Posts Tagged ‘Evil’

“The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”  (1 Peter 4:7-9)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10)

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Alex Jones is the head of an independent news and media outlet in America called Info Wars” at http://www.infowars.com.  He is committed to reporting stories that the mainstream media does not report on and, as such, he has uncovered the truth about many events over the years.  His focus is largely on the shadow agenda of the one-world government elitists and because of this he often gets mocked.  Even the American President has taken his mocking stabs at Alex Jones, attempting to attack his credibility.

In the video, Alex Jones shares with his viewers that he senses that something horrible is happening or has already happened and it’s just a matter of short time before the world is impacted.  He senses ominous tension in the air and has asked many if they feel or sense something similar.  They all have.  No one can quite identify what is wrong, but it is enough to cause them anxiety and worry about the unknown that they are not usually susceptible to.  Understanding that we are spirits living in physical bodies, of course we would discern that something is amiss, especially if we are Christians and in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit Who know all.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us a spirit of fear, anxiety or worry, as these are not godly attributes.  But if we are spiritually alert and watchful, we all sense that the end is near and the world is speeding towards it.

Scriptures tell us that a world government will happen and that events in the last days will usher it in.  There are so many events happening at this time that we do not really know which events are occurring naturally and which ones are orchestrated to push the world along, but the details do not matter.  Everything is leading us to the return of Christ Jesus and Christians should be alert, watching the times, staying faithful in everything we do and praying at all times about everything.

Instead of worrying and living in fear, like the rest of the world is doing, we should be quietly making sure our lamps are full of oil; we should be prudent in every way, confidently taking care of our business and trusting that the Lord God Almighty is with us.  We should be ever conscientious of how fragile we are, how temporary life is, how temporary our belongings are, how limited our time is and how naked we truly are.  Having our minds right about our place in life puts everything that is happening on Earth into the proper perspective.  It helps us not to cherish the things and our lives in this world.  Jesus told us not to love our lives here; to not try to hang on to our lives, but rather to hate our lives in this world.   He did not use the word “hate” in the sense that we usually understand it; he was not taking the view of those who are depressed, hopeless or hateful.  He was highlighting that anything done apart from him is futile and will not withstand the refining fires of God’s judgment anyway.  We are to live in Him.  We are to bear fruit in Him.  We are to follow Him.  Our lives revolve around Him.  And if we are focused on Him as we should be, our attitude towards the things of this world is that none of it matters much.  We are pilgrims passing through, stewards of the Kingdom of God, voices in the wilderness. We have been given one job: to love others and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever time we are given on Earth.

Let the foolish try to harness control and power.  Let them waste their lives on Earth trying to enslave, manipulate and maneuver for domination.  Let them build monuments to themselves and steal from those who are weaker than they are.  Let them hoard all the riches they can.  They are wicked.  Their story has been told thousands of times through history.  An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth awaits them.  Their lives will come to nothing.  They will be forgotten and no one will think of them anymore.  All their scheming and effort and sleepless nights will amount to nothing but eternal misery.  Pray for them, that they are able to escape their own wickedness by turning to God and repenting before they are out of time.  

Indeed, we know that evil is real on Earth.  The devil is just like the foolish people of Earth and we already know how his story ends. As we watch, we watch with the understanding that we live in the last days.  Be surprised at nothing. Let no evil overwhelm you. Hearts will wax cold and that coldness will even turn children against their parents, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and this will be world-wide.  But, let no evil event send you into hiding.  Christians are called to light our lamps and place them where they can be seen at all times, by everyone.  We are to be the ones that love when no one else will love.  Yes, something wicked this way comes.  But we are not to fear it.  We fear only The Lord God Almighty who has already conquered death through His Son Jesus Christ.

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“One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.  He replied, ‘ You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times!‘” (Matthew 16:1-3)

“Jesus told them, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’  They will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.  Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.  Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.  Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.  You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.  Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:4-14)

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.  They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?  From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’  They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water.  Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.  And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire.  They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.  But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think.  No, he is being patient for your sake.  He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.”  (2 Peter 3:3-10a)

“Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.  Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along.  On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.  But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.  And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.  And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.  This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him–speaking of these things in all of his letters.  Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture.  And this will result in their destruction.” (2 Peter 3:10b-16)

The whole world is in turmoil and news of world-wide happenings (propaganda or otherwise) is instantly broadcasted everywhere, sowing uncertainty, fear, and discord in the hearts of the world’s inhabitants.

Wars, threats of wars, terrorism, persecution, pestilence, apocalyptic weather, earthquakes, and famine are just some of the signs that give testimony to the times we are living in; signs Jesus told us to look for and pay attention to. These signs, just as a red sky in the morning signals foul weather all day, are signs that the end is near.

Many scoff, “Yeah, yeah, there have been wars, terrorism, pestilence, earthquakes and really bad weather and famines and plagues that have wiped out hundreds of millions of people since the very beginning of time.  How is today any different from the rest of Earth’s history?”

