Edmund Burke wrote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We saw that that approach to life began with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam was good, because he had not sinned. He had good intentions, because he did what the Lord commanded him – naming the animals and tending the garden. But Adam momentarily did not act by faith dependence on the Lord and he chose to “go along” with what Eve said and did (Gen. 3:1-6). We also saw in yesterday’s article that the Christian’s good work was to grow to spiritual parenthood and disciple others to Christ. The lack of that fulfillment is the main reason evil is encroaching on all the good in the world today. Can we change so that we do what the Lord directs? Absolutely!
Jesus commented to the church of Ephesus that it had become spiritually intelligent and was even holding false teachers accountable. However, the church had failed in one area and that was their lack of “first love” for Him,
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place– unless you repent. 6 “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (Rev. 2:2-6 NKJ)
The word “repent” means to “change the thinking toward God.” Jesus wanted the church to remember what they had been taught and reflect that they were not loving Him the way He should be loved and worshipped. The reason people do not change, is that they do not love Him in holy reverence. So change your thinking about the Lord Jesus and “do the first works” (Rev. 2:5). Are the things the Lord Jesus asks of us difficult? Absolutely!
The works are so difficult that the Lord He does not expect the Christian to do them on his own. He must be totally dependent on the Lord AND pursue the good work of discipling others. He will be distracted by time, the fear of failure, the fear of “doing” it wrong and a host of other challenges. That’s why the Christian must just do it, regardless of how he feels.
Let me illustrate this tomorrow.