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The Evil Men Do....

Evil


Do you believe in right and wrong, good and evil, black and white?  Or do you think that all things are relative to the situation?   This is the challenge our society is facing.  There are people who are truly evil—they truly have no remorse or regrets for unspeakable evil.  It might shock us, but we should not be astounded that it happens—it’s been happening since Cain killed Abel.  It is within each of us, and we must admit it. Bad people are living among us, some are the rulers of nations and some of us could become the epitome of evil.


The Bible says, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”  (I John 1:19, NIV)  No matter what a prestigious university president may say, that’s God’s view of the world, and He physical walked here for 33 years, knows all, sees all and  and created all things.  When John wrote this his audience was Christian, of course, the disciples of Jesus Christ, but he’s reminding them of this sober truth: there’s evil out there, and God’s has permitted the evil one, Satan, to have control.  Be wise about evil and call it what it is.


Why do bad things happen?  Well God is totally sovereign, but He has allowed the devil to have his way on this earth, for some reason— to create havoc keep people away from God, and deny humans a life of peace, prosperity and love. There’s no reason for war, famine and violence. It’s the devil’s idea.  But there’s also no reason for hiding from it, denying it or trying to negotiate with evil either.


Evil is real.  It’s not some ghost story or a thing we made up. The more I have read the news this past year, the more obvious it is to me that there are evil men out there—and some of them are ruling nations and commanding armies—they are bent on evil and the annihilation of good people and good things.  Now, they would never admit that. They do evil things and then claim it was meant to restore order or remove neo-nazis.  But China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, are run by megalomaniacs who lie and claim they’re trying to do something righteous, when anyone with good sense can see that it’s not true.


The fact is, there are many, many people out there that are totally under the influence of the enemy.  I honestly believe that many who are being led by “the prince of darkness”, led us, teach us, and even preach to us.  I have seen people who are simply dark, mean-spirited, sneaky, violent and give to know thought to how their actions and words hurt others.  The experts tell us that it’s all because these people did not get enough hugs as a toddler….but the truth is we are born with a hankering to do evil things, and sometimes evil wins and good loses.

I am offering this devotion partly because my sons struggle with evil. Not just the evil they do(!) but their confusion when they hear or see adults do evil.  They are confused as to how some of their classmates can be so cruel and uncaring.  One of my tasks as a father is to teach them that this is the world in which they live, and evil is present and flourishing.  Evil will continue, no matter how much we educate evil people, sedate them, incarcerate them  or try to rehabilitate them.  I am 100% certain of that.


But do you believe this? Do you believe that some people are just evil and have no heart  for the suffering of others?  I once did not believe this, but I do now.  Why? Because I’ve lived long enough to see it.  Sad to say, but some people have harden hearts,  and they have no intention of being converted. I’ve read the Bible enough times for this to finally sink in!   It’s important to talk about it, not because any sane person would deny that it exists, but because many people have a hard time believing and trusting in God because of all the evil all around us.


The eastern religions and atheists simply deny evil. But it’s the devil’s lie—there are horrible things, caused by men,  happening all the time.  I read yesterday of  five year old child in Georgia, that was raped and murdered by his parents—and they were just arrested—-35 years after the did they crime, with no remorse or regret.   Last month a “pro-Kremlin, Russian journalist, suggested that he had abundant evidence of corruption—evil—-that was committed by Russian officials, and soon he mysteriously died on an icy road near his home—Putin’s handprint was all over it.  The men that committed these crimes are hard hearted and will probably never turn from their evil ways or admit their sins.  They could, but they will not. And we need to admit it.  Some people do very, very evil things, and no therapy, counseling, negotiating or reasoning is going to change them.  There is a point where some folks never, ever turn to God …. God allows them to have their own way.


It’s hard to prove many of the Christian doctrines, but there’s one we can prove: The doctrine of original sin.  We know, first hand, that it exists. We prove it ourselves.  What concerns me is the dithering about right and wrong in our national discourse. Recently, a Seattle, teacher told students that identifying themselves as “straight” was offensive. He scolded some of his male students for being a “product of the patriarchy upbringing.…”   He is  tenth-grade Ethnic Studies World History teacher and self-identified communist, named  Ian Golash.  So saying you are straight is offensive?   Offensive to who?  To those evil ideologies like communism that deny the existence of God and moral absolutes.  As the Presidents of Harvard, MIT and Penn State famously said a few weeks ago, “it depends upon the context”.   We live in a nation where people are truly attempting to cripple the fundamental Judeo-Christian, mortal concepts that have framed Western civilization for 2000 years!


