The Evil of this World
We are continuing in our series about what Jesus and the Bible say about the world and how to live in it. Last week’s article focused on what Jesus, who is the Truth, tells us about the world. In the process, we got an overview of who Jesus is, what He has done, how He has overcome the world, and how He now reigns over the world.
Reading last week’s article, were you surprised at how many of the Scriptural references refer to the devil and his demons? Amazing, isn’t it? When we look at those Scriptures we see quite clearly that Jesus came to overcome the devil and his evil, and they are very real indeed.
A couple weeks ago a YouTube video by a guy called “JP” went around social media. It is titled, “Why I Changed My Mind About Evil! (I Was WRONG).” In his own humorous way, JP basically says that in the past he could brush off the idea of evil, the devil and demons, but not in today’s world. It is all too real. He speaks of how we must learn to see the deceptions to not be taken in by it. He says with irony, “Evil people who are willing to kill men women and children are also willing to lie. Surprising, I know.” Yes, the lies and deceptions. JP refers to the enemy’s efforts to make us blind to God, “If they can blind you to God, you'll be blind to evil.”
The public comments posted on YouTube following the video were very telling. For example, “When you said ‘satan tries to get you to consent to enslavement’ that is more true than people know. I had no clue I was a slave until I was set free from all the lusts of my flesh and things of this world.” And, “Could not be more spot on! I was an atheist for about 15 or so years, then covid hit, I was able to see evil play out, it made me see the devil and the evil he is able to manifest. That in turn opened my eyes to God, I was able to see God in everything. I realized I had closed my heart to him and was wrong for so many years.” And other similar testimonies, all of which remind us of a fundamental principle: God only permits evil in the world so that He can bring a greater good out of it (Romans 8:28).
So what does the Bible tell us about dealing with the evil in the world?
The world itself is a deceiving world: its wisdom is foolishness (1 Cor 1:20). Its so-called peace through material prosperity, power, and false security is only a false peace (Jn 14:27) producing sadness and deadly grief (2 Cor 7:10). (“False peace,” sadness, and “deadly grief” – haven’t we all experienced this at some time?)
Those who followed this world, its prince (the devil), and its spirits (demons), are dead through sin and have become children of wrath (Eph 2:1-3, 5). The wrath of God is coming on account of what is earthly: immorality, impurity, and the like (Col 3:5-6).
This world itself is in a state of sin which only Christ can take away (Jn 1:29). The world’s “form” or “image” is passing away (1 Cor 7:31), as are the lusts of this world (1 Jn 2:16) and its demonic rulers (1 Cor 2:6). (Yes, the ultimate rulers of the world the Bible calls “demonic.”)
Thus we should live in the world as though we were not in it (1 Cor 7:31; 1 Jn2:15-17). We must resist coming into bondage to the world and not be enslaved by it (Gal 4:8-9). If we seek the friendship of this world, then we become an enemy of God (Jas 4:4). We cannot serve two masters (Mt 6:24).
Our hope remains in God, in Jesus Christ. He has overcome the world. Ask Him to open your eyes and free you from the lies and deceptions of this world.
Dibby Allan Green
Dibby Allan Green has a BA in Religious Studies (Westmont College, 1978) and MA in Theology (Augustine Institute, 2019), is a lay Catholic hermit, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.