Tag Archives: post-christian

The Upright and the Wicked

In Proverbs 10-18 we find the heading of the chapters identifying a continuing contrast between the righteous and the wicked. We could state this as the Lost and the Saved, but that wouldn’t hold true. I know believers that at times act like the lost and Lost acting more godly than believers. A better way might be the Worldly and the Godly. In our current culture, which has been identified as pro-Christian [I think it’s more pre-Christian again] the world is upside down. In almost every instance or life situation we find that there is a right and wrong that has been diluted – making people think that much of life [if not all] is full of gray areas. The moral, ethical, educational, gender, wealth, poor, social justice, marriage, divorce, abortion, right to bear arms and anything else we could talk about has become a battle field. In a bible study recently I asked the question is there right and wrong? Or do we really live in a gray area where every subject is up to the discretion of the individual? Solomon is very clear in distinguishing the practices of the wicked [worldly] and those of the Upright. Reading through these chapters an overarching theme is present – that of the mouth and lips. Over and over again Solomon relates the good or bad through the words echoed from the mouths of the person. It seems that Solomon is trying to make sure that we understand that what “comes out of a man” is what defiles him; indicating the condition of the heart.

I have found today’s cultural society is mind-blowing. I hear and see things that are both appalling and unbelievable. How depraved we are as people. I keep coming back to the verse in Judges 21:24 – “there was no King in the land, and every man did that which is right in his own eyes.”  Is it too late? Have we fallen into the abyss of wickedness everywhere, where there is no hope? Is this the last days? Are we to expect the imminent return of Jesus? All these questions come to me as a Pastor. Honestly, we are in the last days. Are we beyond hope? I would say no on an individual basis, but I cannot say that about the corruption of our nation, church and world.

There is the struggle with people and with me – do we become pessimistic or should we try to remain optimistic? When we read the Proverbs and the daily life scenarios presented – we have to keep in mind there is still choices to be made everyday by us. We can choose to love the Lord God and obey His precepts and Word, or we can reject Him and live for ourselves – knowing that judgement will be incurred.

Daily life is difficult when all things seem to be in order – Life becomes a daily battle of the Spirit and the Flesh when two worlds collide that of righteousness and wickedness. Wisdom and discernment is absolutely required to keep from falling into the wiles of the Wicked – i.e. Satanic forces.

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Reality of Righteousness

Psalms 11-15; David has an ongoing dilemma of living in the world but not being of the world. The struggle is watching the wicked prosper and even rejoice in living. Often I have even wanted to run away, but truly there is not a place to run except “in the cleft of the Rock!” Our hiding place is in the security of Jehovah. When I read about someone wanting to take refuge, it leads me to consider Elijah when he ran from Jezebel to the cave. The LORD asked him what he was doing there; Elijah replied with his excuses. God told him to get back into life. Now this does not mean we should not have times of rest and refuge; but we are not to run away from life either.

In Psalm 12, the first verse struck me right between the eyes! As a pastor and a person I ask the same question. Where are all the righteous? We do now live in a post-Christian world; more so lately our culture has been described as a Pre-Christian world. You may ask what is the difference? The difference is the influence of Christianity on culture. In a post-Christian world, there is rejection of the Gospel. People reject the message of the Bible. In Pre-Christian thinking; God is not even a topic of discussion or thought for people. In the Pre-Christian thought; God is not on the radar, people are not rejecting the Gospel, God and eternity are not on their minds.

Which is worse? Good question, both are difficult for the believer who desires to live godly. In one respect, they are discounted as foolish for believing in God [post-christian] and rejected as irrelevant or cultic for believing in God [Pre-Christian].

Back to David’s question – where are the righteous? We are currently being inundated with all the sexual abuse in Hollywood and politics. I find this to be a bit hypocritical – why now after in some cases of 20 yrs. past? In mankind these actions have been going on since time began. This is not to excuse the actions, but the world has always acted like the world – when it begins judging itself to make headlines, what is the objective?

David outlines for us the “actions” of the wicked – deceitful, boastful, prideful and even arrogant. This is the world we live in today.

In Psalm 13, the underlining question “How Long” – how long will God put up with the evil of mankind before He does something? This question is asked in Revelation 6:9-11 by the martyrs. One wonders how long before the end of the world, and the judgment of God happens? I have heard people say that if God doesn’t judge America, that He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.  I have learned that God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not mine – likewise His timing is not mine either. God desires that all should come to salvation – oh, that we would too!

In Psalm 14 – the famous verse the “fool has said in his heart there is no God.” David continues to lament the wicked that surrounds him. Verses 1b-3 are quoted in Romans 3:10 and following. The condition of man without Christ is a dead man, living by animal instincts. Why do we persist in expecting the world [lost] to live godly? Actually we want them to live morally not godly. Is there a difference? Absolutely! Psalm 15 recounts for us the expectations of God on the redeemed. Can it be that we are so concerned with everyone else that we fail to be who were profess to be? Sounds too much like the Pharisees to me. Three specific things David says are required: 1) walk with integrity 2) walk in works of righteousness and 3) speaks truth in his heart. We have a full-time job living our life – if we did maybe there would be a greater desire for the Lord on High. If we don’t like our world – let’s begin changing it by changing the way we serve and life for the LORD!

 

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