I Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is true. We know that because He has proven Himself to be true. God does not expect man to be gullible. Adam saw the greatness of God and he heard directly from God with regard to all that pertained to him. He knew God was right and yet he chose to believe a lie.
When we look at proving all things, we understand that we do not need to sin to prove God right. The word “prove” has the meaning of “approving, recognizing the genuineness of”. Adam did not gain anything by sinning against God. In today’s world, no one gains anything by getting involved in drugs or alcohol or pornography, etc. The Bible teaches us the truth and It also warns against sin.
We can take God’s Word and we can look at what God says and we can prove Him to be true. We can look at God’s command to Adam and we can see that Adam’s response was wrong. We can look at Cain’s attempt at humanistic worship in Genesis 4 and we can see that God did not accept his rebellious nature. We can go to I John 3:12 and see that Cain was of “that wicked one”. Cain was an unsaved man who chose to continue on in sin and his corruption of God’s righteous standard was the result of his rebellious nature.
We can look at Abel’s offering and we can see that God is pleased with obedience. We see also from Matthew 23:35 that God declared Abel to be righteous. Abel was righteous and that is why he offered an acceptable sacrifice to God. Abel did not become righteous because he made the right offering. He was righteous and thus he made the right offering.
We can go through the entire Bible and we will see that following God’s way is always the right way. We do not need to experiment with sin to figure that out. We prove God to be right by examining what He has told us. When we study His Word faithfully we will see that we have no right to find fault with Him in anything. We can also know that when we seek to find fault with God we demonstrate arrogance on our part. Arrogance is sin.
We are told to hold fast that which is good. Every person in every generation must choose to follow God. Church history shows us that in every generation, the majority chooses not to follow God. The abundance of “denominations” demonstrates the fact that man does not want to follow God. We have talked about New Evangelicalism in the past. New Evangelicalism proves that it does not want to follow God. The flesh desires its own way. We can go back to Cain and see that. We can see that today as well.
It is imperative that we hold fast to that which is good. We can only know what is good when we know God and follow Him.
Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
In verse 22 we are commanded to abstain from all appearance of evil. That covers far more than many people want to admit. It is not just a matter of whether we know it is evil but even if it appears to be evil. God shows us that if it appears to be evil, it is evil. No guess work required. That has to do with our associations as well. Those who are saved want to have a clear testimony. We need to have a clear testimony. We do not want to waste our time having to defend sinful choices. It is better to walk in truth than to lose respect of others because we are involved in questionable activities. Keep in mind that this is based on having a right understanding of what is good.
The religious false teachers tried to find fault with Jesus many times. They twisted God’s truth to do that. Jesus never sinned. He ate with publicans and sinners but He never partook in their sin. He showed them by word and by actions, the right way to live.
In verse 23 we have the promise and the request to sanctification. Notice that we are reminded that God is the God of peace. He alone provides peace for the troubled soul. That is true with the increasing unrest in our country and it is true with the troubles in Israel and in Europe as well as everywhere else. The Greek word translated as “sanctify” means to “make holy, to purify”. God is able to do that for us. That is His desire for the saints. We need to be holy in all things and in every aspect of our lives; our thoughts and our actions, our words and our deeds need to be aligned with God’s will and way.
We see further God’s desire that we be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is not just a wish or a dream. This is what God requires of His children and He is also able to bring that to bear upon His children. That can only happen when we walk humbly with Him in obedience to His Word and ways. It is a blessing to be preserved blameless.
In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about the judgment that will take place at the Millennium and how He will be able to declare “well done” to those who have been faithful. The apostle Paul talked of the crown of righteousness that was awaiting him and that is also there for all those who love His appearing. Only those who are seeking to walk faithfully with their Lord and Saviour truly love His appearing. We demonstrate our love by our actions.
We are living in a time when God’s truth is lacking in so many ways. Cursing is becoming so common place in so many areas. Violent actions seem to be increasing and governments are helpless to stop it. Lying is now the norm. Governments and media have re-defined lying, but it is still lying. It is difficult to believe anything we hear from politicians or from the mainstream media. Christians must be different.
Our society does not see the value of God’s truth, but that does not mean they do not need to hear about God’s truth. God commands His children not to be stumbling blocks to the truth. Let those of us who are of the day live in the light of God’s truth.