Everyone has seen the news from Paris. Atrocities committed against normal people in normal, everyday settings. They were soft targets. If the attackers could have killed more of them, they would have. Many of the survivors have life-changing injuries. Horrible!
Just days before, 44 people were killed and 230 injured in a suicide attack in Beirut.
At the end of October, 224 tourists lost their lives when their plane exploded over Egypt.
All were terrorist attacks.
The responses are on both sides.
Some say, “Bomb them out of existence.” Others say, “That’s not Christian. We should have compassion. Innocent people will lose their lives while the bombs fall on targets.”
“Close the borders. Don’t let any refugees in.” “We need to have compassion and take in those who have suffered so much in their home countries.”
“Don’t trust any Muslim.” “There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. We’re only talking about the bad guys.”
“They’re trying to take over the world, and before you know it, they’ll be in our neighborhood.” “The status quo is fine. We’ll trust the government to protect us. They can screen those who are coming in.”
You hear the rumblings and counter rumblings.
The truth is, there has always been evil in this world. Ever since Lucifer fell,* there has been evil. Even before the first people stepped on earth, the devil was lurking in order to lie, deceive, tempt, and disturb. He’s against God and against anything that is good. He would like to destroy people’s bodies and souls.
When we see evil manifested, as we saw it in Paris last Friday, it shakes us to our very core. We could have been sitting at the café, sharing a pleasant hour with friends. We could have been in the stadium, watching our national team play soccer. We could have been on that back street. We could have been there.
Let me share four biblical facts that might calm our spirits in these uncertain times.
- The devil—the force of evil in this world—will be completely defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
- We do not need to live in fear. Jesus is the way of salvation. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28). For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke 9:56a). Jesus said, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
- God is the Judge. God knows each heart and loves every person in the world. He is the only One Who can judge a person’s heart. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17). I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1). Jesus said, He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48).
- We can and should pray for those in authority. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
So, what’s the real problem?
It’s sin. Sinful hearts manifest themselves in sinful acts. Sinful hearts are behind those actions that grieve God. Read this passage, which explains the difference between sinful actions and godly actions. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-25).
How can Christians have a lasting effect on the world’s situation?
- Share Christ with everyone.
- Obey the Great Commission and make disciples.
- Put away sin in our lives.
- Manifest the fruit of the Spirit.
- Walk in the Spirit.
* It’s a saying based on biblical Truth. The beautiful angel Lucifer was cast out of heaven for rebelling against God. Jesus Himself described his fall. (Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Luke 10:18)
** God gives authority to governments to act on the behalf of their citizens. (Romans 13:1-5) I’m speaking of an individual Christian in this post.