Returning Good For Evil


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 5:43-48 = "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
    2. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DO.
    3. THE HUMAN WAY IS:
      1. "An eye for an eye". Matthew 5:38 = "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
      2. "Love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy". Matthew 5:43 = "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy."
      3. "Salute your brethren only". Matthew 5:47 = "And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. SOME EXAMPLES OF GOOD FOR EVIL:
      1. Joseph blessed his brothers with good.
      2. Genesis 50:15-21 = "And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them."

        Genesis 45:1-8 = "Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."

      3. A captive Hebrew maid blessed her Syrian captor.
      4. II Kings 5:1-4 = "Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel."

      5. David spared the life of King Saul.
      6. 1 Samuel 24:9-15 = "And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’s anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea. The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause,"

        Comment:

          1. Saul was jealous of David:
          2. 1 Samuel 18:5-9 = "And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward."

          3. Saul became David’s enemy continually.

        1 Samuel 18:29 = "And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David's enemy continually."

      7. Christ prayed and died for His enemies:
      8. Luke 23:34 = "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

        John 15:13 = "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

      9. Stephen prayed for his murderers:

      Acts 7:60 = "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

    2. RENDERING GOOD FOR EVIL IS TO HAVE THE SPIRIT OF A CHILD:
    3. Comment: You can spake a child and he will later come and throw his arms around you.

      Matthew 18:3 = "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

      Matthew 19:14 = "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

    4. RENDERING GOOD FOR EVIL IS LIVING THE GOLDEN RULE:
    5. Matthew 7:12 = "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

    6. RENDERING GOOD FOR EVIL IS LETTING THE LORD TAKE VENGEANCE:

    Romans 12:19 = "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. THE CHRISTIAN BELIEVES IN DOING GOOD UNTO ALL MEN AND THAT INCLUDES HIS ENEMIES.
    2. Galatians 6:10 = "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

      Comment: If this were followed by all men, there would be no murders, no spite, no discord, just good will.

    3. RENDERING GOOD FOR EVIL IS GOD’S WAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LIVE:
      1. One living a Christian life could not return evil for evil, for he would lose heaven in the end.
      2. II Corinthians 5:10 = "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

      3. Living God’s way brings peace and happiness.
      4. I Peter. 4:14 = "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on you part he is glorified."

      5. Living the opposite of the Golden Rule leads only to bitterness and misery.

Romans 3:10-18 = "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes."

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