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Rick

Depravity

Are you positive or negative?  If you are positive, then you are a person that others like to be around.  Positive people encourage; they have and share hope, they “smile at the world and the world smiles back”.  

Are you one of the many Christians that believe we are in the “End Times”?  Then you probably believe 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and Revelation 21:1 speaks to us today.

“Know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

These scriptures are frowning at the world, and most assuredly, the world is frowning back.  These scriptures smile upon the eternal realm, and the eternal realm is smiling back.   To the believer this is not a negative perspective, but rather one of hope in recognizing the Lord’s preeminent return, when all things will be set right.    

Consistently, the prophets of the Old Testament were negative to the world, yet eternally positive.  

Ironically, the words positive and negative never show up in the Bible!  The saints of the Bible are acclaimed as righteous, sober-minded, just(men), blameless, faithful and tenderhearted.

The truth of the matter is we are rightfully both positive and negative.  Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking.  “Positive thinking” exudes confidence, faith and hope, and certainly there is power in these things.  The critical responsibility for God’s children is to recognize what they are empowering through affirmation, and what they are hindering through negative accusation. Perhaps this is what the Bible refers to as loosening and binding in Mathew 16:19.
Rick

There is a common social doctrine today that I believe is well outlined in the statement “Try to find the “good” in a person” or the above, “Don’t be so negative” or “Judge not” (even though “judge not” is pulled from scripture, I do not believe it is used today as the scriptures prescribe).    

The only “good” worth seeking in a person is the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ held disdain for everything that established itself outside of God.  Remember, Cain’s offering was from his own strength just as the Pharisees displayed their own righteousness before God, God rejected both.      

When man is elevated outside of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, then man is doing as Lucifer did.  Isaiah 14:13,14  “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Was Lucifer wrong in wanting to be “like the most High”?  Lucifer wants to establish himself along side the Most High! A quick note: “along side” is outside.  

Many ask, "What would Jesus do?"  It’s what has Jesus done? He has extended the righteousness of the Most High to those that are Most Low.  
Blessed are:
1. “the poor in spirit”
2. “they that mourn”
3. “the meek”
4. “they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness”
5. “the merciful”
6. “the pure in heart”
7. “he peacemakers”
8. “they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake”
This righteousness that is spoken of here is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not our own good behavior.  Until we become aware of our own personal depravity, and the depravity of mankind in general, we will not be able to truly glorify God.  

Having said all this, I am not suggesting that we should identify ourselves as the depraved.  We must identify ourselves with Christ in all things.  We must recognize that we are not the source of righteousness but the benefactor of His righteousness, and only as a result of His grace can we extend that same grace to others.  If pride has any room in the Christian heart it is pride in Jesus Christ.

Sometimes it seems we bind God and loose Satan.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis