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EVILNESS in glory

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus said in his time: ”But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matt  18:6,7).
    In the light of the previous words, it seems that the TV channels of Finland, the Nyt-liite of newspaper Helsingin Sanomat etc. have lost moral and good values. They have become seducers which make people more and more negative towards spiritual issues, becoming estranged from God and positive to sin. They do not speak about what is good and right but they boast with immorality like the Sodomites. The sins are paraded as it happened then (One example of the development is an advertisement in the main newspaper of Finland, Helsingin Sanomat which advertises a new TV programme. In the advertisement, there are naked people and it says ”If morals are loose on the weekends, so on Mondays they are lost”.):

- (Isa 3:9) The show of their countenance does witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe to their soul! for they have rewarded evil to themselves.

 

But what does it mean that in our society people act this way, in other words people boast sin and bring it openly out? Does it matter and where will such a development lead?
    The answer to the previous is that it influences at least one issue: the destiny and the future of the society – an issue which we do not often think in the midst of the Western welfare. As we see from the examples of the Bible, protection is always abandoned from a society that becomes proud and is driven deep into sin. The ancient Israel, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, the Canaanites and other past day societies are examples of what can happen when the hardening reaches its climax. They were driven so far that nothing helped any more. 
Therefore, one can assume that the present-day Finland or some other society is not an exception: what has happened before, can happen also now. In Jeremiah it is written:

 

- (Jer 7:12-14) But go you now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

13  And now, because you have done all these works, said the LORD, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you heard not; and I called you, but you answered not;

14  Therefore will I do to this house, which is called by my name, wherein you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

 

In this writing we are going to examine the present situation and to which it will lead. We are going to point out issues which were characteristic of the ancient societies and which can also be seen in the society of our time. From these signs we can conclude something about how long the development has gone.

 

Boasting sin

 

- (Phil 3:18,19) (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

 

Already in the first part it was mentioned how one feature of the Sodomites was boasting with sin as it was said in the Book of Isaiah. They brought their sins openly out and were finally driven so far that the protection of God was lost. This led to its destruction.
    However, the present time does not differ from the past. How usual is it that even young pupils boast of their sexual experiences, drinking, drug experimentations or ”brave films”. Many of these issues are done because of the attention of pals, just like Jesus said about the Pharisees (”
But all their works they do for to be seen of men
”, Matt 23:5). In any case, this is an indication of the direction of the development. Only 50 years ago there were hardly any of the same issues among the generation of that time. The generation of our parents and grandparents lived a much purer life than the life appears to be now. A similar development as in Israel in the past is taking place now. At that time, the power of sin grew all the time:

- (Jer 16:12) And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me

 

The direction of development can naturally be seen also in the TV and magazines, in which sin is brought more and more openly out. There is more fornication and violence than there was only 20 to 30 years ago. Paul wrote that ”their glory is in their shame” and this is certainly true as far as many writings and programmes are concerned. Many compete in how far they can go in evilness in order to get attention. They will be seen, but isn’t it great foolishness? Why boast with what is not right and good, and which will only estrange people from God? Why respect things which can only destroy life and lead to selfishness? Paul wrote in his time:

- (Eph 5:3-6) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints;

4  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5  For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.

 

Good and evil mixed.

 

- (Isa 5:20,21) Woe to 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!

21  Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

 

- (2 Tim 3:1-5) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3  Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4  Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

When the people of Israel erred in the past and were driven into evilness, it was normal at that time to raise evilness to honour and call good evil. It was a time when issues had been turned upside down. Isaiah wrote about wrong values like these. Above there are also the words of Paul about how people are not lovers of the good.

   On the other hand, similar development is apparent in the society also now. Issues which were regarded as wrong still in the early 1960’s have become accepted and popular now (free relationships, homosexuality, abortion [You shall not kill]). The situation has turned even so much that if one says that these are wrong he immediately gets the reputation of a narrow-minded person and a person who does not support equality. (About equality, the supporters of homosexuality do not usually promote the interests of murderers or pedophiles. Why? The answer is that they have so much sense that they understand these to be wrong.) These issues have been pushed through so that speaking about them in a negative way is not regarded suitable.

    But what is the opinion of God here? Isn’t it much more important than the favour and opinions of others, even though the acceptance of others is indeed an valuable thing?
    So, if we assume that the texts of the New Testament are true and  God’s message to us, they clearly show that the unrepentant will  not inherit the kingdom of God. Or, as for example fornication and homosexuality are lusts, we must confess them as such and as sins. (You can  say: ”Lord, forgive me this lust of mine and other sins. Cleanse me and free me from everything that is not from You!”) If we do not  admit to having sinned, how can we be forgiven our sins? Only by confessing that we have done wrong can we expect the miraculous promises to come true also for us. In the First letter of John and Luke it is written:

- (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,

19  And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.

20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 

hardening.

