Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.
This is what was sown along the path. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The Holocaust and the Evil in Every Human Heart: Reflections on a Visit to the Heart of Darkness
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. You brood of vipers!
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How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord. Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,.
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. They have forsaken the Lord , they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies! A Song of Ascents. Because your heart is fully set within you to do evil rather than good. You are altogether committed to the pleasing of self. Jesus may plead with you--your friends may plead; heaven and hell may lift up their united voices to plead, and every motive that can press on the heart from reason, conscience, hope and fear, angels and devils, God and man, may pass in long and flashing array before your mind--but alas, your heart is so fully set to do evil that no motive to change can move you.
What is this cannot! Nothing less or more than a mighty will not! That amiable lady insists that she is not much depraved. O no, not she. She will not steal!
True, her selfishness takes on a most tender and delicate type. She has most gushing sensibilities; she cannot bear to see a kitten in distress;--but what does she care for God's rights? What for the rights of Jesus Christ? What does she care for God's feelings? What does she care for the feelings and sympathies of the crucified Son of God? Just nothing at all. What then are all her tender sensibilities worth?
Doves and kittens have even more of this than she. Many tender ties has she, no doubt, but they are all under the control of a perfectly selfish heart. Mother Eve too was most amiable. Indeed she was a truly pious woman before she sinned--and Adam no doubt thought she could be trusted everywhere;--but mark how terribly she fell!
So her daughters. Giving up their hearts to a refined selfishness, they repel God's most righteous claims, and they are fallen! So go through all the ranks of society and you see the same thing. Go to the pirate ship, the captain armed to the teeth and the fire of hell in his eye;--ask him to receive an offered Savior and repent of his sins, and he gives the very same answer as that amiable daughter does--he cannot repent.
His heart too is so fully set within him to do evil that he cannot get his own consent to turn from his sins to God. O this horrible committal of the heart to do evil! It is the only reason why the Holy Ghost is needed to change the sinner's heart. But for this you would no more need the Holy Ghost than an angel of light does. O how fearfully strong is the sinner's heart against God! Just where the claims of God come in he seems to have almost an omnipotence of strength to oppose and resist! The motives of truth may roll mountain high and beat upon his iron heart, yet see how he braces up his nerves to withstand God!
What can he not resist sooner that submit his will to God! Another thing lies in this text, incidentally brought out,--assumed but not affirmed;--viz. The test says, "Because sentence is not executed speedily," implying that sentence is already passed and only waits its appointed time for execution. You who have attended courts of justice know that after trial and conviction next comes sentence. The culprit takes his seat in the criminal's bench. The judge arises--all is still as death;--he reviews the case, and comes shortly to the solemn conclusion;--you are convicted by this court of the crime alleged, and now you are to receive your sentence.
Sentence is then pronounced. After this solemn transaction, execution is commonly deferred for a period longer or shorter according to circumstance. The object may be either to give the criminal opportunity to secure a pardon, or if there be no hope of this, at least to give him some days or weeks for serious reflection in which he may secure the peace of his soul with God. For such reasons, execution is usually delayed. But after sentence, the case is fully decided. No further doubt of guilt can interpose to affect the case; the possibility of pardon is the only remaining hope.
The awful sentence seals his doom--unless it be possible that pardon may be had. That sentence--how it sinks into the heart of the guilty culprit! And may God have mercy on your soul! So the Bible represents the case of the sinner. He is under sentence, but his sentence is not executed speedily. Some respite is given. The arrangements of the divine government require no court, no jury;--the law itself says--"The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all the things written in the book of the law to do them;" so that the mandate of the law involves the sentence of law on every sinner--a sentence from which there can be no escape and no reprise except by a pardon.
What a position is this for the sinner! But next consider another strange fact. Because sentence is not executed speedily; because there is some delay of execution;--because Mercy prevails to secure for the condemned culprit a few days' respite, so that punishment shall not tread close on the heels of crime, therefore "the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. What a perversion and abuse of the gracious design of the King in granting a little respite from instant execution!
