from an Untoward Generation
In this essay we continue a
study of timely deliverance (salvation) as we look at the
exhortation in Acts 2:40, "And with many other words did he
testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this
untoward generation." It is only those who have been
called of God that can save themselves from this "untoward
generation." According to Rom. 3:17 the unregenerate (those
not born again) know not the way of peace. Likewise in Eph.
2:2, 3 we are told that before we are born again we
"walked according to the course of this world" and
"had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our
flesh, fulfilling the desires of our flesh and mind."
It is only after the miracle of the new birth that we can
"save ourselves from this untoward generation."
The Greek word for untoward is
"skolios" meaning crooked or curved in contrast to that
which is straight. John describes for us this "untoward
generation" in the admonition of I John 2:15, 16, "Love not
the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world." James says in James 4:4,
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the
friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of
God." Thus we conclude that the course of this world is
to satiate self with the fleshly lusts. That is to live a
lifestyle seeking to satisfy the fleshly desires.
There are two ways that are
set forth for us that we can choose to travel in this life.
There is the broad way that most people travel and there is
the narrow way of discipleship that a few travel. Matt.
7:13, 14 describes these ways for us thusly: "Enter ye in
at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go
in thereat: because strait is the gate and narrow is the
way, which leadeth to life, and few there be which find it."
For a child of God to travel the road of life living a
lifestyle to satisfy the fleshly lust is to travel the road
that leads to destruction. Destruction can come in many
forms a few of which are:
1. Broken marriages, broken relationships, broken
fellowship, and broken promises.
2. A lifetime of
despair, despondency, and depression.
3. A lifetime of
dependency brought on by addiction to drugs and alcohol and
other addictive substances and practices.
5. Bondage to the false
ideas and false teachings of false prophets.
6. Lives, ours and
others, destroyed by lustful action.
7. Wasted opportunities
to worship and serve God with the talents God has given us.
8. Guilt‑ridden lives
often coupled with mental illness.
Those who travel the broad way
of destruction usually do so because of the promises of
fleshly gratification (lust of flesh, lust of eyes, pride of
life) only to find out later in life how "empty" those
promises really were.
The other way set forth for us
to travel is the "narrow" way of discipleship or "way of
peace also known as the "highway of holiness." We are
admonished in Rom. 12:1, 2, "I beseech you therefore
brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which
is your reasonable service, And be not conformed to this
world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect, will of God." The travelers along the "highway
of holiness" find that they experience a life of inner
peace, rest, comfort, fellowship with God, true spiritual
joy, friendship with God and God's obedient people, help in
time of trouble, growth in the knowledge of God's word,
strength during the time of adversity, consolation in time
of loss, etc. Thus this way leads unto the deep, full
spiritual life in God's kingdom.
We save ourselves by initially
and continually committing ourselves to the worship and
service of God in his kingdom church and to being disciples
of Jesus Christ by studying his word and by being doers of
his word and by mortifying the deeds of the flesh through
purging out the old fleshly ways and replacing them with the
way of holiness and godliness.
Thus we should all strive to
enter in at the strait gate and walk the narrow way which
leads to this rich spiritual kingdom life. In our next essay
we will consider how we are saved with many timely,
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