Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 14, 2005
The Incredible Amount of Evil in the World Today
(Genesis 6:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-2)
Every day I get flooded with emails from people who are sad, frustrated, angry, and even scared about all of the evil that exists in our world today. Every morning when you wake up, there is a story of another child who has been abducted, sexually molested, and killed. During the day there will be a news alert of people being killed in their school, the execution style slaying of a Federal Judge's husband and mother, a man on trial for rape who overpowers a bailiff and takes her gun and kills the judge, a court reporter, a deputy as he is fleeing the building, and a US Customs Agent the next morning.
At night you sit down to watch the news and it is filled with stories of more of our brave young men and women being killed in Iraq, suicide bombers killing themselves and innocent people in Israel, thousands dying in civil wars in African nations, in addition to the tragic lives millions live each day under dictators like North Korea's Kim Il Jung. We are reminded every day of the gross evil that exits in our world.
Whether our world today is more evil than in years past, that is a debate for historians and social scientists. No doubt we have never had the communication abilities that we have today that enables us to literally see what is happening anywhere on the planet, so our awareness of evil is greater than ever before in human history. But never forget that the world at the time of Jesus, the world at the time of the first church during which the New Testament was written, was also full of unbridled and unchecked evil. As a matter of fact, Christians became a big target of that evil as they lived under tremendous persecution and being killed for your faith in Christ was a common occurrence.
As a side note, when we share with the lost today God's free gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ, we tell them about all of the benefits of becoming a Christian. The promise of eternity with God your Creator, being empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a victorious life while here on earth, the peace, and joy, and abundance of this life if you have Christ in your heart. Despite all of the reasons TO accept Christ, people are still reluctant, hesitant to make that decision.
Can you imagine witnessing during the day of the early church. After you share the hope and love a person can know in Christ, you have to add, "Oh by the way, there is a good possibility that if you accept Jesus as your Savior you will be put to death." Not sure how many people would be running for the altar during "Just As I Am," when you add that to the end of the invitation!
However, it was in the evil world that existed during the first century that the authors of the New Testament encouraged people to overcome evil with good, to put their hope and faith in Christ, that ALL things were possible with Christ, and that our citizenship was not of this country, but a heavenly one. You see, for the Believer, we understand that there is evil in this world due to men who have chosen to live their lives in rebellion to God and His Word. We know that one day soon, God will step in and put an end to that evil. But for this season while evil exists, we have got to live above the evil in our world through our faith in Jesus Christ and the hope we have in Him.
People ask me daily why God allows evil to exist. Why doesn't God, who is all powerful, just put an end to it. Again, the Bible teaches us that one day, very soon, God will. It is actually out of God's love, grace, and mercy that He allows the evil to exist. You see, when God does put an end to evil by wiping away this world as we know it, at that moment there will be no more opportunities for people to come to know Christ as their Savior.
The Bible teaches us that it is God's desire that ALL come to repentance and none be lost. Each moment God allows this world to continue, which also means evil to exist, is another moment for someone to accept Christ and escape the horrors of eternal damnation. Be assured though, evil will cease to exist when God pours out His final wrath and this world as we know it comes to an end as God declares in His Word.
Here is the message that I want you to hear today. Meditate and pray about this. Jesus, during His days on this earth did not eliminate evil from the world. Despite the great works He did, Christ did not wipe out the evil in the world of His day. We won't either! Evil will continue to exist until that final day due to men who have made the free will choice to live their lives in rebellion to God and His Word. What Christ did do, was change hearts and lives!
My friend, THAT is what God has called us to do as well. We can never eliminate evil from our world, that is not our job anyway. What is our job is to share the truth of His Word, the hope and love of Jesus Christ with people we meet in this lost and hurting world we live in. We are instruments of God to touch lives for the Lord and allow the transforming power of Christ to change hearts.
I love you and care about you so much. In addition to all of the evil in our world that we see on TV, hear about on the radio, and read the accounts of in the newspaper and online new services, every person reading this today has experienced evil in some way in your own personal life. In the 40,000+ prayer requests we get every day here at Liveprayer, we read about that evil so many are facing in their marriages, in their families, in their homes, where they live, at work or school, and sadly, even in many churches. Wherever you find men choosing to live in rebellion to God and His Word, you will find evil.
I will be praying for you today. Praying that God will watch over you, protect you, and keep you safe from the evil you may be facing in your life today. I also am praying that God will give you the boldness and courage to share the hope and joy you have in Him with those you come in contact with during your day to day life. Your job is not to wipe out evil, that is God's job. Your job IS to share Christ with those you meet along your journey who are hurting, lost, and without Jesus in their hearts and lives. Sadly, there is an incredible amount of evil in our world today, but bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer to that evil.