Your heart is a liar
Continuing in 1 Timothy, there was an interesting question that came up at Bible study. Primarily because of 1 Timothy 4:2 KJV "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" A seared conscience can be a terrible thing to have. But what does it really mean?
The word itself basically is two words. "Con = with" and "science = knowledge". Our conscience is the little light that God has implanted into our hearts to tell us right from wrong; that feeling in your gut that helps to steer you in the right direction. On a greater scale, it is the thing that will keep us all accountable for all of our actions and thoughts on judgment day. We were all built to have a natural distinction between right and wrong.
That leads us to the next obvious question. What happens if we sear it with a hot iron? If we try to put our own branding on it? The natural weakness of all men and women is the same - iniquity. You could easily replace the word iniquity with the word rebellion just about anywhere in the Bible. We are born of flesh and naturally want to feed the flesh. Our conscience often gets in the way; the quiet whisper that tells you what you're doing is wrong.
To actually sear your conscience is an attempt to control it. Putting your conscience into captivity is an act against God. Rebellion perfectly illustrates this. People with seared consciences are not concerned with what God wants. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" The conscience is our God-given ally to counteract our natural tendency to be deceitful. It's really the last line of defense of any lustful desire of the heart. Be careful and listen to your conscience, not your heart.