“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” –Titus 2:12
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 59:1-8
The Bible says that we all have sinned and come short of the grace of God. no matter how gratifying, when sin is finished, it brings forth death. Yet, there are certain sins that are more vile than others, both in showing the condition of the sinner and its effect on others. The same seems to be true about the readiness and willingness of some to do evil.
Again certain notable Bible examples come to mind. Kings Ahab and Manasseh seem to head the list in both the quality and quantity of evil that they exercised, whereas Jeroboam was noted for institutionalizing idolatry in Israel after the kingdom divided. God hates a readiness and an ingenuity to do evil. Part of the reason may be that it has such a broad effect on other people, either in causing them to follow in such evil ways or in victimizing them.
Today we can think of the Mafia and terrorists as fitting into the category of swiftness to do evil. The Mafia spreads its tentacles into all sorts of legitimate businesses, causing fear and maybe death, while also fostering all sorts of immoral practices for their own gain. Yet, many put on a charitable front and attend church regularly. Terrorists are devising new methods of terror each day with innocent people as their victims. They spout a “righteous” cause but their only product is destruction.
All over the world there are people whose lives are geared toward evil. Some are the criminal element that live by doing evil and are always involved in some kind of wild living. However, all these people will soon harvest bitter fruit from the seeds they are sowing.
Jesus provides a way out of this vicious cycle of living. As God received King Manasseh when he repented of evil, He will hear our prayer of repentance that we may have a new life in Christ (See Romans 6:8).
- What was Ahab noted for? I Kings 21:20. What does “sold” mean here?
- Before the flood, what was the condition on earth? Genesis 6:11-13. How does that compare to our current time?
- After the flood, who was largely responsible for reinstituting idolatry? Genesis 10:8-10. What does “before the Lord” mean here? I Samuel 15:22-23; Genesis 6:11.
- What may be another cause of rampant wickedness? Psalm 14:1.
- Consider God’s indictment against mankind. Romans 3:9-18. Are there any racial or ethnic boundaries to this type of activity?
- What judgment will come to these people? II Peter 2:9-22. Were some backsliders?
- What provision did God make to change individuals? Romans 3:23-26; Romans 8:1-2.
- Why is this necessary? Romans 8:5-8; I Corinthians 2:10-16.
- Why did King Manasseh need forgiveness for his deeds, and what caused him to repent? II Chronicles 33:6, 11-19.
- Compare God’s instructions to us with what often goes on in the world. Romans 13:7-10; I Thessalonians 4:11-12; I Thessalonians 5:14-15; Titus 2:11-15.
Nearness to evildoing or evil speaking can have a serious negative impact upon a Christian’s life. By nurturing close relationships with worldly people, we can be opening our minds to their bad attitudes and vain philosophies. Who was the man who once said, “If you stand next to garbage, after awhile you won’t be able to smell it?” he was right! But, we can add to it: “If you continue to stand by the garbage, you will begin to smell like it does.” Ultimately, if we don’t move away from the garbage, we will become the garbage! This is the desensitizing effect of evil.