Actors and actresses lead a double life. They have a stage life and a real life. Now, that’s like a lot of Christians – they have a church life and a real life.
In 2 Timothy 3, after describing the characteristics of the last days’ culture, the Apostle Paul concludes by saying, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” What he is saying is that people in the last days will be very religious, but their faith will not be connected to their real life.
The word “godliness” is a word for showing piety or engaging in worship. The root of this word means “to revere or adore,” with a prefix meaning “good.” Therefore, it really means to adore what is good and in a context about loving God (as in 2 Timothy 3), it has the idea of adoring God for His goodness.
Now, people in the last days will have a form of this. In other words, it will look like they are really worshiping God, but it will only be a form of worship without real substance. It will be “what they do in church.” It will not be a part of “how they really live their lives.”
A number of years ago the great Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer, referred to our contemporary Christian culture as “the upper story leap.” He observed that Christians in general, live their lives all week on a secular plane, exhibiting all of the greed, lust, and pride of our secular neighbors; and then on Sunday we make a leap to another plane – where we worship God and say “Amen” to the fact that we should not love the world. The fact that the two planes don’t connect doesn’t seem to bother us. On Sunday we agree with the theology of “don’t love the world.” But all week, we love the world.
Now that’s what it means to have a form of godliness. In reality, it is leading a double life. We have a church life, and we have a real life. We have a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.”
Say – Real godliness connects Sunday with the rest of the week. There’s spiritual power in that.