Doing Good

Neil Girrard
Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
2 Chr. 7:13-14 π Psa. 23:5 π Psa. 91:7 π Isa. 30:15 π Ezek. 14:13 π Ezek. 14:19-23 π Dan. 7:27 π Dan. 8:14 π Dan. 12:7 π Dan. 12:10 π Mt. 4:8-10 π Mt. 6:10 π Mt. 24:9 π Mt. 24:12; 2nd π Mt. 24:13 π Jn. 10:27 π Jn. 15:5 π Rom. 8:7 π 1 Cor. 2:8 π 2 Cor. 6:14 π 2 Cor. 12:7 π Gal. 5:22-23 π Eph. 2:10 π Phlp. 4:6-7 π Col. 2:15 π 2 Ths. 2:11-12 π 2 Tim. 2:3 π 2 Tim. 3:12 π 2 Tim. 4:6-8 π Tit. 3:14 π Heb. 4:9-11 π Jas. 4:6 π 2 Pet. 2:9 π 2 Pet. 3:10 π 1 Jn. 1:9 π 1 Jn. 3:8 π 1 Jn. 5:14-15 π 1 Jn. 5:19 π Rev. 6:8 π Rev. 11:15 π Rev. 13:7
Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Confess, Professhomologeo – [3670]

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke, 1729-1797) In the wake of this recent election – which is being hailed as either the greatest of triumphs or a death knell for this nation (depending mostly upon one’s political predispositions) - this saying is being tossed around as a rallying cry in both camps.

One of John Wesley’s mottos was, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” (His Rule)

And there is a bumper sticker out there that says something like, “Jesus is coming back – look busy!”

The cry for good deeds is all well and good. (see Tit. 3:14 for example) But what is most often overlooked is the fact that evil already rules the kingdoms of this world – and our nation is, when all is said and done, nothing more and nothing less than just another kingdom of this world. “The whole world lies under the sway of the evil one.” ( 1 Jn. 5:19 ) Jesus did not dispute the devil’s ownership of the kingdoms of this world. ( Mt. 4:8-10 ) And it is not until the time of the end that we read of the ownership of the kingdoms of this world being transferred to Christ Jesus. ( Dan. 7:27 ) What is even “worse” news for the true follower of Christ is that soon “you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” ( Mt. 24:9 ) and there will arise a world-wide government that will “make war with the saints and…overcome them.” ( Rev. 13:7 ) Those who think that good men should be actively seeking to control the governments of this world are fighting a losing battle and may indeed even be fighting against the ultimate will and purpose of God. The evil that God has already destroyed and rendered impotent at the cross but that still operates in this world will not be overcome by political or governmental actions. Jesus still says, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” ( Jn. 15:5 ) Actions taken apart from Christ and God but which we deem good is the lawlessness (doing what is right in one’s own eyes) that abounds. ( Mt. 24:12; top )

There are two overarching elements at work in the end times – first, the destruction of the works and dominion of Satan ( 1 Jn. 3:8 , Rev. 11:15 ) and second, the purification of God’s people. ( Dan. 8:14 , 12:7 , 10 , Mt. 24:13 ) It is easy for these two streams to be merged in our understanding because the work of Satan is ultimately both a tool in the hand of God for our purification ( 2 Cor. 12:7 ) and an instrument of God’s judgment against His people and the world. ( 2 Ths. 2:11-12; top )

God’s remedy to avert His judgment as well as to truly overcome evil is the same as it was long ago:

“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” ( 2 Chr. 7:13-14; top )

This is a complex promise and the oversimplifications many have made in trying to claim this promise abound.

First, we need to look at all the requirements God places on His people:

Unfortunately, even though many “Christians” like to claim this promise, it is not available to them because they both refuse to do what God has commanded and they persist in doing what He has forbidden or what He despises.

Second, we need to understand exactly what God is promising that He will do:

Sadly, for the vast majority of people who claim to follow Christ, God cannot and will not honor this promise because the conditions upon which He will act have not been obeyed.

It is too late and too much to ask God to bless our nation. Too many people who claim to follow Christ and God are persistently spiritually unfaithful to Him. God warned Ezekiel what a land that was persistently unfaithful could expect. ( Ezek. 14:13 ) and says:

“If I send [My judgment] into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were ion it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD: ‘they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.’ For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem – the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence – to cut off man and beast from it? Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, indeed all that I have brought upon it. And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it;’ says the Lord GOD.” ( Ezek. 14:19-23; top )

The primary application of this word of the Lord is to Jerusalem but those who might think this the only application should note that these four judgments are the very same judgments unleashed when the Lamb opens the fourth seal. ( Rev. 6:8; top )

Rampant busy-ness is not the answer. God rebuked the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ But you would not…” ( Isa. 30:15 ) The writer of Hebrews instructs us, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” ( Heb. 4:9-11; top )

Jesus is going to return soon and He will set everything right. Looking busy and even being busy at all the things we think will help ease the world’s problems isn’t going to fool Jesus. He knows whether or not our works are the good deeds which God prepared beforehand for us to accomplish. ( Eph. 2:10 ) All the efforts to preserve the environment is going to prove useless since God has promised that much of it is going to be devastated and even ultimately replaced. (Rev. 8, 2 Pet. 3:10; top ) All the efforts to save animals is also going to prove hypocritical and even foolish in the face of the murder of millions of unborn babies that goes on unabated and virtually unchallenged.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for people who claim to belong to Christ to do anything apart from a genuine unity with Christ. Evil triumphs, for example, when good men secure some governmental control over a given area which their successors will use to cause trouble and oppression for others. The philosophy of this nation requires men to control themselves – when that lynch pin is removed, and morality degenerates into lawlessness and wickedness, all the governmental controls which good men have previously instituted will become the very means by which evil men triumph in their day. Only those works which were truly instigated and orchestrated by Christ and His Spirit will remain.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for God to give His permission for such a thing to happen. In the end, however, all will see that God has done nothing without just and due cause throughout every aspect of human history. And, when we no longer see in part, we will see that every occasion of evil’s apparent triumph has really been their ultimate defeat. The cross stands as the ultimate example. ( 1 Cor. 2:8 , Col. 2:15; top ) Evil has already been defeated there – any act of ours that isn’t associated with His cross is only going to prove to be yet another real triumph for evil.

Let he who has ears hear.

I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!

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