by Mike Ratliff
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. (Proverbs 4:14 ESV)
There are things taking place in Christendom that I never thought I would see. The Roman Catholic Church seems to be returning to its former aggressive ways while much of non-Catholic professing Christians are seeking reconciliation with the “Mother Church.”
We are fast approaching the end of this age. These “signs of the times” will only increase not only in intensity, but frequency as our Lord lines things up in this World according to His will to bring His Kingdom to completion. What are those of us who are not blind to these things to do? The focus of my last several posts has been on drawing our eyes to our Lord alone. We are to seek Him and do as He says because this is the way of the Righteous and not the way of the wicked.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2 ESV)
For nearly all the time that I have been a Christian until just recently I have always thought of the “wicked” here in this passage always referred to the reprobate sinners all over this world. While it does, it also refers to those in Christendom who are not genuine believers. Simply calling oneself a Christian and being religious does not make one so. Instead, it is only those who have been regenerated by God to have the faith that has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, surrendered to His Lordship that have been Justified. Those people are New Creations saved unto good works. They are educated by God about their Lord and seek Him. Religion must not become an idol to them. Instead, they serve their risen Saviour. They have eyes to see and ears to hear and know false religion when they see it. They do not fall for “works righteousness” such as that that the RCC espouses. They see those things for the wickedness that they are. They understand that they were justified by faith, not works, by a work of God, not of themselves. By this, they are blessed and they stay close to their Lord by staying in His Word.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalms 1:3 ESV)
This passage tells us that, since those who stay in God’s Word are always drawing near unto their Lord then their spiritual growth will increase both in depth and breadth as they put to death the deeds of the flesh in their hearts while cultivating humility. By this God will use them for His glory. Only the humble can partake of this because the best works of the flesh are as filthy rags to God. Only by Him working in them and through them as they humble themselves before Him can they serve Him this way.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 1:4-6 ESV)
Those outside of God’s grace are like chaff. When cereal grains are harvested the byproduct of the threshing process is a worthless thing called chaff. It is simply dried up cellulose that has no value. However, for the grain to be of value it must become separate from the chaff. Therefore, the threshing process exposes the chaff to wind, which blows it away from the grain. Currently, we have both the wicked and the righteous together in Christendom. However, at the judgment, the righteous will stand while the wicked cannot. At this judgment those righteous in God’s eyes will stand in one congregation or assembly while the wicked, the chaff, will be sent to eternal destruction. Those of us in Christ must not only look to our Saviour in these trying times, but cling to Him and His promises for He knows the way of His people.