they label all of us
People are jumping off the fence and they’re landing on the right—or is it far right—maybe left, far left, or right-center, maybe left-center? Depending on which news affiliate a person listens to, or which up-and-coming blog he or she reads, one of the labels mentioned above will be used to describe a person’s stance on moral and immoral issues. These people however, are not set in stone at these positions. It is being spoken often how a person of the far-left will be moving in the direction of the left-center camp—or someone of the far-right is moving to the center. (So, where does that put the person who has left the group from the far-left and is moving to the left-center, but just hasn’t made it there yet? I know: far-mid-left-of-center! Whew! That took some real ciphering!)
hurt feelings can mean life instead of death
The American media, and those who discuss these groups, will continue to give these positions of personal values many different names. However, God refers to these groups of people as “good and evil” as quoted in Hebrews 5:14: “But solid food is for those who are full-grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.” The writer of Hebrews is speaking of food as the knowledge obtained, and the moral values created, by knowing the Word of God. Call it what you will, a person’s moral or immoral values place him or her in a group which represents good or evil.
Those of faith don’t like to discuss the concept of “good and evil” because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, it needs to be discussed because it can mean the difference between life and death. Yes, this is serious! Knowing Jesus Christ is the most important relationship a person can engage. Knowing the difference between good and evil is probably the next most important. To face the Lord on judgment day and hear Him say, “I never knew you,” is a thought no person wants to entertain. Therefore, to learn what “good and evil” represents is a matter of life or death!
I am the sinner
To look inward and see what each of us represents, whether it is good or evil, is the place to begin. We need to look at our own moral values to see if our thinking and our actions are based on good, and to be assured that we will stand firm in times of temptation. In August of 1890, Charles Spurgeon reminded us of Daniel’s values when he was tempted by the King, “He [Daniel] would not yield even in a small point to that which was evil. Young man, if God greatly loves you, he will give you an early decision, and very likely he will put you to an early test. If you are greatly loved, you will stand firm, even about so small a thing as what you eat and drink, or something that looks less important than that. You will say, ‘I cannot sin against God. I must stand fast, even in the smallest matter, in keeping the law of the Lord my God.’ If thou art enabled to do that, thou art a man greatly beloved.”
there is no grey area
How do we know if we represent what is good or if we’re living for the one who spreads evil? There is a very solid format for recognizing how we’re doing and it’s as profound as falling out of a tree. “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit,” said Jesus, in Matthew 7:17-18. If what I am doing or saying will produce something good for everyone involved, then I’m probably OK. However, if there is a slim chance that someone, somewhere, might be hurt because of what I’m involved in, then it doesn’t represent good. And, if it doesn’t represent good—there’s no gray area here—it represents evil.
evil will die
So, what happens to those who represent evil? “Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire,” continued Jesus in Matthew 7:19. Our Lord didn’t hide anything when He was telling us how to treat other people, how to live our lives, and the fact that others will know us by the fruit we bear. If we’re producing fruit that is harmful to others or God, then we’re going to be chopped down and there’s no getting past it.
our lives depend on it
We must take this message seriously as our lives depend on it. Forget which so-called camp others may say that we’re a part. Forget about who’s left and who’s right, who’s liberal and who’s conservative. The important fact is: are we living our lives to represent good or evil? In other words, are we hurting others by what we say and by our actions, or are we helping them? Jesus was still speaking about “good and evil” in Matthew 12:35, when He said, “The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things.” Remember, the tree that produces evil fruit will be cut down.