By Elizabeth Prata
This essay first appeared on The End Time in January 2014.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,”
(1 Timothy 4:1-2).
What does a seared conscience look like? Like this:
Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.” (2 Kings 6:26-29).
You see the issue. The woman was appealing to the King for justice. For a breach of contract. But what a breach of contract! She was SO SEARED in mind that she never stopped to think of what she was saying. “I want justice because the other woman broke our deal to cannibalize our children?!” The horror is that she related this so matter of factly. The worse horror is that she was so unconscious about her sin that she simply and unemotionally stated the facts of the case without stopping to think of what she was actually saying.
That is a seared conscience.
That is also a judgment. Judgment for their apostasy was prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:56-57:
The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter, her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns.
Cling fast to the faith. In my opinion, this is why Paul said to take very thought captive, every thought. (2 Corinthians 10:5). Do not listen to liars with seared consciences, who have already been pre-judged for their lies by having the seared conscience to begin with. The road which they travel and lure followers only gets darker and more evil with every step. As with everything biblical, there exists a progression. Ascent into holiness and then glorification is a process and descent into evil and the final apostasy is also a process. It all begins with one step.
This is where sin brings the unwary to: cannibalism…and worse. How can it get worse you ask? Apostasy is a terrible thing. It brings people so deep into sin they can’t even feel their sin anymore. People who have seared consciences are not only sinners, but are “inventors of evil”! (Romans 1:30) Worse, they not only sin deeply, don’t care, and invent ways to perform more evil, but they give hearty approval to those who practice the evil. (Romans 1:31).
Times of great apostasy are always dangerous for the vulnerable- the physically vulnerable and the spiritually vulnerable. In the Tribulation, the vulnerable will be at most risk once again. (Matthew 24:21-22; Luke 12:51-53). It will be a free-for-all of sins like we saw in the 2 Kings passage. A seared conscience is a terrible thing.
If you still feel conviction over your sin, great! Keep that feeling alive by remaining in a humble and penitent relationship with your Holy God. If you do not feel the same about sin as you used to, you must check yourself to see if you are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you don’t, you know the outcome. You will get eaten up- either by your neighbor because love has gone cold (Matthew 24:12) …or by satan, for the wages of sin is death.