Theme For Open Heavens Devotional 6 September 2019 – PRACTICAL ATHEISTS.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5
READ: 2 Timothy 3:1-9
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
Atheism is simply the absolute denial of God’s existence. Who then is a practical atheist? It is he or her who theoretically believes in God but in practice, leads a life that denies His existence. These are the type of people described in today’s memory verse. How do we know practical atheists in our midst today? Jesus said we should know them by their fruits (Matthew7:20). Apostle Paul in today’s Bible reading list some of the characteristic traits of practical atheists, summed up in their denial of the power to live a godly life in this world. Practical atheists believe that holiness is an illusion and teach others to believe so too, thereby causing people to live a lifestyle of sin. Unfortunately, they have crept into the church and have succeeded in leading people astray. They are deadly in the sense that they appear to be religious and well-informed, but their conduct contradicts their claim of faith. In 2 Timothy 3:7-8, the Bible describes them in the following terms:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
Practical atheists are found among great Church men and women who use the cover of their successes in ministry to peddle heresies as sound superior teachings. As stated in 2 Timothy 3:8, they are like Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses by displaying magical powers to counter the miracles Moses performed in a bid to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelite go (Exodus 7:11-12, Exodus 7:22). Although practical atheists tend to have knowledge through extensive learning, they never come to the knowledge of the truth which sets free from living a life of sin (John 8:32). Some of them are like the Pharisees and Scribes of old. Just as Jesus questioned Nicodemus, a professor of the law, He is asking such people today, “Didn’t you claim you have a Master’s degree or PhD in theology, and yet you don’t know that without holiness no man shall see the Lord? You say you’re a professor of religious history, and yet you don’t know that I Am the same yesterday, today and forever? Don’t you know that My standards cannot be changed by modern society?” mere believe in God is not enough; we must live according to His standards. Even demons believe in the existence of the one true God but that hasn’t changed who they really are (James 2:19). From now on, let your life always conform to your beliefs.
Examine yourself to see whether any aspect of your life nullifies your claim of faith in Jesus Christ and His word.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Kings 5-6
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 17: HOLD THE FORT
1. Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
2. See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on;
Mighty ones around us falling, courage almost gone!
3. See the glorious banner waving! Hear the trumpet blow!
In our Leader’s Name we triumph over every foe.
4. Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander, cheer, my comrades, cheer!
Credit For Open Heavens Devotional 6 September 2019 – Pastor E. Adeboye