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LIVING VIRTUOUSLY IN A VIRTUELESS SOCIETY


Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), America theologian, President of Princeton University, pastor, author and key leader during the Great Awakening wrote, “True virtue chiefly consists in love to God.” With this in mind, it’s interesting to note that two prominent features of the last days predicted in Scripture are: (1) that men would be “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God,” and (2) that people would be “despisers of them that are good.” Furthermore, the Bible says "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse” (2 Tim. 3:1, 3, 4, 13). And so it now is.


In these days of unprecedented hatred for God and hostility towards those who are good, as people become more and more evil, what is our recourse as Christians? How are we to live, and not just survive, but overcome and occupy (Luke 10:13; Rev. 21:7)? The answer, made plain in God’s Word, is a matter of faith-driven practical application.


Our spiritual strategy and marching orders for these days is laid out for us in Rom. 12:21: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” It doesn’t get any plainer that this. The proper response to these times is counteraction. As the lost world becomes more and more “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God and despisers of them that are good,” Christians need to be more and more lovers of God than of pleasure and more and more lovers of goodness than ever before.


In American society, where the lost are virtueless and Christianity is virtue-lite, Christians need to practice and radiate goodness as never before. Our power depends upon the purity, our victory depends upon the virtue, in our lives through which the indwelling Spirit of God can show Himself mighty (Eph. 6:10-12).


Virtuous people are “good, righteous, moral, honest and principled people whose character is irreproachable.” Virtue is described in Matt. 3-11 and Gal. 5:22, 23. In these perilous last days, Christians need to be good followers of the Lamb and soldiers of the cross who are overcoming evil with good. We need to be virtuous people, teaching our children and encouraging one another to live virtuously. Like everything else, this is a choice.


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