Weekly Devotional 4-29-19 Fight Against a Seared Conscience
The apostle Paul writing to his young protégé Timothy, warned, “1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”(1st Timothy 4:1-2). Paul wanted Timothy to be alert that in later times, some, having a seared conscience, would depart from the faith and would introduce things that would not be consistent with the teaching of the Lord and the apostles. This of course has been true throughout church history. There has always been those who have steeled themselves against the teaching of the Lord, the eleven men that accompanied Him throughout His approximate three-year earthly ministry, and Paul, who had been specifically called by Him. From the death of John, the last of the eleven to present, there has been those who have purposely distorted their message. Not mistaken persons, but persons who have purposely distorted God’s truth. They have allowed their consciences to be seared by self-desire or purpose.
Mis-understanding Scripture (God’s word) is certainly damaging but that can be overcome with study. Having seared conscience however is more damaging because that comes from a purposeful denial and rejection of known truth. Many such persons did not/do not have a true relationship with Jesus, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Such persons, Paul writes are mouthpieces for evil spirits, they promulgate “things taught by demons”; they are hypocritical liars, they wear a mask of holiness but are full of falsehood; they are unscrupulous, because their consciences have been cauterized (seared), This helps explain how persons can stand in pulpits or lead bible studies knowingly saying things that aren’t true. They have been taken over by the powers of darkness. Perhaps none of the mentioned persons had a seared conscience when they began their ministries (such as a pastor, or an educator of whatever level) but entering into ministry without having been born-again opened/opens the door to Satanic influence.
But, what about the born-again person, he or she who has a true relationship with the Lord, shouldn’t we be on guard? Perhaps it would be good if have the attitude of the Psalmist, who said: “1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! 3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. 4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. 5 Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments. 7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly! 9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! 12 Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes! 13 With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. 17 Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:1-18).
Or perhaps it would be good to heed Paul’s warning: “10 my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Paul instructed the Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God and to be attentive to the physical and spiritual needs of all believers. In so doing there would be no room for a seared conscience. What was true of them is true of us.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture Usage is From The NKJB