The other day (Thursday the 8th) I had this brilliant idea that I could re-post a series of news articles about really ugly incidents that haven’t quite made a big splash in the National or World news pages and then lead to a post on Evil in the world around us. Within a minute, I had my first post, it was easy to find this kind of stuff. As I continued looking, I found that there were so many to choose from that the only hard part was selecting just a few. As luck would have it, I also had the radio playing (on a news station) and while I was looking around, several more really ugly stories broke… Since this wasn’t intended to be a new blog, I realized that this had been a bad idea…
But a general post about Evil in our world is not a bad idea… I think…
At any rate, here are my thoughts on the subject for whatever they’re worth.
The questions that I posed on Thursday were these: Is Evil on the rise in the world? and What can Christians learn from it?
As for the first question, it is hard not to conclude from following the news that Evil is on the rise. To be sure, Evil has always been with us, from Eden forward. There has not been a day in all of history when it wasn’t present and busy. As a student of history, it has always seemed to me that Evil in the world has tended to ebb and flow. I think most Christians would agree that there have been times when things seemed to settle down a bit, and other times when the cauldron of Evil seemed to bubble over and get into everything… or was it just more visible? Maybe it’s just a case of Evil being more visible; ‘on the march’ you might say. It seems pretty clear to me that it is ‘on the march’ these days.
So then, if this is correct, what can we learn from it?
I fully understand that many Christians will say that the end is near. I offer no argument in opposition to this point of view, the truth is: I don’t know. The End may be at hand and only a matter of moments or days, or months… and then again maybe it’s thousands of years hence. I just don’t know!
However you might prefer to approach that subject, I think we can all agree on this point (when we think it through): It doesn’t matter whether or not we are approaching the End.
OK, I realize that statement might surprise you… have you thought it through…?
Jesus as far as I can discern, didn’t actually give us special instructions for the very end, other than not to listen to people who said “I am the Christ” (Matt. 24:5). The Lord Jesus told us that we should always be ready, for He will come when we don’t expect Him; like a “thief in the night”. (Matt. 24:36-25:46)
What instructions He did give we for all of the Church, all of the time: Matthew 28:18-20, the “great Commission”
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As far as I can tell, this command hold for all time, whether it’s the end or not
With that said, what can we do about Evil?
Here are my ideas…
First, we can examine ourselves to see what evil we might be holding on to. We can do this by prayer and study of God’s Word; I’ve already blogged on this point… Second we can do all that we can to be His disciples, and in turn make disciples of others. It strikes me that this is starting to sound like I’m about to re-state the Great Commission!
We can associate ourselves actively in a church family that stresses the Gospel and discipleship. We can put our relationship with Jesus Christ as the foremost thing in our lives and serve Him in a way that advances His Commission.
You see, in the face of advancing Evil, whether it’s near the End or not, we need to stress Christian fundamentals and do the things He has commanded. Can you think of any better way to stem the tide of Evil than by advancing the Kingdom of God? The Devil himself cannot stand against a church that is united in spreading the Gospel of Christ!
Maybe from time to time, I’ll still pop in a post or two from unusual news stories just to remind us about this.