The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV)
How do these demons lead people away from the faith? “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (4:2).
You can see why it is so important for Timothy to command certain people not to teach false doctrines. The work of demons is advanced through false teaching in the church!
Paul gives a specific example: “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods” (4:3). The world was saturated with sex and food. Not much has changed. We think our times are unique, but actually the world never changes.
In a culture saturated with sex and food, you can see how some people would say, “These things belong to the world. Since there is so much sin bound up with sex and food, we must be against that.”
“So,” they said, “the way to a godly life is by abstaining from these things: Have nothing to do with marriage or with fine foods. Pursue the simplest lifestyle possible. And in denying yourself pleasure, you will become more godly.”
But Paul says, “That is completely wrong! It is a false path to godliness. You can’t love God more by enjoying life less.” Godliness by abstaining from the pleasures of life simply doesn’t work. That’s the significance of the phrase “hypocritical liars” in verse 2.
The false teaching doesn’t promote godliness. Godliness by abstaining only promotes self-righteousness and hypocrisy. You can’t love God more by loving life less.
Have you ever tried to love God more by enjoying life less? What happened?