Destroying Evil

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SERMON: Destroying Evil

Posted by Franklin Church of Christ on Sunday, July 23, 2017

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There are always moments throughout our lives when that bring about moments of worry and anxiousness. How do you deal with them?

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Poisoned, by Mitch Davis (05/18/2014)

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While God made mankind (and his tongue) to be created for His glory, Satan’s poison of deceit has brought out the worse in how we use our tongues. Even now, Christians must guard against the evil that is our tongue.

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We Must Heed God’s Warnings About Sin

God has always exhibited His care for his children. One of the greatest ways to show His concern for us is to warn us of impending danger. He knows Satan and He knows us; He made us after all. Satan is the master liar and a great manipulator. We first become acquainted with him doing his best work in evil in Genesis 3. With his cunning, he was able to convince Eve that he was not evil or a liar, but God was. By this deception, sin entered the world, and Satan has not stopped his war against God and mankind since. But God, through His great love for His creation, has not ceased to warn us of the great evil Satan can do to us.

God warned His children through Isaiah in Isaiah 5:20 that there would be those who would be so diluted by Satan as to call evil, good and good, evil. Nothing has changed since the woe was pronounced on those who did this. We are bombarded through every conceivable method with this same message. Movies, mass media and even our lawmakers and judges preach the word of Satan; evil is good and good is evil. The most deceptive part of this is the fact that this perversion is taught us by the seemingly wise of this world.

These are warnings given by Paul in Romans 1. In verse 18, Paul warns us about those on whom God’s wrath would be revealed; those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Verse 22 says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” How do we know who they are? Just as Isaiah had warned, they called evil, good and good, evil, and Paul said in Romans 1:25, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” How often have we been shown by men’s actions that greed is good or homosexuality is acceptable? The sad part of Paul’s warning was that those who practiced these things were ones who knew the “ordinance of God” according to verse 32. But, Paul also said in verses 19 and 20 that no one is without excuse because God has made Himself evident within them and through His creation.

Paul explained to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 what the practices of men would be like so he could recognize them. They would be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. He further told Timothy to avoid such men. Look at this list and see if you recognize people in the news, those in Hollywood, and maybe your neighbor. May we never find these characteristics in ourselves. We need to be like the man Paul described in Timothy; followers of Paul’s teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings. We must recognize and avoid the people Paul described in verses 2 through 7 and never forget the power of the Scriptures. Paul tells us in verses 16 and 17 that they are inspired of God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. As God’s children, we need to avoid the cunning of Satan and his servants and be transformed by the renewing of our minds as Romans 12:2 tells us. The power of renewing our minds and thus our lives lies in the work of God’s word in our lives as described in 2 Timothy 3:16,17. Live it, teach it to your children and to all who will listen. Do what Paul told us in Romans 12:9, “Abhor what is evil and cling to what is good.”

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Evil Exists because God is Love

Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived about 300 B.C., said, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able and not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” Others have asked these same questions for the 2300 years since. However, in their seeming wisdom, they merely demonstrate how philosophers, enamored with their own wisdom cannot see the flaws in their own reasoning.

Epicurus and his philosophical offspring over the millennia have created a false dilemma. That is, they have developed a set of choices and acted like the choices they have listed are the only ones available when they are not.

Epicurus believed a God who is able to eradicate evil but doesn’t do so must be malevolent. So, there are but two choices. Either God is not able to do anything about evil or God is evil Himself. It didn’t occur to Epicurus that there is a third option. It never occurred to him that God might actually be wiser than him and have a better alternative.

Is it possible God sees a good end that can come from the evil and suffering that goes on in the world even today? Is it possible God allows evil because in His infinite wisdom He can actually use it in a way that benefits men if we will let it?

I suggest God who is able to eradicate all evil is unwilling to do so not because He is malevolent but because He loves us too much to do so. First, His love is demonstrated by granting us the free will to choose between good and evil. He loves us too much to force us to be good like Him. He lets us pursue our own course.

Second, He loves us enough to allow evil so that we may grow and learn to rely on Him, which leads to salvation (cf. II Corinthians 12:7-10; Romans 5:3-5). Without evil in the world, we would have no notion of our need to turn to and rely on God. We would be lost and never know it.

Third, He loves us enough to allow evil so we can learn to be merciful like Him (cf. Matthew 5:7). If there were no evil, we could not learn how to relieve the suffering of those who have endured evil. We could not learn to be like God.

Finally, God loved us enough to send His Son as an answer to all evil. By surrendering to Jesus (cf. Galatians 2:20), we can eradicate evil in our lives and help do so in others and prepare for the day God eradicates the world because it is evil.

Yes, evil exists, but not because God is malevolent. No, evil exists because God is love.

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PS. As promised, you get extra bonus material on our website that those who only read the bulletin version of this article don’t get.

I just had to use the version of the pic above because of the smart-aleck comment whoever generated this version made. “Athiests (sic) Winning Since 33 A.D.” This poor individual, who doesn’t seem to even know how to spell “Atheists” also doesn’t get it. He sees the death of Jesus in A.D. 33. Certainly, on that Friday, it seemed like Atheists had won. Yet, on the third day, they found out they were losing. 

Jesus claimed the victory by rising from the dead. 

Of course, this atheist will deny that happened. However, this statement is a great logical contradiction for the atheist. In fact, by making this smart aleck comment, the author of the picture admits that Jesus was someone important. He was not just some unknown or fictitious person. He was and is a real person. He is someone that has to be dealt with if one is going to be an atheist. Further, note the use of A.D. What an admission of the importance of this man who is supposedly nothing but just one of us. All of time has been measured from this man.

Here is my challenge, if the atheists won in 33 A.D. by killing Jesus, produce His remains. If you can’t, then learn who was truly victorious in 33 A.D.

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