We Must "Examine Everything Carefully"

Because of the fact that Christ will judge us based upon our good or bad deeds (2 Corinthians 5:10), makes it a “must” for us to correctly distinguish between good and evil. However, contrary to this biblical teaching, the pervading mindset in our society today is to “call evil good and good evil” (cf. Isaiah 5:20). According to the inspired prophet, it is a serious matter to call something “bad” when it is actually “good” and vice-versa.

This is the reason why the inspired apostle Paul urges us to: “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB). In this text, let us note the word, “everything.” Paul tells us that we must “examine everything carefully.” Not one thing is to be automatically considered good or evil — “everything” must be closely examined. Even those things that are not immediately suspect — even those activities we like and enjoy doing.

By what standard must we examine “everything?” The standard is the inspired word of God as delivered by the inspired apostles (1 John 4:1-6; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-13; Gal. 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-3). Once we have examined “everything” carefully by God’s standard, Paul then admonishes us to: “hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB).

In the original Greek language, Paul is literally teaching us to “hold one’s self off of” (Gr. apechomai) every form of evil. Not just most forms of evil or those forms that we agree are evil; but “every” form of evil must be held off on — even if it comes in the form of something we like or something we want to do. If we suspect that something is a “form” (“appearance” KJV) of evil, we must hold ourselves off of it — we must completely abstain from it.

Beloved, let us note that all “forms” of good and evil are determined by the God of heavennot by man’s philosophies, ideologies, opinions, or traditions. Our job then is to examine “everything” carefully in the "light" of God’s word (Psalm 119:105) to make certain it is good before we participate in it, and to refuse to participate in it if it comes in any “form” of evil.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets