Volume 1: The Contrast between good and evil
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Based on what we learn in the “Our father prayer” we can have as much of the kingdom as we want. How much are you willing to sacrifice?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Don’t conform to this age or the pattern of this time. When we present our bodies a living sacrifice, we are set apart. It takes more effort to transform than to conform!
John chapter 15 explains how we renew, wash, and transform our mind by allowing God’s word to purge, cut and prune us into trees that bear fruit for the kingdom.
The will of God brings wholeness in your mind, body and soul. It brings these three into alignment. The enemy will always resist the will of God in our lives.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
There is a difference between good and evil. One may ask why God is good to those who are evil.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
God is kind to the thankful and unthankful. He allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. The goodness of God is what leads a man to repentance.
Matthew 5 and Luke 6 feature Jesus’ sermon on the mount. His teaching illustrates that we should live a life where heaven meets earth. We are called to live this way regardless of the culture around us.
Culture is Secondary and artificial but creation is primary and natural. What God has said is real and doesn’t change. Revelation 5:9 illustrates a vision of heaven where every tongue and nation are united as one. So something like racism would be culturally acceptable to some but is a counter-kingdom attitude. God created all people in His image, therefore, there is nothing natural about racism. We have to compare culture to creation.
- Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
- Revelation 7:9 – After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
The enemy has to change culture to try to satisfy people. The world will lie you. Cultural is fashion and changes but it is secondary to creation. There’s such a term called “silent migration” in which children advance a new culture because their parent’s culture no longer satisfies them. One who confirms to the culture will never be satisfied because only God can satisfied.
Because the culture we live in is counter-kingdom. We have to be sanctified.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word gives us many examples of things that are accepted in the world today that would cause us to not inherit the kingdom of God:
1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
There are old testament (Malachi 2:17 + Isaiah 5:20) and new testament (Romans 12:9,21) examples of God calling our attention to rightly discern good from evil and choose good.
- Malachi 2:17 – Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
- Isaiah 5:20 -Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
- Romans 12:9,21 -Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
This scripture reminds us not to let the world tempt us to do evil.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord , and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
Whatever God says about any topic, Satan will try to give an alternative. As culture shifts, politicians and laws shift. There is a pattern of government that caters to culture. It is a representative government. We, as the church, must be able to respond to both culture and government
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Are you ready to live by the Word of God no matter what culture says and no matter what government says?