Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” An inspired penman portrays this same thought in this fashion, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jam. 4:17; KJV). That is, he is guilty of sin if he does not do good. We should adopt this as a principle of action, “that the ability to do good in any case imposes an obligation to do it.”
Beloved, knowledge without practice is imputed to a man as a great and presumptuous sin. Nothing is more injurious to the souls of mankind than wasted impressions. Nothing is more harmful to the Lord’s blood-bought church than for good men to do nothing in the combating of error and evil. Feelings exhaust themselves and evaporate, if not embodied in the practice of fighting for right. As we will not act except we feel, so if we will not act out our feelings of right, we shall soon cease to feel.
John said, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn. 5:19; ESV). Paul declared, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:1-3; NKJ). Thus, it is easy to perceive that there are many errors in our day that need to be addressed by good and faithful men of God.
Will we sit idly by while liberalism creeps into the church, or will be “stand in the gap.” “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Eze. 22:30; NKJ). Will the Lord find such a man among us? Will the Almighty find a man that will stand in the gap and hold his ground on truth – and the truth alone? Will we, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2; KJV).
Will good men “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3; ASV)? Will good men stop the mouths of those “who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain” (Tit. 1:11; NKJ)? Will good men “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Tit. 1:13; NKJ)? Will good men speak “the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1; NKJ)? Will good men in all things show ourselves to be “a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity” (Tit. 2:7; ESV)? Paul said, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Tit. 2:15; KJV), and to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15; KJV).
Friends we must “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12; KJV). Will good men like Paul be able to say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8; KJV)?
Shake or Nod!