If we were to gather up a list of what each person on the globe thinks is the very worst sin of all, we’d have a truly interesting document. The data might vary from culture to culture, but there would likely be some noteworthy trends. And some common worst sins.

There is a hefty list of sins in 2 Tim. 3:1-9. If you managed to read through unscathed by guilt – from not even one of them – you are a better person than me. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)

This list represents what terrible times will be like in the last days before Jesus returns from Heaven to set up His Kingdom on earth. The list also represents pretty well what is going on in our world today. A reasonable conclusion? We very well could be living in the last days. Time is short.

People loving themselves first and most – that causes significant relationship problems. People loving money first and most raises terrible moral issues. Boasting, pride, abuse, and disobedience all create awkward tangles. Lack of gratitude, lack of holiness, lack of love, and lack of forgiveness make life a very bumpy ride. Slandering others, zero self-control, brutality, treachery, rashness, and conceitedness all add to a turned-upside-down world. Loving pleasure more than loving goodness and not loving God – does it get any worse? What a list! What a mess! We surely needed a Savior.

Yet, there is one more sin listed. How did it make the list? It doesn’t sound too terrible. At least, not like some of the other things mentioned. I suggest, however, that this sin – this adopted daily conduct – could very well be the worst possible sin: having a form of godliness but denying its power. (vs. 5) Why is this one so bad? Why so serious?

This sin sets a person up to be a fake, a shell, a robot, a hypocrite. Pretending to be someone or something but denying the very essence of all that makes you that person – that’s seriously flawed thinking. Claiming to be godly but denying the actual power of God – completely illogical. This kind of thinking and living can never yield “living by faith.” And since it’s impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6), it leaves a person depraved. Functioning in this place will never nurture love for God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength – or love for your neighbor. And since those are the first and second greatest commands, refusing to adopt them creates a barrier to knowing God and being godly.

What do you think about God? Do you believe He can do anything? That He answers prayers? That He is the Great I AM? That He is everything He claims to be? Do you believe God loves you?

Why not throw your lot into believing God? Why not adopt a perspective that He is the power that makes your form of godliness genuine – the all-powerful God that holds all things together? (Col. 1:17) Why not deliberately choose to believe His love and His goodness? These choices will change your life. It will give you a hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) It will set you free from sin . . . from the worst possible sin. That’s something worth pursuing. And it all starts by trusting and obeying God. Rest in His claims – and see how much He longs to do in and through your life.

Article developed from 2 Tim. 3:1-9.

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