Let us see how it would look in the case of our friend or neighbor. He has committed a fearful crime, he is arrested, put on trial, convicted, sentenced, handed over to the sheriff to await the day and hour of his execution. The judge says--I defer the execution that you may have opportunity to secure a pardon from the Governor. I assure you the Governor is a most compassionate man--he loves to grant pardons; he has already pardoned thousands; if you will give up your spirit of rebellion he will most freely forgive you all; I beg of you therefore that you will do no such thing as attempt a justification;--don't think of escaping death otherwise than by casting yourself upon his mercy; don't flatter yourself that there can be any other refuge.
Now suppose this man begins--" I have done nothing --just nothing at all. I am simply a martyr to truth and justice! At all events, I have done nothing very bad--nothing that any government ought to notice. I don't believe I shall be sentenced-- the man is condemned already! I shall live as long as the best of you.
So he sets himself to making excuses. He goes to work as if he was preparing for a trial, and as if he expected to prove his innocence before the court. Nay, perhaps he even sets himself to oppose and curse the government, railing at its laws and at its officers, deeming nothing too bad to say of them, indulging himself in the most outrageous opposition, abusing the very men whose mercy has spared his forfeited life!
How would all men be shocked to see such a case--to see a man who should so outrage all propriety as to give himself up to abuse the government whose righteous laws he had just broken and then whose clemency he had most flagrantly abused! Yet this text affirms first this to be the case of the sinner, and all observation sustains it. You have seen it acted over ten thousand times; you can look back and see it in your own case.
You know it is all true--fearfully, terribly true. If it were in some striking, awful manner revealed to you this night that your soul is damned, you would be thunder-struck. You do not believe the simple declaration of Jehovah as it stands recorded on the pages of the Bible. You are continually saying to yourself--I shall not be condemned at last--I will venture along.
I will dare to tempt his forbearance yet. I do not at all believe He will send me to hell. At least I will venture on a season longer and turn about by and by if I find it quite advisable--but at present why should I fear to set my heart fully in the way God has forbidden?
Where will you find a parallel to such wickedness? Only think of a state of moral hardihood that can abuse God's richest mercies--that can coolly say--God is so good that I will abuse him all I can;--God loves me so much that I shall venture on without fear to insult Him and pervert his long-suffering to the utmost hardening of my soul in sin and rebellion! Let each sinner observe--the day of execution is really set. God will not pass over it. When it arrives, there can be no more delay.
God waits not because He is in doubt about the justice of the sentence--not because his heart misgives Him in view of its terrible execution; but only that He may use means with you and see if He cannot persuade you to embrace mercy. This is all;--this is the only reason why judgment for a long time has lingered and the sword of justice has not long since smitten you down. Here is another curious fact. God has not only deferred execution, but at immense cost has provided means for the safe exercise of mercy.
You know it is naturally a dangerous thing to bestow mercy--there is so much danger lest it should weaken the energy of law and encourage men to trample it down in hope of impunity. But God has provided a glorious testimony in favor of law, going to show that it is in his heart to sustain it at every sacrifice. He could not forgive sin until his injured and insulted law is honored before the universe. Having done all this in the sacrifice of his own Son on Calvary, He can forgive without fear of consequences, only provided that each candidate for pardon shall first be penitent.
Now therefore, God's heart of mercy is opened wide and no fear of evil consequences from gratuitous pardons disturbs the exercise of mercy. Before atonement, Justice stood with brandished sword, demanding vengeance on the guilty; but by and through atoning blood, God rescued his law from peril--He lifted it up from beneath the impious foot of the transgressor, and set it on high in safety and glory; and now opens wide the blessed door of mercy.
Now He comes in the person of his Spirit and invited you in. He comes to your very heart and room, sinner, to offer you the freest possible pardon for all your sin. Do you hear that gentle rap at your door? Have they not been pierced? Do you know those hands? Do you know where they have been to be nailed through and through?
Mark those locks wet with the dew. Ah, how long have they been kept without in waiting for the door to open! Who is it that comes? Is it the sheriff of justice? Has he come with his armed men to drag you away to execution? Oh no, no; but One comes with the cup of mercy in his hands; He approaches your prison-gate, his eye wet with the tear of compassion, and through the diamond of your grate He extends that cup of mercy to your parched lips.
Do you see that visage, so marred more than any man's--and are you only the more fully set to do evil? Ah, young man! Where can we find a parallel to such guilt? Can it be found anywhere else in the universe but in this crazy world? The scenes and transactions of earth must excite a wonderful interest in heaven. Angels desire to look into these things. O how the whole universe looks on with inquisitive wonder to see what Christ has done, and how the sinners for whom he has suffered and done all, requite his amazing love! When they see you set your heart only the more fully to do evil, they stand back aghast at such unparalleled wickedness!