Evil does exist, please don’t listen to those that insist that it does not!  Paul said, “…reject every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, NIV). Now what he say that if evil was a myth?   And yet, evil does serve one very good purpose: It proves that there is a God.  Because if we know evil, see it and understand that is “bad”, we must also have a hidden idea of “good,” and understand that someone or something put that ideal within us.  Micah said, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8, NIV.  We aren’t the first ones that denied the obvious, Micah knew that! But all of us, even the hardened, know, or once knew, that there is something wrong within us that needs to be fixed.


You see, there is an absolute standard of good—something we yearn for and recognize when we see it, or the absence of it,  in others.  And we also pant for a place…and life of perfect and perpetual good.  And that, of course, is God Himself.


But as evil as things are right now all over the world, perhaps the greatest evil, the most profound fear of evil we all  have….is death.  People in Hollywood have made billions of dollars making movies about death, dead bodies, cemeteries, and the horror of death.  Why are we so afraid to look at or touch dead things, or even pass through a graveyard, or talk about death?  We cringe at the thought of the of death, even the death of animals, because something within us tells us that’s it’s not “good”….not what’s supposed to happen!  And we’re right. It’s not supposed to be this way.


Think about it: If death is a part of the natural process of life, as most suggest, why are we so horrified by it?  Why do we go through life trying to avoid it for ourselves and shield those we love from ever experiencing it, if it is a proper cycle of life? Perhaps the truth is that death is one of those evils that we know does not belong. Maybe death is something diabolical that invaded God’s original blueprint for mankind.  Maybe death is not natural…may  it is unnatural, and that’s why all men, in all civilizations, hate it.


Sometimes we deny the truth, when, in fact, we know we are whistling in the dark. Take for example what’s happening right now in Gaza, or Taiwan, or the rebels of Yemen, and the radicals in Iran. We know, that what they did is evil, and we know that no negotiating with the dictators of the likes of North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, nor deals and promises made with the wacko terrorists is going to change them. And yet we tell ourselves that we have to be careful to not offend Putin when he invades a sovereign nation, or poke the dragon in China when it threaten to invade a peaceful, democratic region, or they might get more aggressive.  When in fact, the opposite is true!  Each time we don’t resist evil, evil is emboldened!   You cannot appease evil, you have to confront it and defeat it. Is no-one in our State Department or Pentagon aware of this? North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, most nations in the Middle East, and even the small time players like Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua want to bury the USA because we have called evil—-evil!  The Hitlers of the world do not want transparency and righteousness,  Evil does not want to peace with the world, it wants to remove God’s plans from the world and dominate it—it is opposed to humility, mercy and goodness. Surely, you would not use those words to describe the leaders of Hamas, Communism, or dictators like Putin and Xi! It’s obvious that when people rape, torture, and murder people, as the Russians did in Ukraine, and the Palestinians did in Gaza, and then laugh and take videos of those they were murdering, there is evil in our world.

But our God is all-powerful and has determined to allow evil, pain and suffering for a good purpose. That’s the only way to understand evil. He has permitted it and continues to permit it. Why?


1. Well, God could have created a world in which evil was not possible. But that would not have been the best place to test the hearts of men. The best world is a world where evil is possible and men can choose goodness over it. It’s called free-will.  We are here to choose—good or evil. God or the devil.  And He calls those of who choose Him, His own children.


2. Similarly, God has allowed the very things that are good, to become evil. We choose, for example, to use fire to cook our food or warm our homes. But we can also use fire to torture our enemies or destroy entire cities.  Water is God’s provision for us for drinking, bathing, growing our gardens. But as we saw last week, too much water can flood our homes, destroy our farms and drown those that can’t get to higher ground fast enough.  Water can bring about evil things—-so can fire. It depends upon how it’s used.


I want to make two points in closing.  There is evil we confront as a nation but also as individuals.  As a nation, it is senseless to negotiate with people that want to annihilate Christianity and destroy basic freedoms.  What did God do to Sodom and Gomorrah?  What did God direct Jacob to do to the evil nations in the promised land?  What did God to Annanias and Saphirra in the book of Acts when they acted with deceit?


With God, there was no calling it what it was not—-it was sin, evil, contrary to what God wanted, and He took action or called on His people to take action.


And yet people can be converted, and sometime you can negotiate with them—-sometimes. But you cant’t negotiate with the devil, or and ideology such as communism, or a cult, or a religion, such as radical the radical Islamic groups that advocate the rape, torture and humiliation of those that do not agree with their beliefs.


The second point is confronting evil on a personal level,  Paul told Timothy, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22, NIV.  We can’t annihilate evil classmates or teachers or crazy people, but we can choose to call sin, sin, and we can choose to fellowship with those that pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  Young people, don’t be unevenly yoked!  Seek people who share your love of God and your belief in right and wrong.


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