April 19, 2020
The Knowledge and Reality of Good and Evil
I enjoyed some very interesting conversations this weekend with a couple of very close friends; one churched, and one unchurched. And I say "interesting" because they both began from a similar starting point, but ended at a very different conclusion, owing to their relationship with Jesus.
I am finding that people are beginning to take notice of what is going on in the world, and I don't mean the day-to-day visible changes that we are all seeing around us due to Covid-19. However, the virus has caused some to look beyond the surface of events, organizations and people, and dare to peek behind the curtain.
Such was the case with my unchurched friend. He has no relationship with Jesus, but categorizes himself as "a good person". I will agree that he does have a good heart, is kind, and I have rarely seen him angry or mean to anyone. And he only wants to see the good in others. Therefore, to entertain the thought that scientists would create a vaccine that might be harmful to children, or that modern "designer" pharmaceuticals are becoming increasingly toxic to the human body (just listen to the long list of side effects for some of the prescription drug ads on TV) is some kind of "conspiracy theory". And certainly, Bill Gates only seeks to do good with his charitable organizations; Warren Buffet is just a humble guy from Omaha who wants to help "the little guy" invest his hard-earned money; and there is no such thing as a global agenda or manufactured crises to submit mankind to the totalitarian rule of a Beast System. "Things just happen" and he has such a hard time seeing or believing that people could be that evil. And he definitely cannot conceive of hell.
Then there is my churched friend who is very intelligent and not so naive. She knows her Bible well; knows that evil exists, and is beginning to come to the realization that her desire to see all evil eventually come to the knowledge of the Saving Power of Jesus Christ might not be possible. That comes from our discussions on the very real existence of a cabal of evil men who willingly serve Satan's agenda. Call them the New World Order, or whatever name suits your fancy, but she can no longer ignore that they exist. Still, it is so hard to think that men would willingly choose evil over good. All you have to do is think of Hitler to see that truth.
She is not alone. For most Christians, it is difficult to venture outside the comfort zone of the Western Church to see just how evil that agenda of Satan's is, or to come to the realization that men would willingly cooperate with it. But for the sake of the next generation(s), it is important that people take the blinders off. We must begin studying and renewing our minds and preparing our hearts. Yes, we know that Jesus paid the price for all men, but eventually we should come to the gut and heart-wrenching questions my friend came to .... Is there hope for such evil men? Can they be Saved or is it too late? And I need you to understand that I am not talking about the Grace and Mercy that Jesus offers all men, even sinners. And I am a person who believes that He is a God of second chances, even when we are face-to-face with Him at the moment of death.
But here is where I believe the Body of Christ needs to get to in their understanding: We who know who we are in Christ cannot imagine separating ourselves so far from the One who is Love. But for those who want to follow Satan's agenda (whether they be called New World Order or by any other name), their truth is as old as the Bible itself. They believe the same lie that Adam and Eve believed ... "you shall not die" and "you shall be as gods".
Is there hope for them? I know that Jesus doesn't want to lose a single person to the Enemy, and if they would confess, repent, and ask God for forgiveness (and sincerely mean it), I believe they could be redeemed. But sadly, they refuse to acknowledge God, so He has given them over to a depraved mind. They will be judged according to their works, as we all will (Romans 1:28-2:11). And the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2, that they have a seared conscience, which means they will not have the ability to feel remorse, so they will not be able to renew their mind. Just as when you sear your flesh, it is dead, with no feeling, and cannot be restored. They will go to hell.
And that is another concept that may be too difficult for Christians to contemplate -- that our loving Father would deliberately consign men to hell. But Jesus, Himself, says there will be a final judgment, and He will say to those He has separated on His left, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Hell is a reality!
So, I believe that such evil exists in men's hearts; men who are so sold out to Satan, with hearts and minds so depraved that they will be unable to even consider God. These are the men talked about in Revelation 16; the men upon whom the Bowls of God's Wrath will be poured upon; men who "refused to repent of their deeds and continued to blaspheme and curse God...". That is incredibly sad to me, especially when I consider the immensity of evil that must be in their hearts.
Unlike my unchurched friend, I know there are men in this world who match that description. Would I hope that they would use their free will to choose God over evil? Of course! And believe me, it would be easier to refuse to acknowledge they exist, or to turn a blind eye, but I know that I need to be aware of them because I am an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, and they represent the kingdom of darkness. I need to know what, where, and how I am to battle in the Spirit.
And, believe me, I can identify with my churched friend. For a long time, it was really unfamiliar and scary ground to contemplate the depth of evil on the earth. It was much more pleasant and agreeable to focus on Jesus and His nature of Love, Mercy and Grace towards all men. But one day, the Father is going to give Jesus the go-ahead to render the Righteous Judgment of Heaven upon such evil. And once I faced the knowledge of that Day of Wrath, Evil no longer had the power to shut me down. I knew who I was, what my role was to be, and I felt I was qualified to get in the game. Actually, I needed to get in the game! And I was realistic about it .... could I, a single person, stop Satan and his New World Order or their agenda? Not in the physical. But I know I am powerful in my spirit, and He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
And this precious friend explained her own state of mind so well ... she sees the dots being connected; what was once fuzzy, is now "starkly clear"; and there's no more gray area. And I think the Body of Christ (at least in the Western Church) has been operating in that "gray area" for quite awhile. It's that place where we view the world with our rose-colored religious glasses on; the ones that project an optimistic outlook because we are Saved and going to Heaven. But there's a whole lot of Bible between the Resurrection and Revelation, and its clear that we will not escape persecution and tribulation. Don't you want to be prepared? The Prophet Hosea's that "My people perish for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6) has never been more appropriate.
I think it goes without saying that unless my unchurched friend begins to seek a relationship with Jesus, he will continue to be fooled into seeing the world only as he wants to see it. Perhaps he can live out his life never having to face evil and never choosing to pursue Jesus, but he will end up standing in judgment before the Lord one day and when he looks upon the face of the One who has loved him "before the foundations of the world", I expect he will wish he had pursued Him earlier. I pray that he comes to that knowledge and decision soon.
On the other hand, my faithful friend has come to the knowledge that we are in the midst of two kingdoms at war on the earth, and that she cannot rest in her contentedness or the gratification for her salvation. Knowledge is power and ignorance puts us in a position of weakness. Acknowledging the level of evil in the world does not mean we live in fear or doubt. It means the Lord can use us in greater measure as the times grow darker because we will be able to endure in faithfulness, having the knowledge of the Father's heart, and receiving the full counsel of God and His Word. We will be able to speak encouragement to others just coming out of the gray, fuzzy, disconnected parts of their faith. May we all walk bravely with the Lord as He continues to grow us up into His image, at one with Him and the Father, and seeing as They see.
Proverbs 24:5-6 A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.