A lot of bad things are happening in this world. And that’s nothing new. Right now we’re hearing a lot about the atrocities ISIS is perpetrating on anyone who does not agree with their specific radical ideology. But ISIS is only the latest and currently most visible expression of evil.
Any list of expressions of evil runs the risk of leaving out particularly heinous varieties. But here are a few examples:
- Human sex trafficking
- Violence against Christians in the Middle East, Africa, China, etc.
- Ethnic violence in various world regions
- Race-based violence
- Violent bullying
- Extreme poverty
- Extreme corporate greed and exploitation
- Violence against women, children, and even animals
My personal view is that righteous governments have a critical role to play in keeping evil in check. That truth is a Biblical value. (See Romans 13:1-5)
But this is not about political views or governmental responsibility. Instead, it’s about how you and I as individual Christians should respond when we become aware of evil, either in our own sphere of influence or in a larger context.
Here are a few things we can know for sure:
- There is a time for war. (Remember – no political discussion here.) If there can be war in heaven (Rev. 12:7), where God’s throne is, why should we be surprised that there is a time for war here on earth? Solomon specifically speaks of “a time for war.” (Eccl 3:8)
- The source of evil is not people. As evil as some people are, the origin of evil is not human beings. Evil comes from satan himself, who uses human beings to do much of his evil work. It is, first of all, his kingdom of darkness that we are against. We wrestle against “spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
- We are called to stand against evil. Love is not always passive. Instead, at times love is the most violent of all emotions – when it stands against evil. God’s children are called to act in various ways to push back the kingdom of darkness. (See Ephesians 6:13)
- God provides wisdom, and more, in the fight against evil. We must be careful to not label everything we disagree with as evil. We must use God’s definition, and His wisdom and strategy, in our stand. “Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war…” (Psalm 144:1) Sometimes that may be simply doing good: “Overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
- We may be hurt in the battle. To stand against evil may cost us much. Perhaps everything. Being a follower of Jesus puts us in direct opposition to the kingdom of darkness, with all that entails. “In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33)
- We can be assured of the outcome. We DO know the end of the story. And it WILL be over. “Affliction will not arise a second time.” (Nahum 1:9) It only looks like evil triumphs. Evil has an end. (Psalm 73:16,17)
- We are not to be afraid. When Jesus told his followers that they would have trouble, He also said, “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus has already defeated the kingdom of darkness, and we will experience that victory by remaining on His side.
It’s impossible to go through this life without encountering evil. It may be in your own home, your own heart, your church, your town, or your country. Evil is definitely in our world.
And when you see it, STAND! No fear here!
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Oh Lord, save your people! We plead for wisdom, courage, and strength to stand. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you had to take a stand against evil? Are you having to do so now? Leave a comment below.
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