“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”
— Philippians 3:18, 19
During the Apostle Paul’s visits to Europe he had frequently warned the Philippians about those who were nothing more than deceivers. It is apparent that the problem in the assembly had greatly intensified for Paul writes, “I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping.” These men are labeled by the apostle as “the enemies of the Cross of Christ.” They may have appeared outwardly religious but in reality they were ungodly, self-seeking, arrogant, sensual men who were destitute of faith.
There are three indictments that are handed down against these workers of iniquity: First, in the order of enumeration is the statement, “whose end is destruction.” Surely this cannot be said of the saved. On the other hand the unsaved will experience everlasting destruction as foretold in II Thessalonians 1:7-9. Secondly, notice the object of their worship. Were they worshipping the true and living God? No! their god was their belly — sensuality, which produced the insatiable desire to satisfy the appetites of the flesh. Thirdly, we are told they set their affections solely on worldly things such as: philosophy, intellectualism, power, popularity, fortune, etc.
Little wonder Paul calls them enemies of the Cross, “they had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof.” These emissaries of Satan had no desire to understand the preaching of the Cross, whereby they could be justified from all things. Things haven’t changed very much, today these imposters brazenly substitute the gospel message with the doctrine of positive thinking, which has led many to a false sense of security in thinking that they are right with God. Sad to say, that even some believers have fallen under the spell of this insidious teaching. Sir Walter Scott said of those who are given to deception:
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive.”
Thankfully, even though the gospel is sometimes hindered, it continues to be the “power of God unto salvation.” Beware of the enemies of the Cross, they are among us even at this hour.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.