In the latter times–spoken of as the end of this age–it is prophesied that people will give themselves over “to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Paul further warns in verse 2 that the consequences of this way of thinking would lead many to “having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”
For those who are being called into the true pattern of living which is based on God’s laws, Paul taught the following: “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19).
In the very next verses we find this powerful reminder for all Christians in all generations: “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:20-21).
Is our conscience “seared,” and are we “past feeling”?
If we are not ever-mindful and if we don’t stay close to God, it is far easier to fall into step with this world. However, Christians are to be different. Our difference is summed up in the example left for us by Jesus. Philippians 2:5 states: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Even though He faced rejection and violent hatred, Jesus was filled with compassion for the multitudes (compare Mark 8:2). His reaction to His enemies who were in the act of putting Him to death is recorded in Luke 23:34: “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ “
David speaks of God in this way: “But You, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15). James tells us, “[T]he Lord is compassionate and merciful” (English Standard Version, 2002).
So, those of us who either are already begotten children of God, or whom God has called to become His begotten children, should be tender hearted, filled with compassion, forgiveness and eager to let the light of godly love emanate from us! Let each of us who understand these things go beyond just knowing what is true, and let us be moved to actually live in this way.
Let us remember the inspiring words of Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
It may be good advice to really concentrate on handling everything with compassion and in a tender hearted way. All of us need to think about what we do before we do it, and then do it in a way that is pleasing to God.