For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18–19, NRSV)

I fully believe — though I’m humble enough to say that I could be wrong — that Paul is referring here to people in the church who think they are following Jesus, but they have actually become his enemies. They have drifted into a state of affairs that causes them to work against him instead of for him.

  • They have lost focus on what is important.
  • They focus on what is actually shameful.
  • They care more about themselves than about Christ’s body.
  • They are headed toward death rather than life.

I can see these people in every church I’ve been part of. They are upset by practices they don’t prefer. They complain about everything in the church. They couldn’t care less about church unity.

Their end is destruction.

I add my tears to those of the apostle.