How Not to Walk, Part 25 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #271)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 4:30-31:

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

—-

H.A. Ironside said, “God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “There are millions and millions of people that are headed to a fiery, eternal, tormenting hell. Do you think you would have such a narrow, shrunken prayer meeting at your church if every believer believed that?”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Peter Cartwright was a bold preacher of the gospel to unsaved people. One Saturday night he took lodging in an inn, and after the evening meal sat on the sidelines watching the people dance. A beautiful young lady came over, curtsied in front of him, and asked for a dance. Cartwright took the lady by the hand and led her to the middle of the floor, then announced to all in a loud voice: ‘I do not undertake any matter of importance without first asking the blessing of God upon it.’ Then he commanded the lady, ‘Let us kneel down and pray.’ Cartwright pulled her to her knees, then prayed loud and long, refusing to release her. Under the power of his prayers, some watching began to kneel, others ran out of the building, and a few sat still, unable to move. After the prayers, he preached a sermon, and knelt down to pray again. Cartwright continued praying and preaching until it was time to go to bed. The following day he preached a sermon, organized a Methodist society to meet in the inn, and took thirty-two into the new church. The landlord of the inn became the leader of the church.”

—-

The fifth sin that Paul says a Christian should stay away from because it grieves the Holy Spirit is evil speaking. The Greek word translated as “evil speaking” here is “blasphemia,” from which we get the word blasphemy. It is defined as “slander, speech injurious to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty.” It literally means to speak with the intent to harm or blacken another’s reputation.

Slander whispering and gossip fall under the category of “evil speaking.” Christians ought not to engage in an attempt to ruin another’s reputation by speaking evil of them. If you have a disagreement with someone, you ought to go to them and work it out between yourselves. Don’t go behind that person’s back speaking evil of them to others in an attempt to tear them down. Likewise, we ought not to accommodate others who come to us with slander, gossip, whispering or evil words regarding somebody else who is not present to tell his side of the story.

J. Vernon McGee said, “In the church, we are not to repeat gossip. It has been said that you can’t believe everything you hear today, but you can repeat it! Many evil reports are passed from person to person without even a shred of evidence that the report is true. Another old saying is that some people will believe anything if it is whispered to them!”

Many believe that gossip is harmless, but, the Bible calls it a sin. It is passive slander that can cause division in the church of God. The old instruction — If you cannot say anything good, don’t say anything at all — is quite appropriate here. John MacArthur said, “To slander people is to blaspheme God, inasmuch as He created men and women. People are to be treated with dignity because they are made in the image of God. The believer’s speech must not be marred by insults or disparaging remarks directed at others.” When we refrain from speaking evil of others, we help foster unity in the church of God.

Margaret Cagle wrote:

When someone speaks a bad rumor to you,
Whether it’s false or whether it’s true,
Just don’t repeat whatever you’re told.
In this case, friend, silence is gold.

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out,
So don’t keep the grapevine of gossip enroute
To others who pass it along the way.
Just don’t be a talebearer, the Scriptures say.

Always try to be uplifting to others,
Especially your Christian sisters and brothers.
Whenever you hear of “news” not so good,
Just pray for that person the way you should.

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