation he said the ungodly, unrighteous, unholy people of the last days will come “having a form of godliness.”  They will look like the Church.  As long as the world looked like the world and Church looked like the Church, we were okay.  But Paul said in the last days, look out, because the world is putting on their Sunday best and raising hands and singing praises in an effort to infiltrate the house of God.

For those of you who are saved, sanctified, and filled with the precious Holy Ghost, you ought to know that there is an outward change that should have taken place subsequent to your salvation experience.  Folks will both look at your life and know that you are God’s child, or they’ll look at your life and know that you are not.  What I am saying to you here is, “godliness does have a certain look.”

Rand & Ron Paul

Rand & Ron Paul (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Paul said it will be difficult to spot the holy imposters because they will be clothed in the external expression of godliness.  They will appear to be godly.  They’ll look just like Sister So-and-So who serves communion every first Sunday.  They’ll look just like Brother Whoever from the elder deacon board, or Sister what’s-Her-Name who does a hallelujah dance every time the choir sings.  All these people look godly on the outside.  The Greek word for form here is morphosis, which means “a form or outward shape of.”  The emphasis is on the outside.  In other words, if you observe them, everything you see will appear godly.  But that is assuming you are observing only with your physical eyes and not with your spiritual ones.

Now let me tell you this, Paul is truly speaking truth to power.  When we take a close look at the people in our churches today and listen carefully to their speech we quickly come away with a sense of how ungodly the people have become, and how Satan has perverted the House of God by putting on his Sunday’s best.  Paul further said that Spiritual frauds will look godly, but you’ll spot them as phony if you look for something that human eyes cannot see.  He said they will have the form of godliness but “denying its power.”  In other words, they look godly, but their lives deny the very power that characterizes true godliness.