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New International Version
18 Or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked
20 For the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials
22 For those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?
23 These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good:
24 Whoever says to the guilty, "You are innocent," will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.
26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause – would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, "I'll do to them as they have done to me; I'll pay them back for what they did."
30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense
31 Thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
18 Lest the Lord see it and it be evil in His eyes and displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him [to expend it upon you, the worse offender].
19 Fret not because of evildoers, neither be envious of the wicked
20 For there shall be no reward for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
21 My son, [reverently] fear the Lord and the king, and do not associate with those who are given to change [of allegiance, and are revolutionary]
22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knows the punishment and ruin which both [the Lord and the king] will bring upon [the rebellious]?
23 These also are sayings of the wise: To discriminate and show partiality, having respect of persons in judging, is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, You are righteous and innocent--peoples will curse him, nations will defy and abhor him.
25 But to those [upright judges] who rebuke the wicked, it will go well with them and they will find delight, and a good blessing will be upon them.
26 He kisses the lips [and wins the hearts of men] who give a right answer.
27 [Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and deceive not with your lips. [Eph. 4:25.]
29 Say not, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for his deed. [Prov. 20:22; Matt. 5:39, 44; Rom. 12:17, 19.]
30 I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding
31 And, behold, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles were covering its face, and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I beheld and considered it well; I looked and received instruction.
King James Version
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked:
20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.
26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Becoming a Christian
Would you like to experience forgiveness and new life from the God of the Bible, who calls every person to believe that he sent his son Jesus Christ to make this possible?
The Bible explains why everyone needs to receive forgiveness and is called to serve Jesus Christ. The consistency of the Bible story, which was authored by people living thousands of years apart from diverse cultures and even different languages, is often cited as evidence of divine inspiration. Wikipedia has a list of many Biblical prophesies which have come true.
The story of God's plan to restore his relationship with us can be summarised in eight famous Bible verses below.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The truth in these verses is simple, yet to embrace it means letting go of all our personal hopes and dreams and embracing God's greater purpose for our lives instead, a purpose far above anything we could dream or imagine.
This is the most important decision you will ever make, because it affects not just the rest of your life here on earth, but what comes after as well. Don't put it off until too late. If you died tonight make the decision to spend eternity with your loving Father in Heaven.
If you're wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions from Mary Fairchild on About.com: