When we’re faced with Paul’s list in 2 Timothy 3:1–8 of the sins of the times, we probably wonder what we should do. Here’s the fact: When we are confronted with these sins, we need an EKG that’s prescribed by God.
Examine our hearts. This means we need to do a spiritual check-up and ask ourselves, “Am I just in the form of faith or am I really in the faith?” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it” (The Message).
We are immersed in this society that lives in perilous times. When we don’t keep our hearts in check, they can become cold, cynical and, yes, even supporting of the lawlessness and junk that going on all around.
We can’t let our hearts turn cold to the things of God. We need to examine our hearts through the filter of His Word, His Will and His ways. We have to do this or we’ll be sucked into the what’s going on around us. Then, once we’ve done the checkup, if we find we’re in a form of faith, instead of in the faith, we need to do something about it. We need to get right with God.
Keep our hearts. Jude 1:21 says, “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” What do we need to do in the days in which we live? We need to keep ourselves steeped in God’s love. We need to look expectantly at heaven and not the things of this earth. We need to focus on receiving what God has to say about us—we have a future and a hope; We’re the apple of His eye; we are the bride of Christ; the favored ones. We need to hear God say those things and we need to receive those things in our hearts. We need to hear Him tell us that He’s not ashamed of us and that He loves us with an everlasting love.
Not only do we need to receive God’s love we need to give our love back to Him. When we see evil or when evil threatens us, we need to worship Him. Why? Because worship keeps our hearts soft and open to Him and His Word.
Guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. We need to pay attention to what we are allowing into our hearts. We need to be a gate keeper who guards our heart from what’s going on around us that doesn’t reflect our faith and our God.
Hebrews 3:12–13 says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Look at the words Paul is using: Beware, heart of unbelief, depart from the living God. He’s writing to believers and saying these things because it’s possible for Christians to be misled by the deceitfulness of sin. It’s all around us and it’s so easy to create our own thing apart from God. It’s so easy to redefine how we act and Paul says, “Christian, beware! Guard your heart!”
This is what we must do. When the temptation of the sins of the times comes at us (and they do), we need to do a godly EKG. We need to examine, keep and guard our hearts so we don’t look less and less like Jesus and more and more like the world.
How often do you do God’s EKG?