Understanding Evil

Understanding Evil

If God is good, why does he let people do evil things?

Genesis 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genuine love requires the freedom to choose. From the beginning, God's desire a loving relationship with humans, so he gave us this freedom. But with the ability to make choices comes the possibility of choosing our own way over God's way. Our own way always leads to sin. This breaks God's heart.

Where does evil come from?

Jeremiah 17: 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Our own hearts, polluted by sin and selfishness are the source of much that is evil.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms

Cosmic forces of evil, led by Satan, are engaged in a deadly rebellion against God.

How can I combat evil?

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Start by resolving to hate everything that is sinful and evil.

Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Surrender yourself to Christ's control. Make sure that you don't put yourself in situations where you know your resolve for righteousness will be tested. The closer you walk with Christ, the harder it is to be caught in the snare of evil.

Ephesians 6: 10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Your own strength is insufficient to combat evil. With God's strength and protection, however you can win the battle.

Romans 12:21 Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.

It often seems like evil is winning can this really be?

John 16:22 Here on earth you will have many trails and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

It will appear at times that evil has the upper hand. But the Lord's power is supreme, and he will win the victory.

Revelation 21:4 He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and it's evils are gone forever.

When Jesus returns to usher in eternity, he will eradicate evil forever. No matter how bleak things may seem not, we are on the winning side!

Why do people often seem to get away with evil?

Psalm 73: 17-20 Then one day I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

All of us will someday stand before God's judgment seat. The present prosperity of evildoers is only temporary.

Isaiah 32:7-8 The scoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

It seems that people today can do anything they want and not only get away with it, but flourish. God has promised, however, that in his time everyone will be judged, evil will be exposed, and the righteous will prevail. If righteousness always prevailed on earth, then people wouldn't be following God for the right reasons--they would follow God only to have an easy life. God doesn't promise the absence of evil on this earth. In fact he guarantees that evil will be pervasive and powerful. But God promises to help us stand against evil, and if we do, we will receive our reward of eternal life with him in heaven, where evil will be no more.

Psalm 21:11 Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed; for you will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.

When you see people succeeding with evil acts, remember that they will not succeed forever. Their power is only temporary and God's very presence will send them scattering in a moment. God, according to his plan and purpose, will intervene for his people and give the wicked the judgment they deserve. We should not be dismayed when we see temporary advantage God's eternal enemies have.

Promise From God: Psalm 1:6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Source: TouchPoints Of Hope: God's Answers for your daily needs; New Living Translation; Choice Books, ISBN 0-8423-4229-X

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