Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Five Theses on Evil

I have been struck especially lately by the evil that is around me and within me. That has gotten me thinking. Out of that I offer these:

1. Evil will be a part of our experience for as long as we live. And then, we will suffer the greatest evil, death.

2. Any change that we make in one lifetime in defeating evil, in turning a world filled with evil into something good, will be incredibly small, especially when compared to the evil that will remain.

3. Though the change that we might bring about in one lifetime will be tiny we still need to work hard to defeat evil. Jesus calls us to do that.

4. The key to defeating evil is the Gospel, the message that Jesus has come to change this world from the ugliness that it is to something beautiful. At the heart of the Gospel is Jesus' atonement as Savior and His ascension as Lord. It is by our living out and declaring this Gospel that evil will be defeated.

5. Pursuing the work of defeating evil will be emotionally and spiritually unsustainable unless we believe two things. 
First, that the Father is using our tiny victories over evil so that over a very long time - generations - there will be substantial change in turning evil into good. 
Second, there will be a time when evil will be completely vanquished. But that will not happen any time before Jesus returns. The complete defeat of evil is something reserved for the age to come. 
Believing these things will give us hope. It is only as we are armed with this hope that we will be able to continue the hard work of fighting evil.