We live in a world where people no longer seem to know what good or evil is. Things that are evil, they call good. Things that are good, they call evil.
Why? What has happened to us?
The problem is not new. It was present even in the time of Paul. And here he pinpoints what the problem is.
He wrote to Timothy,
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. (1-6)
Paul warns Timothy that the days would come when people would abandon the faith and follow the teachings of demons. And one of the hallmarks of this teaching is an inability to distinguish good from evil. Why do people fall for this kind of teaching?
Because their consciences have been seared. Their consciences have been so badly damaged, they can no longer distinguish good from evil. The people in Paul’s day were taking things that God called good (marriage, food, etc) and calling them evil.
On the other hand, they were stirring up all these myths and controversies that were dividing the church and taking them away from the true gospel, and calling them good.
The issues are different today, but the problem is the same. Because of people’s seared consciences, they call what is evil, good, and what is good, evil.
And so Paul told Timothy, “You need to tell your people the truth that you have been taught since you were young. Don’t let them be deceived by these false teachers. Don’t let your people’s consciences becomes seared as these false teachers’ consciences have become.”
For pastors and teachers in the church, Paul’s charge remains the same. Don’t compromise on the truth of God’s word. Though our culture may push us to change what God has said, don’t let them. For in giving into our culture, we give in to the doctrine of demons.
And for you in the church, immerse yourself in the word of God. Let His word be your standard, not our culture, lest your conscience become seared as well.
How about you? Are you finding yourself trying to explain away scripture to fall in line with the world? Don’t let your conscience be seared by the teachings of demons. Let us hold to the truth of God’s word, forever calling good, good, and evil, evil.