When Good Becomes Evil

Why are Christians and the truth so severely attacked in our society today? On the devil’s part, the answer can be found in II Corinthians 4:3-4. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” While Satan may influence people to scoff at the idea of absolute truth, he has no problem believing it himself. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”(James 2:19) While our enemy works overtime in his efforts to persuade us that one belief system is just as good as another – he understands full well that it’s a lie. He knows that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life,” and that no one can approach the Father but through Christ. Satan greatly fears truth because he realizes that it has the power to free people from his evil grasp. He believes everything that Jesus ever said, including, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” and “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32, 36). The devil recognizes what truth is and where it can be found for he believes what Jesus prayed in John 17:17 – “thy word is truth.” Satan works so earnestly to keep truth hidden because he knows its potential.

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But there is another side to this attack on Christians and truth. True Christians are often being harassed and ridiculed today because of the world’s appetite and love for sin. Jesus said, “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:19-20) Many do not want to believe in absolute truth because to do so would require a change in their behavior. So, in lieu of that, they choose to redefine what is good and bad. They determine that what was once wrong is now right and what was right is now wrong. The Apostle Paul described it this way – they “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…(they) changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…” (Romans 1:23, 25) He went on to say that they did this because they were “haters of God.” (vs. 30) After all, the possibility of there being but One true God and Creator, to whom they must answer, severely cramps their style. Thus they do whatever they must to change the truth into something that will cut them some slack and allow them room to satisfy their ungodly cravings.

This hatred of God then carries over to those who represent Him. In II Timothy 3, Paul described the root problem behind these perilous end times in which we live, saying, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” (vss. 2-3) When people have a passion for the forbidden, anyone who would question their right to what they long for becomes their enemy. Again, good must be redefined as evil and evil as good. The effect in a society of this shift in beliefs is revealed in verse 12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

It is no accident that in our society “tolerance” is granted to anyone and everyone except fundamental Christians. Christians are fair game! “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3) “Ridicule Christians, they’re the problem. Call them names – bigots, radicals, extremists. Blame them for all of society’s ills.” Again, today’s “tolerance” is for anyone but Bible-believing Christians. Much like the Jews were demonized in pre-World War II Europe, so are truth believers in America being portrayed as hate mongers today.

Such a mindset makes the task before us all the more difficult. When a society redefines sin it makes it increasingly difficult to bring people to repentance. The Prophet Ezekiel said, “Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” (13:22).

In Matthew 24:12, Jesus spoke of an evil tendency in the last days, saying, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Here Jesus warned us of the prevalence of sin in our day and of the danger of being influenced by its commonness. He spoke of the possibility of getting accustomed to it (like one’s eyes can adjust to the darkness in a room). One can get so used to sin that he or she no longer is appalled by it – until some things that he once knew to be wrong no longer seem so bad – until he redefines what is acceptable behavior and what is not. We dare not let that happen! “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 13) Bible believing Christians are not the problem in our world today. They have the solution! Sin is the problem! And sin is no small thing. Sin is a big deal! All of the trouble in our society today – all of the pain, suffering, death, hatred, etc. – all of it has come as a direct result of sin. But because of its frequency and prevalence in our culture – it is taken far too lightly. A compromised church cannot help to solve this earth’s woes. We who love God must hate evil and continue to take a strong stand against it. “They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.” (Proverbs 28:4) Only a pure church can be used to fulfill God’s purpose in these end times. He has called us to be that church! He has called us to preach the truth in love!

Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International. He is Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.

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