Replacing Bitter for Sweet, Evil for Good

I am sure many of you notice how these days what is good is now bad in the eyes of some, and vice versa. We see this prophesied as a warning in Isaiah 5:20 — they call good evil, and bitter sweet. The world has taken something good and made it into something ugly, and what is evil, they declare to be good. Or those (like Calvinists, loadshippers, Arminians) who claim the name of Christ, yet their doctrine has maligned His name. Somehow we’re grouped in with those like the Westboro Baptists or the Steven Anderson’s of this world and think this is how Christian’s think and behave. What a shame.

(As with any of my articles, I have linked the Bible verses to a service so you can look them up. Please do, and/or save them to look up in a literal translation. What God’s Word says is more important than any of my opinions.)

Believers are are to expose the unfruitful deeds of darkness and we’re not to join in with them (Eph 5:11). We are to call evil what it is (Is 5:20). We are to mark and avoid the false — all believers should (Rom 16:17). We do not judge the world, but we still call evil what it is. We need to pray for the wisdom of Daniel or Solomon when we speak and remember Colossians 4:5-6. And we need to remember leaven, and not compromise and allow it into the body of Christ.

God’s Promises

God has made promises or covenants with man. The rainbow can make us cringe now because the world has tried to appropriate it to symbolize their choices. It shouldn’t make us feel that way, (as it is God’s promise to man), but any time I see the man-made rainbow overlaid on something, I see the counterfeit instead of His covenant (Genesis 9:12-16). Likewise, God’s promise of the free gift of eternal life is somehow repugnant to those religious people, who feel they have to earn it or keep it by their works. (And love to accuse others of not being saved).

Preaching is now a bad word somehow (good is evil). Not just because believers are gun shy when it comes to so many so-called preachers. Sometimes it’s because certain believers just don’t want to be told what to do by another. They feel they are too ‘spiritually mature’ to learn from another or be deceived by false teachings. Pride and rebellion seem to be running rampant these days. And a lack of the hearing of God’s Word (Amos 8:11). We are rich in this land for the hearing of men’s ‘scholarly’ words and sayings by puffed up people (1 Cor 4:6). Heaven forbid you should question them about one of their anointed. Some of the sheep have sharp teeth like the wolves, and will go out and maliciously attack you, and keep others from wanting to fellowship with you (3 John 1:9-11). At other times it is because the world itself is more rebellious and antagonistic towards God (1 Tim 4:1-5).  

Fellowship in the body

Fellowship doesn’t seem to be understood very well by some in the body. People wrong others, defriend or block others so quickly in anger or hurt, even misunderstanding (James 1:19-21). It can certainly be appropriate in certain circumstances, but it should not for anger, hurt or fleshly differences. Wait and pray and be sure your choice is about false doctrine or Biblical admonitions of reasons to separate from some in the church (1 Cor 5:9-11; 2 Thess 3:6-7,14).

Some talk about others publicly or behind the scenes, or even simply make innuendoes that people can readily pick up on. And people are sadly quick to believe the first side they hear (Proverbs 18:13). That type of behavior is very destructive in the body. I remember many times someone coming to me to tell me another person had messaged them to disparage me. Those the brave ones to speak up. Who knows about the rest? He does…

When it comes to fellowship it also seems some are unwilling to talk to the person who they believe wronged them, or they see only their point of view and can be self-centered in that respect. Some are quick to anger, and have an unwillingingness to hear (James 1:19-20). Some would rather ignore it and hope it just goes away. Other times we just don’t know quite what to do about it –relationships with others in the body in these last days are thin. Gossip and jealousy are the norm with some in the body, yet we still want to recover them, pray for them, yet rebuke them for the wrong doing, for their sake as well as His body.

Walking the walk

May we look at our own walk/sanctification in all these matters. Are we walking the walk, and bridling our tongue with His help (Phil 2:12-13 James 1:22-26)? Or could be the ones who only consider our own viewpoint? We can ask ourselves (and the Lord) how we could have spoken/reacted differently. Did we speak in the Spirit, or in the flesh, thereby offending another (1 Cor 10:31-32)? May we all be careful to get the beam out of our own eye before we attempt to move their mote or splinter (Matt 7:1-4). Prayerfully consider apologizing when necessary, and try to do it without a ‘but’ in the apology.

We should pray we do our best to restore those we can in a spirit of gentleness. If we are even the people who should do it, maybe another is more qualified. If we think we are something, we might find out differently (Gal 6:1-3; Phil 4:5). Not always easy to do humble ourselves to another, but it is what our dear humble Savior asks of us (1 Pet 5:5-7). 

We need each other (Proverbs 13:20). The body is already beat up by the god of this age, our accuser (Rev 12:10; Rev 3:7-10; 2 Cor 4). So we need to each put each other in someone else’s shoes the best we possibly can, and in doing so we might be more considerate hopefully. 

Lastly, sometimes there is just a Barnabas and Paul moment, where we can’t quite work it out to continue walking together. We made need to separate, but please try to do so without harming the other person.

Are these groups teaching Christianity?

