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When Good Men Do Nothing

Real Christians fight real evil in the real world, not sit back and reap the benefits as the world eats up and spits out people as yesterday's garbage. -Mike S.-


I. Edmund Burke once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Albert Einstein quote

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

A. In the endless battle between good and evil, it is seldom the numbers that determine the outcome of each skirmish.

B. Many times, the side for the right has beaten overwhelming odds.

C. More often evil wins simply because the good men are not willing to stand up and fight for what they know is right.

II. When Good Men do Nothing, they Get Nothing Good Done

A. To be good, one must do good.

B. The parable of the one talent man.

1. They are standing idly by. They are mere spectators, sitting on the sidelines instead of actively participating in the good work.

2. If good wins, they join in the celebration, though they did nothing to produce the victory.

3. If evil wins, they complain long and loud, though their own apathy produced the undesirable result.

III. When Good Men do Nothing, Evil Triumphs.

A. Evilness, sin, and sinful men must be opposed. God commands that the good are not to just avoid evil, but to actively oppose it.

B. Elijah challenged the people to decide between God and the evil of Ahab and Jezebeel, yet the people remained silent - 1 Kings 18:21Bible quoteAnd Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.1 Kings 18 verse 21

C. In the parable of the good Samaritan, wicked men had robbed and beaten a man, leaving him half dead. The men who did this were very evil. The priest and the Levite, who passed on the other side (Luke 10:31-32Bible quote(verse 31) And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

(verse 32) And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him], and passed by on the other side.Luke 10 verses 31-32
) were willing to let evil triumph by not doing anything. Only the Samaritan stood up for what was right.

D. In the fight against evil there is no middle ground, no gray area, no neutrality - Matthew 12:30Bible quoteHe that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.Matthew 12 verse 30.

IV. When Good Men do Nothing, They are no Longer Good

A. Too many have the mistaken notion that good is merely the absence of doing wrong.

1. A person is not good merely because he has done no evil.

2. A good person is one is actively working for what is good - 1 Peter 3:11Bible quoteLet him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.1 Peter 3 verse 11

3. When we do not do good, we are sinning - James 4:17Bible quoteTherefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.James 4 verse 17

B. Reuben, the eldest of the sons of Israel, knew his brothers’ plot to murder Joseph was wrong.

1. He started an attempt to rescue Joseph, but while he delayed, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery.

2. When Reuben found out what had happened, he realized that his inaction helped to bring. Instead of correcting his error, he covered his guilt by agreeing with his brothers to lie about Joseph’s disappearance - Genesis 37:29-33Bible quote(verse 29) And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph [was] not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

(verse 30) And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child [is] not; and I, whither shall I go?

(verse 31) And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

(verse 32) And they sent the coat of [many] colours, and they brought [it] to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it [be] thy son's coat or no.

(verse 33) And he knew it, and said, [It is] my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.Genesis 37 verses 29-33

3. Reuben had good intentions. He was not present when Joseph was sold into slavery, but his inaction and absence made him just as guilty. His guilt haunted him the rest of his life - Genesis 42:21-22Bible quote(verse 21) And they said one to another, We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

(verse 22) And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.Genesis 42 verses 21-22

C. Obadiah condemned the Edomites for doing nothing when evil befell their relatives, the Jews - Obadiah 11Bible quoteIn the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou [wast] as one of them.Obadiah 1 verse 11

D. There are Christians today who fail to face the real foe of error and fight the enemy. Instead, they turn inwardly upon their own brethren and brutally attack out of bitterness and hatred.

1. Well did Paul warn about these spiritual cannibals - Galatians 5:15Bible quoteBut if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.Galatians 5 verse 15

2. Some in their envy of others will provoke Christians, taunting them to misstep so they may feel justified - Galatians 5:26Bible quoteLet us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.Galatians 5 verse 26

3. While the actions of these Christians are shameful, what about those who stand by and do nothing? If you stand aside and do nothing while your brothers are being slandered, are you any better?

V. Those who fail to do so are sowing dangerous seeds - Galatians 6:7Bible quoteBe not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.Galatians 6 verse 7

A. Do not allow evil to triumph by your inaction.

B. Stand up and be counted. Speak up against evil, rebuke evil men and their wicked ways.

Judging Others Bible Facts