Seek Good, Not Evil

sunset (2)

Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Amos 5:14 ESV

You who profess faith in Jesus Christ, who claim him as your Lord and Savior, but who do not honor him, submit to him, or walk in obedience to him, “Seek good, and not evil.” You who profess to worship God as your only God, but who are idolaters, self-indulgent, immoral, corrupt, and living for the lusts of the flesh and for self-pleasure, “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live.”

You who pretend righteousness so that others will think well of you, and/or as a cover-up for your sinful practices, but who are secretly sinning against God and against others behind closed doors, or where no one else can see, “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said” (as you have claimed he is).

You who believe you are in God’s good graces merely because you acknowledged Jesus Christ’s existence or sacrifice for our sins, or you said some words after someone else, or because you merely confessed him as Lord and acknowledged that he had risen from the dead, and so you were convinced you were saved and bound for heaven, don’t be smug, thinking you can keep on in your sinful practices and that God will do nothing.

You who live in the USA, who think you can’t be touched by tribulation, or by severe persecution, or who are under the false impression that we in America are the “good guys” of the world going around the world spreading peace and good will to all people, and so you think nothing bad will happen to us, don’t be fooled! Don’t be taken in by the lies.

We are under the judgment of God, as a nation, because of the atrocities our nation has committed throughout the world in the name of God and in the name of freedom and democracy.

For, our nation is morally corrupt from the top to the bottom. Lies and deception abound. And, the church in America, for the most part, has gone the way of the world and of big business, and they have turned God’s house into a marketplace, and they are unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and they are following after the teachings and the gospel of men instead of after the teachings of Jesus Christ and of his gospel.

Immersed in Culture

Although God has blessed this nation, in many ways, for many years, he has also disciplined and chastised her, too, in order to get her to repent of her wicked ways. But, she forgot the discipline soon after, and she returned to her wicked ways and to following after the desires of the flesh, rather than following after the ONE who created all of humankind.

The church across America, for the most part, has lost its saltiness and has hidden its light which is supposed to be the light of the world which she is to shine in the darkness so that all may see.

Instead of going out into the world with the gospel of our salvation, she has been convinced to become one with the world in order to “win the world,” but to what? Not to Christ! She has been convinced to immerse herself in today’s culture so that the world will feel at home with her and will feel accepted by her.

She forgot her calling, which is of God, and she has adopted the calls of the world, instead, and the teachings and the gospel of men in place of the teachings of the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, she is trying to reach the world for organized religion and to build kingdoms of men, and so she is following business marketing schemes instead of the Holy Spirit.

And she is silencing those who are preaching the true gospel while she is also convincing prospective “believers” that they don’t have to leave their sinful lifestyles behind to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands.

So, the Lord is warning of divine judgment (See Rev. 2-3), and he is calling his wayward church to repentance and to renewed walks of faith in him. But, he is saying that if they do not repent that judgment is most certain. For, God disciplines and he chastises those he loves, and he will chastise (judge) his adulterous, unfaithful, disobedient and covenant-breaking people. And, this is because they continually dishonor him and disobey him.

For, the vast majority of the church in America has bought into the cheap grace gospel message which says that we can continue in our sinful practices without guilt and without remorse and that we are still forgiven our sins and guaranteed heaven as our eternal destiny, which is a mockery of what Jesus did for us in dying on a cross so that we could die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness.

And, if we begin to feel guilty over our sinful practices, they say, if that is where we are, living in sin, all we have to do is just claim who we are in Christ to appease the guilt and to convince ourselves that God is smiling on us even when we are steeped in rebellion, idolatry, immorality and willful and defiant disobedience to his commands.

So, with this comes no commitment to our Lord to leave our lifestyles of sin behind us or to walk in obedience to his commands, and so God’s standards of conduct that he put in place for us to follow have been “thrown out the window,” so to speak, and instead they just console people in their sins.

Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Amos 5:15 ESV

But, we are to hate evil, and love good, not hate good and love evil, which is where many who profess the name of Jesus are living their lives.

For they are being taught that it is bad to repent of sin and walk in obedience to Christ’s commands, for they say that is works-based salvation and it is to be avoided. And, they are being told or led to believe that their sins don’t matter to God once they “believe,” and so they can go on living in sin while they reject the idea of walking in obedience to Christ and to his Word.

Yet, we are to do what is right in the eyes of God, not what is evil and/or what is right in the eyes of humans in their deceitful scheming.

For, God has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. He has called us to forsake our former lives of living for sin and self to follow our Lord in obedience to his will and to his ways. And, he has called us to now walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God and not according to our flesh, if we want to inherit eternal life with God and to be saved from our sins.

And, he will fill us with his Holy Spirit and pour out his spiritual blessings on our lives. Although we will go through trials which test our faith, and we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we will be at peace with God, and he will use us for his glory in bringing others to faith in Jesus Christ, too. But, that faith results in lives which die daily to sin and self and which daily submit to Christ as Lord and do what he says to do.

And, not only do we need to be living that, so that truly we can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but this is the message that we need to be giving out to others, too, so that they can know Christ and walk in freedom from bondage to sin.

For, if we want to have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God, then we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For, if we walk according to our flesh (in practice), then we will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sins and so be saved.

[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jn. 8:31-47; Rom. 11:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:24-25; Col. 1:21-23; Jas. 1:19-25; Jas. 4:7-10]

Shine On

By Ann Aschauer

So shine on through the darkness;
Be the salt and light for all your world.
Live for Jesus, ’til you see Him,
And your faith has its reward;
Shine on through the darkness;
Let His love shine through you all your days.
Go and win your generation for the Lord.

c Ann Aschauer 1990

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