giving.jpg

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (II Cor. 4:8-9)

 

Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Just the mention of those cities reminds us all, of major recent acts of Evil perpetrated upon the innocent. The Rise of evil in America and around the world is alarming. For many, it is perplexing to see what humans can do to humans. Without conscience three men recently ended the lives of innocent men, women and children in Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs, Texas. The most recent at the time of this post, occurred in Sutherland Springs Texas, at First Baptist Church in this tiny rural community.

We are witnesses to the unfolding of Biblical prophecies concerning the final days before the return of the King of Kings.

The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,

3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.” (Ps. 2:2-3)

Each of these men were willing to open themselves up to the work of evil. They were complicit in the acts, they were not puppets. But the destroyer was directing the chaos.

The destroyer is actively seeking to throw off the shackles of constraint that have held back his anarchy. It is the Church of Jesus Christ that, with the power of the Holy Spirit, has invaded the darkness and pushed back the work of the destroyer. Binding him and his evil from overcoming the world.

11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). (Rev. 9:11)

The warfare against evil is age long for the church. The real enemy is the destroyer, satan. Jn. 10:10 lays out his plan for every individual life. The three violent acts of evil were carried out by human beings, but make no mistake they were under the influence of demonic spirits. Each of these men were willing to open themselves up to the work of evil. They were complicit in the acts, they were not puppets. But the destroyer was directing the chaos.

The challenge for each of us in the face of evil is to reclaim our footing. Evil forcefully pushes at our faith, kindles the flames for revenge, disturbs our inner peace, the injustice of it fuels our anger.

Every act of evil is first justified in the heart of the individual who carries it out. “I deserve it”, “They deserve it”, “no one tells me what to do”, “they are dangerous and I am doing right”, “I make the rules!”

“All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)

How do we combat evil? The challenge for each of us in the face of evil is to reclaim our footing. Evil forcefully pushes at our faith, kindles the flames for revenge, disturbs our inner peace, the injustice of it fuels our anger. God knows all about our feelings and emotions, the pain we suffer, the gross injustice, brutality and victimization brought on by evil. He gives us careful instructions on how to deal with evil acts and the people who perpetrate them.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Ro. 12:17-21)

These are the instructions that Jesus lived out on his way to the cross to pay the price for the sin and evil of mankind. He was wounded, beaten, spat upon every evil of mankind was placed upon him at the cross. In our helplessness, in our grief, in our deep despair we can hold on to the one who has overcome the world. We can gather our footing and stand strong. We are not overcome by evil! Evil is overcome by the goodness of God! He did not run from the cross, He boldly embraced the cross for all mankind. This is our message, this is our Hope, THIS IS OUR SAVIOR! We STAND IN CHRIST ALONE!

Comment