October 23, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. - Proverbs 11:19-21.
It is customary in our part of the country for churches to take care of the moving when they call a new pastor. Usually several people from the church arrive with a rented truck or they may bring their own trailers and pickups. In one of our moves to a new church, they arrived with a flatbed trailer and a large deluxe horse trailer. The horse trailer was very nice and held almost as much as a large truck. We met the owner of the trailer and told him how much we appreciated the use of the trailer and he seemed like a very nice and kind person. A couple of months later we were shocked to hear that the owner of the horse trailer was not really the owner and that he had been arrested for knowingly concealing stolen property (i.e. the horse trailer). It was only then that we realized that we had been moved with a stolen trailer!
We can learn several things from this story in relation to God’s Word. First, even though Tom (not his real name) was using the trailer in a commendable way it did not make up for his illegal actions. If you steal a million dollars and give 99.9% of it to the poor or even to a church it does not and can never erase the sin of stealing. Doing something good does not erase something bad. Only Jesus can do that. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”
Second, we cannot deceive God. Tom did a good job of deceiving the church and us but he could not pull the wool over God’s eyes. God was not deceived. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7-8a, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption….” God was not fooled by Tom’s good works and Tom eventually was found out and arrested. The whole church eventually came to know about Tom’s illegal activities.
Third, sin results in death (Romans 6:23a). Nothing good can ever come from sin. Evil results in the multiplication of more evil coming about in a person’s life. One evil act results in additional acts which results in more and more. This is in contrast to the person who abstains from evil and acts in a righteous manner as Proverbs 11 says, “righteousness leads to life” and “he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.”
Have you been trying to deceive God? It will never work! Have you been trying to make up for the bad things you have done with good things? It will never happen! Have you been pursuing evil? Stop now before it is too late!