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Monday, April 22, 2013

When Evil Ends

The popular sentiment is that nearly everyone is good. The world wants to believe that everyone is basically good. Therefore, evil comes when evil has affected these good people. In a sense they are right.

In the beginning God created a world without evil. Evil entered the world when Man invited it in. It has caused the world and all that is in it to fall from its original glory. The lingering image of God's glory remains but it is marred like a painting which has been slashed. The painting remains but it is flawed.

It may be hard to understand but damage to one ushered in damage to all. Every person born, every part of this world has fallen from its original glory. Thus, evil things happen even though the original painting can still be seen.

When I say that all of creation no longer holds God's glory, I mean that I am included too. I do evil things-not always because of a new outside evil influence but because I no longer perfectly reflect God's glory. It is not a trait that I lost. I was slashed from my beginning. It was passed on from a fallen world.

How could a fallen world produce an unmarred creation? It would be easier for cavemen to produce precision watches with only their flint knives and metal ore.

Yet, people are surprised when they see evil. They take the point of view that something evil must have happened to make a person do evil. Thus, they absolve all crime when they learn what evil caused people to do what they have done. They do not realize that evil will exist in a person regardless of the circumstances.

Evil exists in me. I cannot explain why I am short with someone I care about or why I will bite the head off of the person checking me out at the grocery store.  I act superior to those I feel are beneath me. I gossip about those whom I detest. I am careless in what I say and how I think. I want revenge for the wrongs which hurt me or others.

There is nothing that justifies my evil. My own evil makes me sick of myself at times. I want to believe that I am God's perfect creation but I cannot look in the mirror of my life and reasonably come to that conclusion.

No, I am only good when the grace of God matches the remnant of God's original glory placed in me. It isn't that evil caused me to act evil. It is that good has caused me to act good. Yes, I have some responsibility. I must allow that remnant to respond to God's grace. I must ask God to cleanse me from my evil. I must confess. I must allow Him to make me clean.

Unfortunately I have not yet been fully saved. I know that I will go to heaven but God's work on me is not complete until I have been restored to the glory God intended. That redemption will come when Christ returns. It is the time when all of creation will be fully returned to His glory.

Each day we hear of evil being done in the world. There is a mass shooting or a bomb kills several people or a con artists cheats a large number of people out of their retirement money or someone hurts another with his words. These things will not make logical sense. They are not created from logic. They come because of the disconnect people have with God. (Yes, even religious people have a disconnect from God!)

This should make us long for the day of Christ's return when all that is wrong can be changed to right. We should be groaning with creation for that day.

Romans 5:12 (ESV) 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

1 comment: said...

It is true we have no excuse for any evil we do, even when the root of our fallen-ness was established by the first Man.  

For non-believers, when they refuse the forgiveness that can come through Jesus, they are depriving themselves of the cleansing of sinfulness, and the weaponry and firepower to win over evil.

For believers, while it is still impossible to be without committing of evil or sin, if we aren't going to repent, confess, and ask God for forgiveness for sins or evil committed subsequent to entry into salvation, we too, have ourselves to blame, for the separated-ness from God. 

If the believers continue to offend the holiness of the Spirit or grieve the Holy Spirit, they are personally responsible.  It is still our responsibility to live right.  All those teachings, particularly those from the overly grace segment of our community, that suggest that it is God who is responsible for our living right, are heretic. 

Our volition is not taken away from us, and so, we, and it is we, have to choose right living, effort in it, and persevere in it.  Scripture talks about how temptation turns into sinning; it is clear it is NOT God who tempts us, AND it is our entertaining and giving in, to such temptation, that we are ensnared and enter into sin or evil. Squarely the responsibility is ours.  Scripture added that God (in His faithfulness) always tries to help by providing a way.  Scripture also said that we are not tempted beyond what is common to men.  

When we are believers, we have the weaponry and firepower to resist evil. Ps Prentis had, in previous entry, dealt with the full armor of God, which we are to put on.  We should not be complacent; not learning what is available for us, in terms of our weaponry and firepower.  

1 John 1:9, for example is a "weapon".  Overly grace preachers teach this is only for the non-believers (to enter into salvation), and not for believers; if you believe that, you lose an important weaponry or should I say, "medication" for wholeness.  Jesus used the Word as weaponry against Satan, when the latter tempted Him at the Great Temptation, and prevailed; if you do not want to learn the Word and put it into practice by living it out, can you win, over evil?  I doubt it.

When will evil end? Despite Jesus victory on the Cross, Satan will continue to put up a fight, continue to deceive, enslave people into evil, and continue to steal (Man's blessing), kill (the bodily man), and destroy (Man's soul/spirit).  As long as we are still living, our physical life, evil still confronts us.  We are not to fear evil, but we must know how to enforce the victory Christ Jesus has gotten for each of us.

The Apostle Paul did not suggest all we are to do, is just to bask in grace, rather, he called for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Do not be complacent. 1 Peter 5:8(KJV) - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Evil ends for me when I finish my race here - when He has called me home, or when He has come again.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions