Posts Tagged ‘wicked’

(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– God is angry with the wicked every day. – Psalm 7:11

– This is your wickedness.  Because it is bitter – because it reaches unto your heart. – Jeremiah 4:18

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just wipe out wickedness in the world once and for all?  Wouldn’t our lives then be no trouble at all, and evil would never befall us again?  There would finally be the world peace pursued by so many prophets, poets, and politicians alike – for so long?  However, if it were all so easy, wouldn’t our human intelligence and inventions have eliminated evil by now?

If you’re reading this right now, you may already be asking yourself questions about the lead verse. Maybe one such as: “If Christ is the Prince of Peace, then where is the peace (Isaiah 9:6)?”  Perhaps the query is, “Why do bad things always seem to happen to good people (Isaiah 57:1, Daniel 9:5-14, Mark 10:18)?”  Or, “If He is angry with the wicked daily, why isn’t He doing anything about them?”

Well, He is.  However, our Father handles wickedness from heaven with long-suffering, and the mercy He abounds and delights in every morning we are able to wake up (Exodus 34:6, Lamentations 3:22-23, Micah 7:18, 2 Peter 3:9),  How often does man deal with evil the same way, with such patience and much pardoning?  How often do we want someone to get what we think they deserve?

God is always ready to pardon, if we return to Him when we err and go astray.  Our Father is gracious and merciful – being slow to anger and of great kindness (Nehemiah 9:17).  It means every evil work or wicked act is not going to be met with heavenly discipline.  If God did punish us each time we messed up, who among us would be able to stand the pain for very long (Ezra 9:13, Hebrews 2:2-3)?

Still, some just can’t stand letting others get away with the evil God seems to permit freely.  They can have attitudes of  “I have to do something about this matter here on earth – because it does not seem to matter very much in heaven.”  Many movie and TV show story lines these days seem to be centered on characters seeking vengeance.  This is never wise with God (Hebrews 10:30-31).

However, maybe this is you.  Have you ever thought, “Where is this loving God I hear about?  Where is this God of justice?  Everyone who does evil is good in His sight – why He even seems to delight in such people sometimes.”  Or, “God’s law is slack and His judgement never goes forth.  The wicked surround the righteous – therefore, wrong judgement has to be proceeding from heaven.  I must fix it.”

There is never anything new to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Some felt like this in Biblical times (Malachi 2:17, Habakkuk 1:4).  However, projecting the wickedness problem on others is not the solution.  It is easier – for it keeps us from pointing the finger of fault at our hearts.  But – God did not fashion them to be wonderful.  If He had made perfect hearts, He never would have had to sacrifice Christ.

Our hearts were designed to be desperately wicked and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).  So we would not foolishly trust them (Proverbs 28:26). So we could not pave our own path to heaven – proclaiming our own goodness or innocence as the way to get there (Proverbs 20:6, Jeremiah 2:35).  So we would have to get there how God designed before this world began (Titus 1:2).

Next Sunday:  Why the road to heaven is narrow (Matthew 7:14), why the righteous scarcely get saved (1 Peter 4:18), and where we can err and go off course so many times along the way – even as Christians.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. – Hebrews 3:14

– Since you know this beforehand, beware – lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked. – 2 Peter 3:17

A generation or so ago (and before), the term “going steady” was often used in reference to two people – often high-school teenagers – who were seeing each other exclusively.  It is a term seldom heard in this regard anymore.  When two people get together these days, everything seems to be centered around having a “relationship”.  It has become a major milestone and part of many people’s lives.

When any relationship reaches official status, it is often shared on social media sites.  It is somehow a sign of “arrival” in life.  Yet some people have such strong desires to enter these relationships, they board the boat without really knowing where they want to go.  Still, they set sail.  Then, as soon as their ship hits rough seas, how often do we hear, “I wish I knew where this relationship is heading?”

So, maybe we should go back to saying “going steady” – and not just for earthly reasons.  Why? Because this world’s current message about many matters seems to be mixing in more and more with the Word’s.  The word “relationship” doesn’t appear in Scripture.  But – much of the talk coming out of the church today seems to be about how one can establish or improve their relationship with Christ.

Still, if we board any ship – physical or spiritual – and we don’t know where we’re going from the start; we are in big trouble before ever leaving port.  Without any set, steady, and straight course to follow out on the water – we’re going to get carried wherever the wayward winds and waves take us (Ephesians 4:14). Depending on their strength, we might move a little or a lot – but one storm can sink us.

Without a destination, drifting begins.  This principle applies to all ships, even if they are figurative in nature.  In the world, we have relationships and partnerships.  In the Word, we have discipleship, fellowship, and worship.  When we drift in any ship, our compasses will steadily spin, for we have no true course to follow.  To and fro we go.  When waters are calm, everything may seem fine; until …

We are not to be carried about with many and strange doctrines (Hebrews 13:9).  However, we are very likely to keep changing our courses if our ships don’t have a set one to start with.  We are apt to go after a doctrine which sounds favorable to us one day – then a different one the next (2 Timothy 4:3-4). However, Seneca once said, “If a man doesn’t know to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”

Steadfast means having unwavering belief.  It is being devoted and true … faithful.  It is traveling along a straight course – smoothly sailing forward.  It is being even-keeled.  Steadily heading towards a predetermined destination, regardless of what life may be throwing at the boat.  On board any Christian ship – our final destination is salvation – but we’re still sailing out upon this world’s often rough waters.

If a storm hits, our spiritual ships keep moving ahead with steadfast faith, because we have God as a guide all the way to our destination of death – and our hopeful deliverance from it (Job 30:23, Psalm 48:14, 2 Corinthians 2:9-10, Hebrews 9:27).  But – Satan does not want anyone to get to salvation’s shore. The devil will try to devour anyone – even the most steadfast and faithful Christians (1 Peter 5:8-9).

As Moses led his people towards the Promised Land, many got tired of the trip.  Despite His protection and provision, their spirits were no longer steadfast with Him.  They no longer believed in God, or trusted His salvation (Psalm 78:8, 14-15, 23-29).  They flattered God with lying tongues – but their hearts were no longer right with Him; nor were they steadfast in His covenant (Psalm 78:36-37).

Salvation is a hope – a Promised Land no one has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25).  This hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of our souls – at all times (Hebrews 6:19).  We are to stay on an even-keel course, unaffected by all the mixed and misguided messages and lies of this world; always abounding in the work of the Lord.  Steadfast of our faith in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 2:4-5).

This is all of grave concern to us if we ever believe we’re already saved before dying.  If we ever buy into this message, then why would we need God anymore as our guide all the way to death (Psalm 48:14)?  Why would we need Jesus Christ as the Shepherd and Bishop of our soul anymore (1 Peter 2:25)?  We’ve already told God we have dropped anchor and moored ourself on salvation’s shore.

What ship would we have to board again?  To where? What would we do with our time – in the meantime – while waiting for Christ to come back with salvation (Revelation 12:10)?  What would be the purpose for any further relationship with Jesus, if we’ve already been saved?  What steadfastness would we be in danger of falling from, if we have already reached our final destination (Matthew 24:13)?

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(Scripture from the KJV)

– My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change. For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? – Proverbs 24:21-22

– “I really don’t know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild. A million dead-end streets. Every time I thought I’d got it made – it seemed the taste was not so sweet.” – David Bowie (“Changes”)

Why do so many seem to always go about continually trying to change their ways (Jeremiah 2:36)? Almost all of us are bombarded daily with commercial pitches and products – promising “to change our lives.”. This can be very easy to do if we don’t like ourselves much – or it seems that others don’t like us very much – and it can be a very expensive endeavor if we keep buying into it each time. The only true and lasting change there ever can be in life comes from above and within. It is through the might of the Holy Spirit in the inner man – Jesus Christ dwelling in hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17).

This inner change cannot be done by without help from God. We can’t just wish and hope that it will happen. We have no root in ourselves – without our Father we can do nothing (Mark 4:17, John 15:5, Acts 17:28). Through praying in the Holy Spirit – God has to get to work on our desperately wicked and deceitful hearts – full of presumptuous and secret sins – cleansing us from all unrighteousness (Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 19:13, Psalm 90:8, Romans 8:26, 1 John 1:9). This is called repentance. It is changing our hearts. However, it is not merely turning away from sin – but turning to God for His help in doing it (Psalm 79:9). Repentance is a continual, day-by-day renewal of the inner man – while our outer man perishes (2 Corinthians 4:16).

It is allowing Christ – not worldly commercials – to transform our minds (Romans 12:2). As long as we live – this process cannot stop. Who among us can ever say “I have made my heart clean – I am pure from sin (Proverbs 20:9)?” As believers, the second we hit the cruise control button on inner change, our cunning and deceitful adversary – the devil – will waltz right in (1 Corinthians 10:21, 1 Peter 5:8). Without repentance – we will perish (Luke 13:3,5). This process is over when we take our last breath. That’s when the final change takes place – when Christ changes our vile bodies – that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. According to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:23).

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WORKS IN PROGRESS: (Scripture from the KJV)

– That the man of God be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:17

– But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. – Jude 20

As Billy Graham’s late wife Ruth once alluded to, we are all works in progress as believers – we are all under construction (Philippians 1:6). However, God has to be in our hearts – through the Holy Ghost – to clean out all the weeds and tares from our past. All the things like guilt and bitterness that block what He is trying to build in us – namely faith in the Word and Him – not the world and man.  So we can do His will and work – not our own.

This is why just “trying harder” to be a better Christian without His internal help within our wicked and deceitful hearts – those which only He can understand and search (Jeremiah 17:9-10) – can lead to much discouragement, frustration, and confusion as a believer. None of which God is the author of (1 Corinthians 14:33).  That’s because we can often attempt to improve ourselves as believers from the “outside in” – with natural, external, and fleshly means – and our flesh is weak (1 Matthew 26:41, 1 Corinthians 2:14).

Our inner man – our minds and hearts – must be transformed and renewed continually. Becoming and being a Christian is a process, not a proclamation (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16). However, we can’t do it alone or through other Christians.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit within us can we make progress and grow the way God desires (Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Timothy 2:21, 2 Timothy 3:17, 1 Peter 1:22).


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