From a spiritual perspective, it is interesting to note that the acceleration of one bad event after another and even simultaneous bad events on the world stage are de-sensitizing mankind’s perspective on atrocities and disasters.  The more we hear of horrendous events happening throughout the world, the less we care.  It is too much to process in our minds and our emotions.  The very things that should be bringing us to our knees in prayer before God are instead eliciting a deep desire to distract ourselves.

It is more desirable to distract ourselves and there is no limit to the distractions at hand in these times.  And so, while the world rumbles, apathy reigns.  And when apathy reigns, evil does, too.

And this may be the most important sign of these times.  Jesus told us that “the love of many will grow cold” and this little gem of truth is the separating factor that answers the scoffers.  In our time, on a world-wide scale, mankind is bombarded with incessant bad news and our hearts are growing cold.

As Christians, we are admonished by our Holy Father in Heaven to guard our hearts above all else (Proverbs 4:23), to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14), fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable; to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).  We are, each of us, commanded to share the Gospel with others according to our own abilities given to us by God and above all, to love others, especially our enemies (1 Corinthians chapter 12 and 13).

While we witness the sporadic and violent gasps of this age coming to an end, Christians are the ones chosen by the Most High God to usher in the Day of the Lord, which will make all things new.

Our very lives should be a testimony that we belong not to this dying world, but to Christ.  Let us check ourselves and ask God to search our hearts and correct us while there is still time.  He is being patient with everyone, the lost and saved alike.

The fruit of our lives should be godly living instead of a life tossed to and fro by the desires and selfishness of the flesh, prayer for everyone and everything instead of cold apathy to what we see and hear, love and grace given to all including our enemy, and the bold willingness to share Christ whenever the opportunity knocks.

The Christian life is not for the faint of heart nor the fickle, as it demands more from us than we are capable of on our own.  But the Spirit who lives in us is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.  And through Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world, we look forward to the day of God and hurry it along.

When we hear of our brothers and sisters in Christ being raped, violated, persecuted, imprisoned, mocked and murdered across the world, let us remember that Jesus told us long ago it would happen and that it would escalate exponentially in the last days.  We must not be dismayed.  We must watch and be alert and live the way He told us to.  We must pray and guard our hearts from apathy, understanding that these things are happening just like He said they would.  He is near.

“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.  I will praise you with songs.  I will be careful to live a blameless life–when will you come to help me?  I will lead a life of integrity in my own homeI will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.  I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.  I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.  I will not endure conceit and pride.  I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.  I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.  My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.” (Psalm 101)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities.  For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.  For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong.  Would you like to live without fear of the authorities?  Do what is right and they will honor you.  The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.  But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you.  They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.  So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.  Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons.  For government workers need to be paid.  They are serving God in what they do.  Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (Romans 13:1-7)

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father and mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.’ Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees  by what you just said?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.'” (Matthew 15:1-14)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength.  You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” (Daniel 2:20-23)

King David spelled out what the attributes of a godly leader are:

–One who is careful to lead a blameless life.

–One who leads a life of integrity, not just in the public eye, but at home.

–One who refuses to look at anything vile and vulgar.

–One who hates crooked dealings and has nothing to do with them.

–One who rejects perverse ideas and stays away from every evil.

–One who does not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

–One who will not endure conceit and pride.

–One who searches for faithful people to be his/her companions.

–One who places in their cabinets and entourage only those who are above reproach.

–One who will not allow deceivers to serve in his/her house, and who does not allow liars to stay in his/her presence.

–One whose daily task it is to ferret out the wicked and free the city/country from their grip.

Sound too good to be true?  In today’s world of politics, where the name of the game seems to be achieving power at any cost, finding a leader or candidate for leader with godly attributes often seems as likely as finding a unicorn.

And yet, we are to pray for exactly this so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity.  God is in control of who is in authority over us.  And we know that His will is accomplished through our prayers.

So are we bringing the world’s leaders before the Holy Throne of God Almighty as party of our daily prayers, thanking Him for them, interceding on their behalf, asking God to accomplish His will in them and through them, asking God to give them wisdom and discernment in governing?  We must pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for them.

It is not God’s will that corruption, lawlessness, greed, power-lust, deception, slander, oppression of any kind, persecution, crooked dealings such as bribery, embezzlement, fraud and blackmail would run rampant throughout the earth’s high places of authority. 

It is not God’s will that the spiritually blind would lead their people by the masses straight into a spiritual ditch, and yet, everywhere we look this is what is happening. Sound and righteous laws are being over-ridden or re-written to fit the new modern age of iniquitous immorality.  Those who attempt to stand up for righteousness are labeled as intolerant and, in many cases, ‘terrorists’.  We live in an age where good is called ‘evil’ and evil is called ‘good’.

