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Christian Life

The New Bad

Greg Laurie

It seems as though everything is turned upside-down in our culture today. Think about it: Good has become bad and bad has become good. This is even true of certain slang expressions we use today. Back when I was a kid, words like "far out" and "groovy" were popular, although I could never bring myself to actually say "groovy." Some of these terms have gone by the wayside, but certain expressions dating back to the 1950s are still popular today, such as "cool." Here in the 21st century, people still say "cool."

But today, we have another word, "hot," which means the same thing as "cool." To take it a step further, if something is really cool or really hot, we say that it's "bad." If you have a really fast car, someone might ask you, "How fast will that bad boy go?" They wouldn't ask, "How fast will that good boy go?" because good is bad and bad is good. Everything is turned upside-down.

In the old days, back when more people would try to live a moral life, if someone was doing drugs or having sex before they were married, people would say, "Oh, that is bad," and "bad" actually meant bad. But now in our twisted culture, which is reinforced by music videos, television, and all the rest, someone who might do these things would be-in a way-good. Meanwhile, someone who doesn't do these things would be considered bad.

Here is what the Bible says: "What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever" (Isaiah 5:20-21 NLT).

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, then you will be considered bad in the eyes of many, and by "bad," I'm speaking of the negative sense of the word. You will be thought of as conceited or lame or out-of-touch or insensitive. So here is what it comes down to: If you want to be a true rebel in today's culture, if you want to be a real bad boy or bad girl, then simply follow Jesus Christ. That is true rebellion. In today's culture, it is not rebellious to do drugs. It is not rebellious to have sex before you are married. It is not rebellious to party. These things are the norm. But it is rebellious to live a godly life. It is rebellious to go against the flow of the culture.

Psalm 1 begins, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (verses 1-2, NKJV). Note the progression in this verse: First you are walking, then you are standing, then you are sitting. And that is exactly how temptation works. You are just walking by, minding your own business. Then you are standing and thinking, Whoa! What is that? Then the next thing you know, you are sitting. You are doing something you shouldn't even be thinking about, much less engaged in.

So be careful. The Bible says, "Don't be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant" (Galatians 6:7 NLT). Satan will try to pull you in and destroy you. But Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 NKJV). In other words, He wants you to live a life that is full. You don't need drugs. You don't need alcohol. You don't need to chase after the things this world says you need to make you happy. If the things this world offers has all the answers, then why are people so miserable? Because that is not where it's at. It is in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Why settle for the cheap substitute when you can have the real thing?

Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life." That is life not only beyond the grave, but life during life. Medical science seeks to add years to your life. But only Christ can add life to your years and give you a life that's worth living.

Reproduced by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA, 92514.


Originally published September 17, 2007.

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