Summary: Why would people chose to be wicked? And why would this lifestyle be a temptation even for the average Christian?
OPEN: I once read the true story of their English professor who was on her way to class one day. She was running late and was going over the speed limit. Then she saw the dreaded red and blue lights in her rear view mirror and heard the siren, and she pulled over. As the policeman was making out her ticket, he asked her why she’d been going so fast. Being an English professor, she thought she’d be a little clever… and so she quoted Robert Frost: "I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep."
The police officer smiled, and having apparently read a fair amount of Robert Frost’s poems himself, replied: "Well Miss, Frost chose the road less traveled, and, unfortunately for you… this wasn't it."
APPLY: When Jesus was on the earth, He declared:
“… Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Wise people and righteous people seek the road less traveled, and they find life and rest for their souls. But the foolish and the evil seek the popular road… and they end up finding discord and destruction.
And that’s part of the message from Proverbs 24
“the wicked are brought down by calamity.” (vs. 16)
They will “fall” they will “stumble” (vs. 17)
“the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.” (vs. 20)
And both our God and the King will bring “sudden destruction upon them” (vs. 22)
Now, if that’s true…
• If it’s true that the wicked have no hope and their lives will be miserable.
• If it’s true they will fall and stumble and ultimately they are destroyed.
Why on earth would so many people choose to live the lifestyle of the wicked?
As I was thinking about this question, I stumbled upon some verses out of Isaiah 5, and in that passage I found at least 4 answers to the question.
1st - Isaiah 5:18-19 says “Woe to those… who say, ‘Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it.’”
The wicked laugh at God. They mock Him. They don’t think He’s looking.
They say: Let God hurry, let Him hasten his work so we may see it. Let his work approach so we may know it.
(In a mocking voice) Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. He’s not even looking.
They mock God. They’re like a school yard bully that taunts every other kid on the playground. They think they’re untouchable. That God’s not going to do anything to them!!!
But what they don’t understand is: God isn’t ALWAYS sin a hurry to punish people. As it says in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is PATIENT with you, NOT WANTING anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God’s not in any hurry to punish the wicked. He wants to give them sufficient time to repent.
The 2nd reason people choose the wicked lifestyle is that they get used to calling evil good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20 says:
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
You see, the wicked try very hard to make evil things sound normal and good.
We’re going to have a little test.
• What do bars call the time where encourages people to get drunk? It’s called the “_____ hour” (Happy). It’s a time set aside to be “happy”.
• Homosexuality is called the “____ lifestyle” (Gay). It’s intended to portray sodomy as being fun and enjoyable.
• And the killing of innocent babies who are still in the womb is called “______ rights” (Women’s). And the child that is aborted is called a __________ (fetus). It isn’t really a human… it’s a fetus.
And you could go on and on and on with the insane attempts to make evil look good.
ILLUS: Years back there was a popular sitcom called “Spin City” (do you remember it?)
It starred Michael J. Fox and it was about a group of advisers to a NYC Mayor.
One of the actors on that sitcom was Michael Boatman. He played homosexual activist Carter Heywood and he said comedies are perfect vehicles for controversial subjects like homosexuality.
Boatman told TV Guide, "The best way to slide these controversial issues under America's doorstep, into their living rooms, is to have them start laughing first. Suddenly they find themselves, if not accepting new ideas, certainly more willing to discuss them."