On Sunday, I wrote a post based on my first sermon of the year at a campground I preach at each year. It was called Rescued From This Present Evil Age. You can follow the link if you wish. This is a sequel of sorts to that one.
Christ has rescued us from the age we live in. The question that someone might ask is this: What do we need rescuing from. We can say our sins. That is what you find in Galatians from Sunday’s post. But there is another way to say it as well.
We need to be rescued from loving this present world.
Paul wrote his young friend Timothy two letters. Near the end of that second letter, Paul begins describing the state was in. Everyone had deserted him. One of them was named Demas. Demas had once been a loyal member of Paul’s roving band of missionaries. Something changed in Demas. He left for Thessalonica. Why? Because he loved this present world.
There doesn’t seem to be much difference to me in this present evil age and this present world. I think these are two ways of saying the same thing. Demas abandoned the ministry and his friends because he loved the world more than he loved Christ.
It would be easy to say that this was unique to Demas or people in his time. We would be wrong if we believed that. It could happen to us.
People swing in any one of two directions. They try to avoid this present world, this present evil age by totally avoiding it. The problem is that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they love the One who rescues us from this state.
Others swing in the opposite direction. They embrace the culture to the detriment of their relationship with Christ. Don’t dispute this. It has happened to all of us at one point or another.
The danger is that instead of loving Christ, we love the world, we love this present evil age instead.
Do you love this present world, this present evil age? Or do you love Christ?
Someone wrote Facebook status the other day. It said something like this: Sometimes an accident happens. Then it turns out good. Was it really an accident?
I could answer what I believe about that with one word, but then you might feel cheated by a short blog post and I want you to get your money’s worth.
Many years ago, as detailed in the book of Genesis, Joseph was thrown in a pit. Then he was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. From there, he ended up second-in-command of Egypt. His brothers, who sold him into slavery, came to him looking for food when there was a terrible drought.
Eventually, he revealed himself to them. The brothers were afraid that he would take revenge upon them. He eventually told them, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”
What perspective and maturity. What trust in the sovereignty of God.
How would Joseph answer the question I led with?
Yes, from our perspective, accidents happen. Events seem random. Oopsies occur.
From God’s perspective, randomness does not happen. He is not surprised. He is not caught off-guard. Nothing is an accident to Him.
I truly believe that everything that happens fits into the course God has decided will occur. Do I fully understand that? Absolutely not. Too many things happen that I do not understand. I simply trust. I trust He has the ending decided. Everything points to that. He has it all under control.
We may see an accident. Good may come out of it.
We may mean something for evil. God, somehow, means it for good.
Do you believe that “accidents” happen? Do you believe God is in control?
That may seem like a strange title to a blog post that deals with mostly Christian “stuff”. Most of us will answer, “Absolutely! I hate evil as much as anything.”
I would like to say that I hate evil. The problem is that I would probably being lying.
I think all of us would say that we hate Big Evil. You know what I mean, right? Murder. Slavery. Destruction. You know. Evil that disgusts us.
What about other evil?
Evil that is subtle.
Evil that sneaks into our lives.
Evil that seems fun or makes us laugh.
Evil that we justify.
Evil that, before long, seems to become a part of us and that we feel like we need.
That is the evil that I’m talking about.
Do you hate it?
King Saul didn’t think he was doing anything wrong when he didn’t follow God’s command to destroy everything when he conquered the Amalekites and let Agag live. He justified his actions. He made it ok. He thought he was doing God a favor.
What did Samuel do when he came upon the scene? He hacked Agag to death.
Do you hate evil enough to hack something to death?
Do you hate evil enough to radically remove something from your life?
Not because of legalistic reason.
Because you hate evil.
And you hate evil because you love the Lord.
Do you really hate evil?