Many groups identifying themselves as Christianity demands their way in the world. I am not speaking against standing up for what is right. But I am speaking of joining up with false prophets and teachers in the name of Christ. Or, they reek of lethal legalism, and judge other’s conscience and even their salvation (1 Corinthians 10:27-32; Col 2:16-23; Rom 14). Or they forget we do not judge the world.

But those of us who are believers, who are trying to do it His way, should demonstrate wisdom, and speak God’s truth in love, (Colossians 4:5-6), desiring the outcome God does — that none should perish (1 Tim 2:1-6; 2 Pet 3:9). 

Calling Evil Good

Dear friends, I know how maddening it is to hear the wicked call evil good or good evil. Consider this though; it is not likely others will hear the good news from you after your barrage of name calling or mocking (i.e. a certain political candidate or mocking an amoral Hollywood star). I too have wanted them to move to Canada or anywhere else too 🙂 . But seriously, just think on the wisdom of Daniel in his answers to very wicked men. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were firm in their response, but they didn’t sin in it. Here is more on more Bible Heroes. We can all work on that department.

It’s good to call evil evil, but prayerfully try to keep sound speech that cannot be condemned while doing it.

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 7:9-10

Religion and the world

Religion is ‘in’, even in Hollywood. Lately I’m noticing the usage of the phrase ‘repent from sin’. I have seen it several times recently both in news and in t.v. They have no problem with the phrase because it is their work they can be puffed up about. Hollywood doesn’t mind the word repent, because their definition is about religion vs. the true meaning of repent. This too is evil.

How God created us is something to be denied now. We are not a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ but whatever the tide brings in for the New Year. What God expects for our lives is also to be resisted by them. We realize the world will do that, but we are not judges to the world (1 Cor. 5:12-13). Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not bow down to the statue. They stood firm. They reported them not worshiping a false god, and they were courageous and refused to do wrong. They said what inspired those in the war in Dunkirk and were encapsulated in 3 words, ‘BUT IF NOT’. They told the King they would not bow, and if God wanted to deliver them He was able to do so. Oh, if only we could be more like them in their faith. He is standing by us in the fire (Dan 3:16-30). We tend to forget it when we’re in the fiery trial (1 Peter 4:12-13).

Don’t grow weary in doing good

Are you all tired yet? I am weary. Maybe you are just tired because you are struggling in your own life and need encouragement vs. someone biting your head off. Don’t tire of doing good, instead I pray the Lord comfort you and encourage you. I pray He may bring you some to hold up your arms in the battle who will place the Rock underneath your arm (Ex 17:9-12). Some to pray for you, and love on you. Conversely, may we all consider those who are (or may be unbeknowst to us) going through hard times. Be patient, gentle, meek in any instruction (2 Tim 2:24-26; Phil 4:5). And always think of the big picture as we deal with those who may test our patience. Pray for all men (1 Tim 2:1-6; 1 Tim 6:11). Maybe they are going through an illness or a very hard time (Rom 12:15). Be compassionate and try (with His help) to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you are led by Him. If you are not doing well at it, confess it to Him and ask for His help.

I hope something here that was said may have helped someone. But if you spend sometime just reading the Scriptures referenced, it would do far more than I ever could.

We can’t weary in well doing (Gal 6:9). We need to stir each other up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:23-25). Encourage each other, and build each other up by the Word of His grace (Acts 20:25-32). Warn about and stay away from the wolves. Kindly warn those who are unruly or don’t want to obey the truth. Make sure the beam from your own eye is removed first. (Hard to want to speak at all when you think on that). Get revived and strengthened in His Word (Psalm 119:25-28). Choose the good part. Our feet are getting awfully dirty in this filthy world we live in (Luke 10:38-42). May we wash each other’s feet (John 13:3-17) and show Jesus love by feeding/tending His Sheep as hard as it may be (John 21:15-17). With His help, try to shine a light for those in the darkness to see (Matt 5:16; Proverbs 4:18-19).

Dear friends: This is written to me as much, if not more, than any of you.

Love in Christ to you all.

5 Responses to “Replacing Bitter for Sweet, Evil for Good

  • Kathy F.
    5 years ago

    Excellent reminder. Thank you!

    • Kathy, thanks. I am thinking to edit in the importance of exposing the unfruitful deeds of darkness to the light. Some misunderstand and think I do not think we should speak of evil being evil. We are living in very dark times, so important to not let it darken any parts of our life more than it already does.

      • Kathy F.
        5 years ago

        Yes, that would be great! I find myself staying silent when I know I should speak up. I would love to see that edit added in.

  • but isn’t Steven Anderson also teaches Free Grace. His hateful statemenst against jews and gays are wrong but at least he is right on how to be saved.

    • Hi Lester. Thanks for the question. It may be so, I don’t listen to him because the Bible is pretty clear on avoiding and not keeping company with railers (1 Cor 5). So I’m not ‘sure’ if he’s right or not, because I wouldn’t listen past that point anymore. Nor would I listen to a person who is double-inspiration regarding Scriptures. Only using KJV is fine, but saying it is inspired and over the Greek and Hebrew texts is not o.k. for me.

      In Christ, thank you for commenting, God bless your weekend.

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