Restrainers Of Evil

Restrainers Of Evil

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
–Matthew 5:13

Would anything have prevented God from sending judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah? Yes–the presence of believers. When Abraham prayed, “Lord, if there are ten righteous people, will You spare the city from judgment?” God said if there were just ten righteous people, He would not rain fire and brimstone upon the city. But apparently, there were not even ten righteous people to keep the city from God’s judgment.

In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said to His followers, “You are the salt of the earth.” What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? In Jesus’s day, the way you kept meat from premature decay was by putting it next to salt. The salt acted as a preservative. In the same way, the Bible says we as Christians are the preservative in the world today, keeping the world from spinning out of control.

In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul said right now the Antichrist is being restrained because the Holy Spirit is present on earth. At the rapture of the church, when Christians are removed from the earth, the Holy Spirit will also be removed. And when that happens, literally all hell will break loose here on earth. But until that time, you and I as Christians are the restrainers of evil through the Holy Spirit who is within us. We are preventing the world from premature destruction, from premature judgment by God.

How do we do that? How do we prevent the premature decay of our world? By being willing to stand up and say, “Enough. We are not going to go beyond this line. We cannot afford to condone what God has condemned.”

But it is not enough to take a stand by what we say; we have to live it out through our behavior as well. Do you remember the former Miss California Carrie Prejean? During the pageant, she was asked what she thought about gay marriage, and she said, “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” Of course, she got a lot of flak for making such a bold statement, but she stood up for the sanctity of marriage. Later it was discovered that she had made her own sex tapes. After that, how many people do you think wanted to listen to Carrie Prejean talk about sexual morality? Her message was completely undermined by her lifestyle. Now, just because the messenger is flawed, that does not invalidate the message. But the world does not see that. If we are going be preservatives against evil in this world, we do so not only by what we say but by how we live. We cannot afford to condone, publicly or privately, what God has condemned.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When God Says, “Enough!”” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org