I want to point out to you in 2 Timothy 3:2 three things that are very significant. There are three ‘loves’ that really are the root of all the problems. Love of self, love of money and love of pleasure. I would say European culture and society, including Britain, is dominated by those three features: love of self, love of money, love of pleasure. And you see, love of self is what leads to the breakdown of society because, “I’m so important to myself, I can’t live with anybody. Nobody is good enough for me. Nobody does things the way I want.”
Statistics show that in the United States today the average number of people in a household is 1.7. Two people can’t live together any longer. What’s the cause? Love of self. “I want things my way. It’s my convenience that matters. I’m important. Cater to me. And if you don’t, take care of yourself, I’ll get on without you.”
The second one is love of money. I think the one major spiritual power that dominates western society is mammon. Basically, in the contemporary culture today, if a thing makes money, that justifies it. No other argument is needed. Even pornography is called a billion-dollar industry.
I think justice is impossible where the love of money prevails because rich people can get away with anything. They can buy their way out of anything. They’re just as guilty in most cases as the poor but their wealth is a protection, for the time being. But remember, not forever.
And then thirdly, love of pleasure. There was a slogan that went right through the United States that sums it up: “If it feels good, do it.” That’s the contemporary way of describing love of pleasure. But I’ve talked to many people who were in the ‘Jesus movement’ in the 1960’s, 1970’s. They discovered that though it felt good it didn’t do good. And at the end of ten or fifteen years they were wrecks, physically, morally and spiritually.
Then the next phrase, verse 5, is the most frightening of all. At the end of this list it says:
“...having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.”
Now, I don’t believe the Bible would call anything that was unchristian godliness. So we’re talking about some form of Christianity, but it’s a form that denies its power. In the context, what is the power that is denied? The power to change people. So now we don’t call homosexuality sin, we call it a sickness. We don’t try to change them, we just arrange ways to live with them. And incidentally, homosexuality is just one sin amongst countless others. I’m not singling them out by any means, just pointing out that basically the church has lost the faith to see people change. And so it invents ways to live with them the way they are.
And then it says, and this is even more impressive in a way:
“From such people, turn away.”
Leave them alone. Don’t waste your time on them. Paul was talking to Timothy as a minister. He says if people are not willing to change, leave them to themselves. How much time is wasted in contemporary Christianity by counseling people who will never change? We need to know that God has the power to change people, if they truly want it!
Dear Father, I pray You’ll help me, through Your Holy Spirit, to not live by my senses, but to listen to Your voice, and live through Your Word. Help me to continually focus my eyes on You to realize I belong to Your eternal Kingdom. Please work in me and teach me the self-discipline I need to live according to Your Word in this day and age. In Jesus’ Name, amen.