Replacing Bitter for Sweet, Evil for Good

I am sure many of you notice how what is good is now bad in the eyes of some and vice versa.  

We see this explained in Isaiah 5:20 — they call good evil, and bitter sweet. Other times it is because the world has taken something good and made it into something ugly. 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 them. Some just look at 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.)

Do not get me wrong, we 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 of us (Rom 16:17) in the church. 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.

God’s Promises

God has made promises or covenants with man. The rainbow can make us cringe now. It shouldn’t, (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, the 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.

Preaching is now a bad word somehow. Not just because believers are gun shy when it comes to so many so-called preachers. But 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. 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 warn them about one of their anointed. Some of the sheep have sharp teeth like the wolves, and go out and maliciously attack you, and keep others from wanting to fellowship with you (3 John 1:9-11). 

Fellowship in the body

Fellowship is not understood very well by some in the body. People wrong others, defriend or block others so quickly in anger or hurt (James 1:19-21). (It can certainly be appropriate in certain circumstances, but it should not for anger, hurt or fleshly differences that have nothing to do with doctrine or admonitions of reasons to separate).

Some talk about others publicly or behind the scenes, and people are sadly quick to believe the first side they hear (Proverbs 18:13). Gossip is very destructive in the body. When it comes to fellowship it also seems some are unwilling to talk to the person who they believe wronged them. Quick to anger, and 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 is the norm with some in the body.

Walking the walk

May we look at our walk/sanctification in all these matters, walking the walk, and bridling our tongue with His help (Phil 2:12-13 James 1:22-26). We can ask ourselves 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 be careful to get the beam out of our own eye before we attempt to move their mote or splinter (Matt 7:1-4). Apologize when necessary (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 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 and in doing so we might be more considerate hopefully.

Are these groups teaching Christianity?

Many groups calling itself after Christianity demands its way in the world. They join up with false prophets and teachers in doing so. Or they reek of lethal legalism and judge other’s conscience (1 Corinthians 10:27-32; Col 2:16-23; Rom 14). But those of us who are believers should show 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). 

Dear friends, I know how maddening it is to hear the wicked call evil good, but it is not likely others will hear the good news from you after your barrage of name calling a certain political candidate or mocking an amoral Hollywood star. (I 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 didn’t sin.

Call evil evil, but prayerfully try to keep sound speech that cannot be condemned while doing it.

God told me

Man says ‘God told me’ and some of us cringe. Because we’ve watched so many over the years say ‘God said’ and yet it doesn’t line up with His Word. So many aren’t afraid to claim, ‘this is from God’ and yet it very well may not be…

May we all tremble at His Word, revere it, and be noble to check to see if what they say is really what He has said (Isaiah 66:2; Acts 17:11).

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.

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. We realize the world will do that, but we are not judges to the world (1 Cor. 5:12-13). I didn’t see Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego picketing those who were bowing down to the statue. I saw them reported for not doing as the others were doing, and they answered letting the King know they would not do wrong, 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. We tend to forget it when we’re in the fiery trial (1 Peter 4:12-13).

Carnal or Worldly Christians

Yes John MacArthur, there IS such a thing in the Bible as Carnal Christians. Christians may be worldly (to their/our shame). Or they may be religious or legalist. Or maybe a compromiser, willing to look away or join up with other religions or false teachers. Sometimes they do this in the name of doing good, other times because maybe those false teachers have power, and there is safety in numbers. Some may be those false teachers themselves who look like sheep on the outside. Believers may feel uncomfortable speaking up, or don’t want to experience the feeling of being excoriated by the crowd yet again. Jezebel, nitpicky, holier-than-thou, obnoxious, always needing to be right, lawless, licentious, greasy gracer, whore of grace, (yes, all these names and more) etc. are names I’ve experienced (and likely many of you have too).

Some of these are carnal believers who are puffed up about following after someone (Paul, Apollos, or another ‘theologian’ or ‘prince of preachers), forgetting it is Christ who has died for them. Or possibly they are living a totally immoral lifestyle and not growing in Christ. So many novices out there who shouldn’t be teaching (1 Timothy 3:6-7). Yes, share the Word, but consider James 3:1. Yet others desire to be teachers of the law, not understanding what they are affirming.  See article here.

Tossed to and Fro by every wind of doctrine

Many of us have helplessly watched those blown about by every wind of doctrine. Each week it seems, they are caught up in some new doctrine they’ve been fooled by the trickery of men in deceitful scheming (Eph 4:14-15). It’s hard watching them build their walls with hay and stubble (1 Cor 3:11-15), refusing to hear or take instruction from the truth of His Word. Desperately needing to choose the good part (Luke 10:38-42), instead many of them choose to listen to (or worship) men — and errant men at that.

Don’t grow weary in doing good

Are you all tired yet? I am. Maybe you are just tired because you are struggling in your own life and need encouragement vs. someone biting your head off. May 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 going through hard times not just thinking of ourselves. 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.

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).

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.
    3 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.
        3 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.

  • Lester
    1 year ago

    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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