Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Who Decides What Is Good? – God Does Not Us

Most Christians don’t struggle with those things that are blatantly “evil”, but with those that seem, on the surface, to be “good”.  Good as defined by our culture and our traditions.  There is a movement in our culture, in particular, to redefine the definition of “good” or what is not sin. Isaiah wrote …  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  - Isaiah 5:20 There is a consequence for that which will be paid in full.

Centuries later men continued to strive to be like God and define what is good and acceptable.  Paul wrote in the beginning of his letter to the Romans .. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. … they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools… They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. – Romans 18,20-22,28-32  

Jesus accused the Church of Ephesus  of being lukewarm in Revelation 2.  They wanted to do both.  Embrace God and embrace the world.  When there is a clash of definitions of good, God is very often abandoned in favor of the culture.  God is rejected and the culture is embraced.  Those Christians who do it feel justified. It is the temptation of “Everyone is doing it”, so it must be OK. It is a great temptation.  I can remember moms used to respond to their teenagers. The teenager would say, “But, mom, everybody is doing it!” and the mom would say, “If everybody jumped off of a bridge would you do it?”  The temptation to be like everyone else is strong in our old nature.    Before Jesus, everyone was going to hell … today without Jesus .. they are still going to hell … that does not make it good.  God is the source of what is good .. His Word tells us what is sin and what is not.  The thing is, God is not going to change. His Spirit convicts us of sin unless we quench the Spirit.  

Listen, the consequence of standing on Truth and the Word, in the face of what our culture says is right, will likely be that you are castigated and rejected. You want to be like Jesus don’t you? You know how the world treated Him. Or are you only interested in the “good” parts. 

 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. - John 15:18-27

We are in a spiritual battle that manifests itself in the way people live and believe.  My encouragement to you .. 
“Choose this day whom you will serve .. but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” - Joshua 24:15  

Make it more than a catch phrase or a plaque on your living room wall.  Make it a commitment … everyday … and more than that … do it!

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