Do you have any idea how much power God has given YOU to stop evil in the world?
But even if you don’t, you know you aren’t doing as much as you could. Why not?
Answer that, before you wonder why God isn’t doing your job for you! Who facilitates evil?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
If “what can one person do against so much evil in the world?” is not your excuse but your plea to God, God has some great news.
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God’s News is so Good that if you reject it, it won’t be because you can’t see how good it is. It will be because you don’t believe it. Or because you truly don’t care if others suffer.
But if you care that you and others suffer – troubled by the evil in the world – yearning to understand why a God of Love allows it, here is the good news [“Gospel”, in Greek]:
You, yes you, sinful spineless finite faithless insignificant little you, can correct the evils you blame God for allowing! (If you can believe God.) “with God all things are possible”, Mark 10:27! Do you doubt that?
…whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23-24 Also: Mat 21:21, Luke 17:6.
I never heard of anyone wanting to move a physical mountain, but Jesus’ point is that even if the thing that makes your heart ache, that you wish you could change, seems as impossible to change as moving a mountain, God promises you that you can change it!
But watch out for the next two verses:
25 Whenever you stand up to pray, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins. 26 But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins. ISV
Why do you think God connects His promises with His plea with us to forgive each other? One logical connection is that the infinite power God offers, without forgiving those we help with it, will turn us into tyrants!
As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben told Peter, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
EVERYONE can be a hero. History is full of heroes, who didn’t start off rich, famous, smart, or even Christians. The miracle is that we are not all heroes – there is that much evil in us.
The mountain verses are for everyone. God reveals Himself to everyone, leaving everyone “without excuse”, Romans 1:20. Even those who never heard God’s words can be spiritually healthier than us Christians, Romans 2.
Especially with all our theological excuses.
Theologies that Justify Christian Failure.
“We are not called to be victorious, but faithful”. That contradicts the mountain verses.
Another is “God always answers prayer, but sometimes His answer is no.” This clever capsizing of plain words makes it presumptuous to believe what we pray for “shall come to pass”.
The theology that God sometimes answers “no” is based on Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” which he prayed three times for God to remove before God explained why He shouldn’t. 2 Cor 12:7-12. So even that one single verse where a righteous man’s prayer was refused offers hope that God will at least let us know if we are moving the wrong mountain, freeing us to find the right one. We needn’t sit placidly around, just waiting for death to take us away from all these evils which God will make us forget, because we have no way to know what we can do for Him that He will help with.
A third excuse not to expect victory is saying “it must not have been God’s Will” at the setbacks of life so it is OK to give up and watch TV; or praying that God will do His Will while we watch TV. This is an attitude of Hell according to Mat 25:24-30 which makes us responsible, if we don’t have enough talent to get the job done, to double our talents. God wants our involvement, James 2:14-26.
God enlists US in His war against evil.
Just like good parents push their children to learn to clean up their own rooms, and get angry (for their benefit) when they won’t, God hates it when He has to clean up our evil all alone:
Isaiah 63:4 I decided that the time to save my people had come; it was time to punish their enemies. 5 I was amazed when I looked and saw that there was no one to help me. But my anger made me strong, and I won the victory myself. 6 In my anger I trampled whole nations and shattered them. I poured out their lifeblood on the ground. GNB
Christianity is the only religion of Success
Although Romans 2 says it is possible to do good without the Bible, Romans 3 says there is no guide like the Bible. The Aladdin’s Lamp myth offers only three wishes, which has been great only for comedians. Christianity, alone, offers infinite potential, starting now.
And infinite protection. Psalm 91 lists every threat, and promises safety when we trust God. For a free book of wartime fulfillments of these promises: www.1687Foundation.com.
..and of persecution! We aren’t protected from what we choose. If you choose good, expect persecution. Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
We are protected from persecution until God is ready to turn it into good. Romans 8:28 …we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…
What is greater evil, than to torture and slaughter those doing the very most good? Yet God makes evil good, for those doing good. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers[e] temptations; [Gr: putting to proof] 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith [Gr: experience] worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
We expect more opposition, the more effective we are in stopping evil. Because nothing effective can be done, that is done the same way that has allowed evil to spin out of control, and yet if we do it in a different way, that challenges the Traditions that make everybody so comfortable. This includes Christian traditions.
The love that heals evil:
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Matthew 5:44 …Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
God Gives Good, when we ask! James 1:5, Luke 11:13. Prayer focuses our vision on good, by the same principle that children know better than to ask parents for harmful things.
God wants you to pursue victory over evil in hope. Not just victory over tiny evils, but victory over as much evil as you are willing to focus your energies and prayers upon.
God doesn’t just answer prayers He pre-approves! God invites us to be creative when we pray. It was Peter’s idea to walk on water, Matthew 14:29. All Jesus said was “come”.
Even when God isn’t crazy about what we ask, Luke 11:8 indulges “importunity” [persistent demands]: God dotes on us, willing to spoil us as much as any parent his child.
Elijah had no more inside track than we do, according to James 5:17. God didn’t tell him what to pray for, any more than He told Peter to ask if he could walk on water. But Elijah cared so much about evil, that He begged God for 3 years of no rain, believed – however desperately – that God would answer, and used it to end worship of a cruel rain “god”.
