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Do you Hate Evil? Part 2
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3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
What is evil? Today I'm afraid that many people have marginalized evil and placed certain things or behavior out of the realm of evil. If we were to take a pole (as the Barna Group does quite frequently) of people who consider themselves to be evangelical Christians, we would be extremely shocked from some of the results or answers people would give to define evil.
1 John 3:7-8 Little children, let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. But he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Evil is not something that man can define. Because of our partiality we see certain things as not being as bad as others. For example, the very beautiful motion picture star Halle Berry recently gave birth to her first child a lovely baby girl. Ms. Berry conceived her child out of wed-lock and says she has no plans on marrying the child's father. Now on the surface this does not appear to be what we would call evil. If you were to ask non-Christians, many (if not all) would agree that this behavior is not evil. Also many Christians unfortunately would echo the same sentiments.
Well, I recently heard a news report where a man kidnapped a young woman, raped her, tied her up and put her in the trunk of an automobile, and set the car on fire and burned her alive. How many people do you believe (Christians and non-Christians) would accept this behavior as not being evil. You are absolutely correct, none. Are these two different behaviors both evil? What were some of the things that Christ defined as evil?
Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (KJV)
Now we see how easily we can overlook things that may not appear on the surface to be bad or evil, but in the site of God it is evil. All behavior must be filtered through the lens of God's nature and His character and not ours. God sees evil as things that are morally objectionable, depraved, injurious, mischievous, hurtful, and degenerate. The bottom line is that it is sin. All sin is evil to God.
No man or woman can truly consider themselves to be a genuine child of God and continually practice some of the things that Christ listed in Mark 7:21-23. The devil is the one who introduced sin/evil into the universe and he persuaded one third of the angels in heaven to follow him. Whenever we as children of God sin, we are acting like the devil. This thought should devastate us and make us much more conscious of the tiniest details of our behavior.
The devil and all of his spiritual children practice evil regularly, continually, habitually, and constantly. They can't help it. However, we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ (right). We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (right). Well, answer this question, “Why are some people who name the name of Jesus even questioning or debating what constitutes true marriage?
2 Timothy 2:19 “Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.”
What is iniquity? This English word iniquity comes from the Greek word adikia, which means: moral wrongfulness (of character, life, or act), unrighteousness. Is this later portion of 2 Timothy 2:19 not extremely clear and forceful? Something very sinister is happening to the visible Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Where are those of us who know, believe, and live out the truth as we are guided by the Spirit of Truth Himself? Are you out there? Can we raise our voices by speaking the truth in love to stop this prevailing evil?
We (Christians) have already allowed the devil to distort the truth in the past. The Catholic Church killed thousands of Hungarians - then, for the heck of it, Germans - then Greeks. Christians also killed Jews. (This is the Crusade that was supposed to be a success.) The armies of the first Crusade were successful and took Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1099. The Crusaders set up Christian kingdoms along the coast of Palestine and Syria, and built strong fortresses to defend their new lands.
As we reflect back on these internal attacks on the Church by the devil, we can see how we today must be vigilant in our pursuit to root out all bitterness in ourselves and not allow any open doors or opportunities to the devil. We must stay sober, self-controlled vigilant and watchful.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)
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