“You Meant it for Evil, But….”

Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

These words of course were spoken by Joseph to his brothers who had abused him so terribly. The brothers – a very rare case – came to him in what appears to be genuine repentance. But even if they had not, this particular part of Joseph’s words to them would apply. “You meant it for evil…but God meant it for good.”

I think that at least at the other end of abuse, especially when we have been enabled to get out of the abuser’s evil control, and we look back, we can see this. I was reviled by many “fine Christians” down through the years and what they did (NONE of them have ever repented) they will give account for to God. But I also know that in these years of misery I was in school. I suppose we can also think of Moses out there for 40 years in the desert thinking that his usefulness for the Lord was done and kaput! In fact, it was just beginning!

Evil people are evil. God’s wrath is upon them. But He uses them in our lives to wake us up to evil and its tactics so that we can expose it and help others and continue to stay free of it ourselves. “Thanks,” abusers. Your evil has turned to my good.

An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 13)

2 Kings 6:15-17 ESV  When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  (16)  He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  (17)  Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

What if the Lord opened our eyes as He did those of this young man? That is, what if we could see people and events as they really are? The Apostle John exhorts us to “test the spirits” because many false prophets are around us claiming to speak for the Lord. We are to compare what they are saying and doing with the light of God’s Word. But what if we could literally see people for who they really are? I suspect this is going to happen when Christ comes again and judges the world. We will see who people really are. I mean, even their appearance will cease to be deceptive to our eyes. What will they look like? I think of a horde of evil beings gnashing their teeth energized by pure evil.

Well, what I would like to do in this article is to describe for you some people who are typical church members. Professing Christians who fill the pews each Sunday. Some are “pillars” of their churches. Others preach and teach. Still others are the busy bees buzzing around in the various committee meetings and “ministries.” What do they look like to the Lord? What would they look like if we could see them as they truly are?

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 13)”

What Does Christ’s Truth Look Like?

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)

Christ’s truth looks…stupid. Dumb. Foolish. That is, to a person who is not born again. It is, as Paul says, only by the Spirit that anyone is able to recognize the wisdom of God. After all, so blind is the fallen human heart and mind that as Paul puts it “the rulers of this age” killed the most innocent man who ever lived!

If you find yourself in a local church, for example, where things are being pretty much run as a secular corporation, you can be sure that you are in the midst of a place and people devoid of the Spirit of God.  Listen to Paul again:

Continue reading “What Does Christ’s Truth Look Like?”