Making Sense of Evil
It was with a BBC news App on my phone that I read about the three women from Cleveland USA who were held captive for ten years. I read the story about Ariel Castro’s crimes in disbelief and disgust. For days, I felt within me a sense of repulsiveness as they were just teenagers when they were abducted. I thought of my own children and their friends. I kept thinking about all the evil present in this world. But I kept checking the news about the crime to see the outcome, especially to see whether this criminal would be brought to a quick trial. Surely no punishment will be great enough to cover the intensity of the emotional, physical, and social damage that has been inflicted.
But what about all the evil and wickedness in this world? Why is there so much of it all around us? Why must innocent children suffer so much injustice? Why can’t God – or why won’t God intervene in such extreme cases? We hear of many stories of rescue at the nick of time. But why not at this time?
The Biblical prophets of long ago spoke of the day when God’s Messiah (savior) would come and put away all evil for ever. He would establish God’s kingdom on the earth. On that day, there would be no more tears, pain, or suffering. In due time, the Messiah (Jesus) came and inaugurated the kingdom of God. But that kingdom has not come in its fullness yet. The final consummation of God’s kingdom will only occur at the second coming of Jesus. On that day, all evil will be wiped out. The evil one (Satan) will be restrained and put away forever. Then there will not be anyone to tempt and prompt people towards sin and wickedness.
For now, we are in an interim period where two kingdoms co-exist. The kingdom of evil (of Satan) was given an opportunity to enter and be set up from the time Adam and Eve sinned. In the same way, the following generations (including us) continued to give opportunity for that kingdom to prevail in this world.
The kingdom of God, which was inaugurated by Jesus, continues to rule in the hearts of those who have put their faith in Christ. As people’s lives are transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, they become a part of this awesome kingdom that Jesus has established.
So as we read of the wickedness and evil in this society, we recognize that there are two kingdoms in conflict. Those who continue a lifestyle of sin continue to give way to the reign and authority of the kingdom of evil.
But those of us who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ have taken that important step into God’s kingdom. We live with a different set of values that defines who we are and how we live.
So as we see the evil and wickedness in this world, be reminded of the second coming of Jesus. On that day God’s kingdom will be consummated in its fullness. All evil will be put away as the Evil One is removed from the scene. That is the future we can look forward to.
How have you understood the evil and wickedness you see all around you?
Share it in the comments section of this blog post.