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When I was growing up in West Texas cicada (pronounced si-ka'-da) “locusts” like the one pictured on the screen filled the giant elm trees at times. During the heat of the summer the shrill buzzing sound of their mating call filled the air. To this day anytime I get in dry, hot weather I remember that buzzing sound.

On the tree trunks we would find the empty shell of the living organism – a dead, dried out, fragile exoskeleton that retained the form of the locust. Life was gone. The locust itself was no longer in the exoskeleton. But there its lifeless claws held to the trunk of the tree. As kids we would pull the empty shell off the tree, drop it to the ground and listen to it pop as we crushed it with our feet.

In II Timothy 3 Paul talks about another lifeless form – those “…having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…” Follow with me as we read II Tim. 3:1-5.

Here is a powerful prophecy concerning spiritual conditions during the last days. What could cause a condition in which people are “…having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…”? There are a number of factors we could talk about – a persistence in sin, a love for the world, a neglect of the disciplines of the faith, a failure to abide in Christ – all these and more could contribute to such a decline.

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