 

- (Acts 7:51) You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you.

 

- (1 Thess 2:15,16) Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

16  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come on them to the uttermost.

 

When we examine the past societies just before their collapse, at least hardening, the rejecting of  spiritual issues and as a consequence of them believing lies are characteristic to them. For example, before the destruction of Jerusalem there were just the characteristics evident. When Jesus spoke to these people, a large majority of them did not receive Him. Also in the words of Stephen and  Paul (the statement above) it can be seen how the sin debt of the society of that time was becoming full.

   Another viewpoint to the same issue is given by the historic Josephus. He speaks about the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. It is interesting that he says the generation of that time to have been more atheistic than the all previous ones. It is consistent with the statement of Paul, when he said that the wrath was already come on them to the uttermost.

It was destiny that ordered devastation like this. Inevitably it came, both for the living and the lifeless, also places. However, one cannot help but to wonder the accuracy of data, how it has been proportioned: the destruction took place on the same day of the same month (…) as the Babylonians earlier burnt the holy room. (1)

 

I presume that if the Roman attack against these rascals had been delayed, the earth would have opened and swallowed this city, or a drowning flood would have come, or it would have been destroyed by the fire and burning sulphur of a thunderstorm as the country of Sodom was destroyed. This generation was much more atheistic than those who were destroyed before in the punishment of Sodom; and then, the whole nation was also destroyed for the sake of their absurdity. (2)

 

Do the devastations arise from the evilness of the society? What about the present time and devastations and plagues that occur in the society – the next question is: do  they always have a connection to the evilness prevailing in the society? Are they  always caused by it and hardening of the people?
    The answer is that it need not to be so. Even  though the destruction of Jerusalem was caused by the sins of Jerusalem and evilness prevailing there (Matt 23:36-39), Jesus warned us not to draw conclusions too hastily. In other words, those who experience bad things, are necessarily not in any way worse than others.  However, each of us should turn to God so that nothing bad would happen to us. Like this Jesus taught:


- (Luke 13:1-5) There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

2  And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3  I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

4  Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in Jerusalem?

5  I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

 

Love towards the wicked generation. Furthermore, it is good to note that we ourselves are not hard towards hardened people, because it is never the will of God. For as we look the attitude of Jesus towards the generation of that time and Jerusalem, wept He over it (And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,  Saying, If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes, Luke 19:41,42). Likewise it is good to note that Paul did not curse his citizens but prayed to God for them, so that they might be saved (Rom 10:1: Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.) It is the model given to us by God also now. A prophet who curses others but does not care for people is not sent by God. It is worthwhile to be careful with such persons:

   ”Nicky”, Dave said, “today God speaks again – audibly and clearly.”

   But we all be so weary of hearing about judgement.

   “Yes, there are also false prophets: mindless, immoral, half-mad, who have proclaimed themselves prophets and who also proclaim judgement”, Dave admitted. “But they have been sent by Satan to pervert the real message of sentries sent by God.” (3)

 

Our own selections. When evilness has been raised to honour and everybody boasts on what they dare to do in the area of sin, very many think that our acts here won’t have any consequences. We do not think that each of us will give an account of himself, or to reap what we have sowed. This is the general teaching of the Bible about  what happens after this life:

- (Rom 14:12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

- (Gal 6:7,8) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

8  For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

 

- (Hebr 9:27) And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment

 

As we have to reap what we have sowed, it is of course clear that the  judgement will take place according to the acts. We will have to give  an account even for every careless word and acts done in this body.  Furthermore, the judgement will be determined by the light each person has:

- (Matt 12:36) But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

 

- (Luke12:47,48) And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

- (Rev 20:12-15) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15  And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

The judgement taken away! Even though there will be judgement and it can come also over the society, the good  news is that the judgement of damnation has been taken away by Jesus Christ. The basic teaching of the whole New Testament is how Jesus came to save people that they would be forgiven their sins and they would get to heaven. Or, as we turn to Him and believe in Him, the whole judgement will disappear from above us, and we will no longer be condemned to damnation. Therefore, confess your sins and wrong  attitudes to God – whether it is a question of bitterness, fornication, hate towards foreigners and neighbouring countries or whatever your sins are.  When you do this and turn to Jesus Christ by your heart, you will once get to God and to heaven:

- (John 5:24,40) Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.

40. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

- (John 3:18) He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

- (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION. Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven by Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. JOSEPHUS Wars of the Jews, 6.4.8.581.

2. JOSEPHUS Wars of the Jews, 5.13.6.570.

3. Nicky Cruz: David Wilkersonin viimeinen varoitus (David Wilkerson: A FINAL WARNING), p.115

 

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen




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