“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”
—I Timothy 4:1-2
Like it or not, the “latter times” have arrived.
And believe it or not, the words spoken very clearly by the Spirit nearly 2000 years ago have been proven to be right over and over again. We have seen many depart from the faith; we watched in anguish while they gave heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, all the while apparently oblivious to our repeated cries of warning.
And we waited, knowing the tragic end would come. After being seduced away from the Truth by the false doctrines of the devil, the inevitable aftermath of hypocrisy and lies soon followed. And all that remains for them is the burnt residue of a seared conscience, unable to feel remorse, pain, sorrow or repentance.
But our conscience is yet alive, and we weep for those who no longer can. The hypocrisy and lies and false teachings are being spewed out by the apostates of our day, while we continue to earnestly contend for the Faith once for all delivered unto the Saints.
There is no salvation through any other means than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In order for anyone to be saved since Calvary, he must obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
One of the most clearly defined principles in Scripture is that which equates “belief” with “obedience,” and “unbelief” with “disobedience.” Thus, to believe the Gospel is to obey the Gospel. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” is equivalent to “He that obeys and is baptized shall be saved;” and “He that believes not shall be damned” is the same as “He that disobeys shall be damned.”
Hence, to “depart from the faith” is to not obey the Word of God that is preached, as Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Our society is dominated by seducing spirits that are constantly seeking to undermine the authority of the pulpit, and attempting to sow seeds of rebellion and discord in the lives and homes of church members.
In another passage, the Apostle warns that the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine, but will after their own lusts heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. And the sad part is they still claim to be Apostolic.
Yet the unmistakable smell of burnt flesh defiles their speech. Their conscience is seared—branded, if you please, by the doctrine that says if you don’t like what your pastor says, you can always go somewhere else and still be accepted.
As far as we can tell, the damage from such a heresy is irremediable. How can you “unsear” a conscience? We can only warn others of the danger, taking care lest we should ever fall into the same pit.
Rev. Tim D. Cormier
Reprinted from the January, 2000 issue of the Apostolic Standard.
(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.