“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
It seems like it is getting harder and harder in these perilous times that we are living in to promote Biblical separation. Christians, especially in America, have become very worldly. It is very difficult to spot a Christian in the crowd today as we just do not stand out like we used to. Christians today ask the questions, “what’s wrong with this or what’s wrong with that?”, but maybe we really should be asking “what’s right with this? or what’s right with that?”. The verse above reminds us that we are not supposed to be just inside the fence when it comes to abstaining from sin, but we are really supposed to be way inside, as far away from the fence as possible. We are not supposed to be anywhere near things that may even appear to be evil. It is often not a decision between right and wrong; but between good and best. Christians ought to be willing to take the higher path; go the second mile.
Now, before you start attacking me, I am well aware that we are not under any law, but are under grace. I also know that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, and not because we live a separated life. I also know that God loves carnal Christians just as much as He loves separated Christians. But, make no mistake about it, it is God’s will for us to be a people, not only separated from things that are clearly sinful, but also things that even appear to be wrong. Why do you think that is? I have given this subject a lot of thought through the years; but I believe it has to do with our purpose for living here on the earth. We are here to glorify God. We are His ambassadors. If we would be completely honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that when we partake in things that are wicked, or even close to the line, we are doing so to gratify our own fleshly desires. We are certainly not doing these things because we feel that they will help us lead more people to the Lord.
Christian, be careful. God wants to live through you. God wants to reveal Himself to the people around you through your life. Be careful about how you represent Him. The things you do; the things you say; the clothes you wear (or don’t wear); the entertainments that you partake in; your faithfulness to church services; etc. All of these things should be considered. Remember, it is not about you; it is all about the Lord, and the people the Lord wants to reach through you. I think we would all do better with this if we would all spend a little more time asking the Lord, “what’s right with it?” should I wear this? should I go here? should I participate in this? If God gives you the green light, than go ahead; but if you don’t have peace about it, refrain. Remember, the peace and blessing that God will give you will far exceed any temporary pleasure that comes from a wrong decision.
Posted in Devotions, Thoughts from 1 Thessalonians by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.