Most people in the United States know the name of the leader of Al-Qaeda who with the help of others planned the attacks that took place on American soil twelve years ago today ... I will not mention his name here. He is dead, along with others whose desire was only to seek, kill and destroy. But there are others ... a seemingly never-ending and growing stream of people bent on destruction. Their motives are varied: from an insatiable craving for power to a deep-seated hatred borne of lies and deceit. The blindness of SELF destroys many from the inside out. The spiritual state of mankind is desperate and hopeless. 9/11 ... a date that brings to mind the remembrance of intense evil ... and since then Iraq, Afghanistan and other examples of the growing evil around us ... cause us to pause and move some to wonder if evil is winning.
Truth is truth, the facts are facts, history is history. Evil may win some battles, but it will not win in the end. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has promised that HE will win the victory for those who come to Him through faith in His anointed King, Jesus Christ. Our God reigns!!
Psalm 2 points to the hope that those who know Jesus Christ can have as we live in this world today:
"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One. 'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.' The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, 'I have installed MY King on Zion, my holy hill.' I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.' Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him" (Psalm 2:1-12).
We live today in the most uncertain time in the history of the world and of mankind. Ours is the first generation to have the capability to destroy ourselves and yet, the technology to communicate with people all over the planet at the same time. There is great potential for good and people want to be optimistic as they look at the future of planet earth and of mankind. The problem: evil ... evil that resides within the very nature of humanity. God has promised that evil will not win in the end, but He has told those who are disciples of His Son Jesus Christ that there will be suffering and trials until Jesus returns.
"Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power" (II Timothy 3:1-5). So it is today as many consider themselves "religious" and basically "good," but who reject God's Word and make for themselves gods of their own invention.
When evil rears its ugly head in moments like 9/11 much of the world is appalled that men are capable of such acts, but we should not be surprised. Hatred and murder and anger and worse lie within the human heart. It has been so since Cain killed his brother, Abel, shortly after Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden and were cast out of God's presence. Satan himself rebelled against God, his Creator, in heaven itself, and one-third of the angels followed him. What we see on the news every day is the result of this rebellion against God.
We need a Savior! Every person who has ever walked this earth has needed a Savior. Evil brings the judgment of God, sooner or later, or both. Evil deceives people and makes them believe that WE can overcome the evil in men and in the world all around us. Only the one true God offers real hope in the midst of all the evil around us, and that hope is found only through faith in Jesus Christ. Today, however, many are being deceived into believing that all religions are equally valid paths to this one true God. Even some who claim to know Jesus believe that the followers of Mohammed or Buddha or the Dalai Lama or other religious leaders are all following the same "god."
The longing for peace in this world and for unity among all of mankind leads people to ignore God's offer of forgiveness and salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, God's own anointed King. Satan is the father of lies and as I have written previously, religious diversity leaves millions without a Savior. Many today have heard the name of Jesus, but have never heard the truth about who He is or what He came to do, or that He is coming again to establish God's kingdom in a new heaven and a new earth.
Evil is spreading. That's not a popular message, but it IS God's message. Those who think that evil will stop advancing, that it will somehow implode and disappear, are self-deceived. It is wishful thinking. Whether we should have carried out a military strike against Syria or not can be and will be debated - apparently for an extended period of time ... but this much is certain: the evil that motivates men like the leaders of Syria, Iran, North Korea and other nations will not just go away. And that same evil resides in US, which is why we must continually question our own motives.
Christians, those who have been born again by the very Spirit of the God who created us, true believers in Jesus Christ, have the answer. We have the answer not because we are so smart, but because God has opened our minds and our hearts to receive the answer He has given in His Word, the Bible. It is found in the words of Jesus when He says, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." By faith in Jesus, believing that He died on the cross to bear God's wrath against your sins, that He rose again and ascended into heaven, from where He reigns over all things until He comes again to establish His kingdom on the earth ... by believing all that the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ and what it means to be called by God to be one of His disciples, you can KNOW that there IS hope!!
Evil will not win ... because God has promised!! Things WILL get worse before they get better. It is important to know what the Bible says about the end times. God says that many will fall away and will perish because they did not love the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10). Others will remain in the darkness in which they were born, looking only for a solution in this world and hoping for the best. They will follow anyone (right now, the leaders of Russia and Syria) who will tell them that there is a chance for peace in this world. They will sacrifice their morality, their compassion for people brutally killed by dictators and their integrity for a "chance" at peace, all under the disguise of "diplomacy." It is like a lamb negotiating with a lion.
God has taken all of this into account. He knows the end from the beginning. He allows people to reject Him, to carry out their evil designs and to mock His name, even as Jesus allowed Himself to be beaten and spit upon and crucified. Satan and evil thought they won ... surprise!! Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death and now He reigns until He makes His enemies His footstool. The calling of the Church, of those called out of the world to follow Jesus Christ, is to live in this world to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ until He comes, offering forgiveness and hope and life to all who believe in Jesus. God knows those who are His and all whom He has chosen will hear the Gospel and be moved by His Spirit to believe and be saved.
Judgment will finally come on mankind - on ALL of mankind. I have been told that some will not believe in a God who will send people to hell, but you see, we ALL deserve to go there. "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and "the wages of sin is death!" (Romans 6:23). But that same verse goes on to say, "but the GIFT of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Have you received that gift? John writes in his first letter to the churches, "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son (Jesus). And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life" (I John 5:10-13). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Evil will not win ... JESUS will win!! It is not some generic "love" that wins, but the love of the God who sent His Son to die on the cross to take your place and mine, the love of the Savior who suffered God's judgment for all who believe, for all whom the Lord our God will call. Is God calling you today? Will He use you to tell others about Jesus so that they will come to Him to be saved. Wherever you are in the world, you can know today that God is with you, that He loves you and that there is hope in Jesus Christ. Evil will often seem to be winning. Do not be afraid. God is with you and He has promised.
If you are reading these blogs from anywhere in the United States, or in one of the many countries who have people reading these words, I encourage you to tune in to realremnantradio.com to be encouraged to persevere in your faith and to share this good news with others. Tell others to read these words and to pass them on ... not because I have written them, but to build one another up as we see the end of this age drawing near. May the Lord encourage you today as you seek Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, through Him we have access to His very throne in heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16).
God bless you and keep you in His love and grace! I would love to hear from you. If you want to send me a personal note or a question, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.