Reasons Prayers Aren’t Answered are common sense. Wronging our loved ones makes us the evil which they pray to be removed, which will “hinder” our own prayers, 1 Peter 3:7. Causing divorce causes God to not “hear” us, Malachi 2:13-17.
Will God overlook faults in you which you won’t overlook in others? Matthew 18. Your stinginess towards others reduces God’s generosity towards you, Luke 6:31, 38.
Prayer to “consume it upon your lusts”, James 4:3, won’t satisfy.
If you don’t want what you pray for enough to even try to discipline your own actions towards your goal, you won’t “receive anything of the Lord”, James 1:7.
If you won’t help others terrorized by evil, you will be terrorized by evil, and no one will help you, Luke 6:38.
Victory takes Time. Be patient. History is full of heroes overcoming impossible odds. Big victories can fill your whole lifetime.
William Wilburforce learned on his deathbed that his decades of pleading finally per- suaded England’s Parliament to outlaw slavery. Many missionary stories follow the same plot.
Jesus didn’t say the mountain would jump into the sea instantly. In fact, Jesus didn’t conclude His ministry instantly. He took 3 years, after living 30 years, after waiting 4,000.
God’s 6,000 year project. Daniel 2 foresaw tyrannical governments toppled by a “stone…cut out of the mountain without hands” and displaced by the growing stone.
What displaces political tyranny? Political freedom. Jesus started that stone rolling in Luke 22:25-26. God has waited for majorities to prefer freedom. God barely kept Israel from returning to slavery. Exodus 14:8-12, Numbers 11:4-6. Centuries later Israel voted to return to dictatorship, 1 Samuel 8.
Even today, the majorities of many nations choose religions hostile to freedom. And even in America, shaped by the Bible more than any other nation, there are barely enough votes to keep our government from veering towards tyranny, while our churches see so little spiritual importance to godly government that they don’t let members strategize how to shine the Light of God’s Word on the Darkness feeding off their government.
God’s Freedom Seeds. God waits patiently for His Freedom Seeds to sprout – found in no other religion – only in the Bible:
(1) Leaders were chosen in elections in Israel, Deuteronomy 1:13, and in the first Church, Acts 6:2-6. God equated an elected government with electing God, 1 Samuel 8:7.
(2) all human life is sacred, Gen 1:27, meriting equal rights, laws, and justice for all, Exodus 12:49. Galatians 3:28.
(3) God’s Heroes of Faith, Hebrews 11, featured critics of truth-censoring government, inspiring our Freedom of Speech.
(4) The Bible condemns slavery as we know it, making the stealing of a man a capital offense, Deut 24:7; capping servitude to repay debt at 6 years, Deut 15:18; and not allowing injurious physical treatment, Exodus 21:26. Philemon, a book of the New Testament, is a plea for a Christian to free his slave. 1 Cor 7:21-22 urges servants to become free if they can. Col 3:11 is U.S. civil rights law in a nutshell, attacking theories of racial inferiority:
“…there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
God’s Stone has slowly spread, building hospitals and schools, preserving libraries, mitigating really barbaric cultures, and purifying itself along the way until Bible study dared the Pilgrims to create a government in which all voted, with freedom of speech to discuss their corporate vision without being punished for disagreeing with their leaders! www.1620.US.
That Freedom shaped the governments of the U.S., and has been toppling the tyrannies of Earth. Perhaps God is waiting for it to return to the world’s churches. Or for us to worry less what government may do, and more about what God may do.
Fixing Evil Starts with You. As we pray against others’ evil, let’s not overlook our own. Mat 7:1-5, “cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” As we cry for the cruelties of strangers, let us cry for our cruelties to loved ones! Let’s let God answer the prayers, of those we hurt, to end our evils!
God didn’t mean for us to succeed alone. Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
Most evil results from working against each other. God’s antidote is readiness to work with each other as unstoppable Partnership Machines. Let’s do it!
God Came to pour love on the evil in the world. He came to personally hand-deliver His promises to help us win Victory. He came close enough for us to reach out and touch Him, and kill Him, which we did, and still do by silencing His witnesses. This shows God’s love for us, and our need for it. It shows human resistance, even of God’s people, John 1:11. It underlines the cost we must accept of doing good.
No wonder some accept such cost! It is for Love like none other. John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Such love moves us to sacrifice in return, which we find more fulfilling than all we had previously desired!
Little satisfies like Truth’s Victories. When none can refute it, but only silence it, it is confirmed as so good, and its enemies so evil, that Life for so noble a cause seems well spent.
Cure for Apathy. Isn’t this news good? I pray what you want to go away is the evil in the world – not just your responsibility to oppose it!
Love moves us to help when reason says we can’t. Apathy says we can’t, when God says we can. God medicates apathy with “double” what we do to others, Rev 18:6, Ex 22:4, 7, 9, including what we could stop if we cared, 1 Cor 4:5. But God corrects in love, Heb 12:6-7, and with as much mercy as we show others, Mat 18:21-35.
If we can turn from God, Love, Light, Life, and Truth for even a moment, what will make it impossible to turn away forever?
God is anxious to do miracles through us, working together, Matthew 18:20, as we reason together about what is evil, and how to end it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.