What can be done for such sinners but leave them to the madness and doom of their choice? God has no other alternative. If you will abuse Him, He must execute his law, and its fearful sentence of eternal death. Suppose it were a human government and a similar state of facts should occur; who does not see that government might as well abdicate at once as forbear to punish?
So of God. Although He has no pleasure in the sinner's death, and although He will never slay you because He delights in it, yet how can He do otherwise that execute his law if He would sustain it? And how can He excuse Himself for any failure in sustaining it? Will you stand out against Him, and flatter yourself that He will fail of executing his awful sentence upon you?
Oh, sinner, there is no possibility that you can pass the appointed time without execution. Human laws may possibly fail of execution: God's laws can fail never! And who is it that says--"Their judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not? Let me ask professors of religion--Do you think you believe these truths? Let me suppose that here is a father and also a mother in this house, and you have a child whom you know and admit to be under sentence of death. You don't know but this is the very day and hour set for his execution.
The Hearts Incination To Evil
How much do you feel? Does the knowledge and belief of such facts disturb your repose? Now your theory is that the case of your children is infinitely worse than this. A death eternal in hell you know must be far more awful than any public execution on earth. If your own son were under sentence for execution on earth, how would you feel? Professing to believe him under the far more awful sentence to hell, how do you in fact feel? But let us spread out this case a little. Place before you that aged father and mother. Their son went years ago to sea.
Of a long time they have not seen him nor even heard a word from him. How often have their troubled minds dwelt on his case! They do not know how it fares with him, but they fear the worst. They had reason to know that his principles were none too well fixed when he left home, and they are afraid he has fallen into worse and still worse society until it may be that he has become a bold transgressor.
As they are talking over these things and searching from time to time all the newspapers they can find to get if they can some clew to their son's history, all at once the door bell rings; a messenger comes in and hands a letter; the old father takes it, breaks the seal--reads a word and suddenly falls back in his seat, the letter drops from his hand;--Oh he can't read it! The mother wonders and enquires; she rushes forward and seizes the fallen letter;--she reads a word and her heart breaks with agony.
What's the matter? Their son is sentenced to die, and he sends to see if his father and mother can come and see him before he dies. In early morning they are off. The sympathizing neighbors gather round; all are sorrowful, for it is a sad thing and they feel it keenly. The parents hasten away to the prison, and learn the details of the painful case. They see at a glance that there can be no hope of release but in a pardon. The governor lives near, they rush to his house--but sad for them--they find him stern and inexorable.
With palpitating hearts and a load on their aching bosoms, they plead and plead, but all seems to be in vain. He says, Your son has been so wicked and has committed such crimes he must be hung. The good of the nation demands it and I cannot allow my sympathies to overrule my sense of justice and my convictions of the public good.
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But agonized parents must hold on. O what a conflict in their minds! How the case burns upon their hearts! At last the mother breaks out. Sir, are you a father? Have you a son? Yes, one son. Where is he?
Gone to California. How long since you heard from him? Suppose he too should fall!
11 Bible verses about The Hearts Incination To Evil
Suppose you were to feel such grief's as ours, and have to mourn over a fallen son! The governor finds himself to be a father. All the latent sensibilities of the father's heart are roused within him. Calling to his private secretary, he says, make out a pardon for their son! O what a flood of emotions they pour out! But right over against this, see the case of the sinner, condemned to an eternal hell. If your spiritual ears were opened, you would hear the chariot wheels rolling--the great Judge coming in his car of thunder;--you would see the sword of Death gleaming in the air and ready to smite down the hardened sinner.
But hear the professedly Christian father pray for his ungodly son. He thinks he ought to pray for him once or twice a day, so he begins; but ah, he has almost forgot his subject. He hardly knows or thinks what he is praying about. God says, Pray for your dying son! Lift up your cries for him while yet Mercy lingers and pardon can be found. But alas!
Where are the Christian parents that pray as for a sentenced and soon-to-be-executed son! They say they believe the Bible, but do they? Do they act as if they believed the half of its awful truths about sentenced sinners ready to go down to an eternal hell?