It is the responsibility of the Christian to come before our Father in heaven and intercede for all people everywhere, especially kings and all who are in authority.  We should be praying not just for our presidents/prime ministers and their immediate teams, but also for judges, government officials, police, military authorities, teachers, corporate leaders, ministers/preachers, and those who labor in the Gospel, that they all would carry out God’s will this day.

Only the silence of God’s people, who have been entrusted with the enormous responsibility to pray His will, allows such evil and wickedness to run rampant and unchecked, for God’s will is centered on justice and righteousness in every way, from the greatest to the least among us all.

Let us live our personal lives with integrity and a clear conscience in all things, thereby shining our lives as living testimonies to Christ Jesus.  And let us retreat into our quiet rooms of prayer every day to be alone with God, praising Him, thanking Him, bringing all of our cares and concerns to Him and interceding for all people everywhere, especially our leaders, that they may govern and lead us in righteousness.

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“A tree is identified by its fruit.  If a tree is good, its fruit will be good.  If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.  You brood of snakes!  How could evil men like you speak what is good and right?  For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matthew 12:33-37)

“Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’  Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’  But you say it is alright for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’  In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites!  Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’  Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.  ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.‘  Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?’  Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.’  Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.’  ‘Don’t you understand yet?’ Jesus asked.  ‘Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.  But the words you speak come from the heart — that’s what defiles you.  For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.  These are what defile you.  Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.'” (Matthew 15:1-20)

The phrase, “Follow your heart” seems like great advice, but to God, it is utter foolishness.  According to God, the human heart is the most deceitful of ALL THINGS and desperately wicked.  The heart is so bad, in fact, that no one can even measure how bad it is.

Knowing this truth, the worst thing we can do during times when moral clarity is critical to our lives is to follow our heart.

How many atrocities have been committed because certain actions seemed like the right thing to do?

The Holy Scriptures show us a few instances in the book of Judges of really bad judgment calls made by both individuals and whole communities, with a simple explanation of, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 and Judges 21:25)

History shows countless crimes against humanity due to an individual or a society or an individual leading a society to take action according to what seemed like the right thing to do.

God gave us His Living Word to clearly show us right from wrong, to separate righteousness from wickedness and draw a bold line through otherwise gray area.  He guides us by His Eternal Word, which is everlasting, while all else withers and dies.

“Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field.  The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord.  And so it is with peopleThe grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:6b-8)

In our world, now more than ever, there is a lot of talk; a lot words are being spoken and written.  From news outlets to social media, in our individual lives and in our societies, we must be able to discern between what sounds good or seems right and what really is good and right.  When our own hearts contradict the Word of God, as Christians, we are called to submit to what the Word of God says.  Likewise, we must be able to discern when our leaders speak or take action in ways that contradict the Word of God, so that we aren’t deceived into following them, doing what ‘seems right’ and being led astray from the true right path.

In hindsight, it is hard to fathom how Adolf Hitler convinced the whole nation of Germany that following him in his ideology and trusting him to lead them out of their time of desperation was somehow the ‘right thing to do’ and yet, time after time, when Germans were asked why they had supported him, “it seemed like the right to do” is all they could say. They were caught up in emotion and desperation and Hitler’s words and actions appealed to their desperate, fearful hearts. Such is the folly of following the heart or someone’s words instead of the commands of God. And we would be wise today, in the midst of great worldwide fear, to remember that horrible point in mankind’s history and the events that led otherwise decent people to follow the path to destruction.

There is only one way to gain discernment, the essential spiritual weapon in the Great Spiritual War, and that is to hear the Word of God so that it takes root in our hearts and becomes our lighthouse in a world of darkness and confusion.  As we hear God’s Holy Word, as we read it, as we spend time thinking about it and applying it in our lives, God is with us, quietly checking all of the activities of our hearts against His eternal truth and showing us the true and right way to live.

May we all cherish His Holy Living Word and rely on it in these perilous times.

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.  For the Lord will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them.” (Psalm 24:17-18)

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies!  Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.  For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:43-48)

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get any credit for that?  Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.  Love your enemies!  Do good to them.  Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. (Luke 6:27-36)

Never pay back evil with more evil.  Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  Dear friends, never take revenge.  Leave that to the righteous anger of God.  For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:17-21)

How do we feel inside when someone who has hurt us, humiliated or disrespected us or our loved ones falls upon hard times, devastating times?

In the world, when people “get theirs” or when “karma shows up”, it is most often celebrated.

But in the Kingdom of Heaven, rejoicing at the troubles and suffering of another person displeases the Lord.

The whole world is a spiritual battlefield and our actions can impact the eternal lives of others.  When someone is being dealt with and they are mocked or their unfortunate situation is celebrated, their hearts will harden, their hatred will grow worse.  Where they may have otherwise turned to God and repented of their sins, they may instead be lost forever.  This is not a burden that any of us wants to bear, no matter what has been done to us.

So what’s the appropriate thing to do? 

The appropriate thing is to outwardly show grace, compassion.  Depending on the wrong committed, maybe the only appropriate thing we are capable of outwardly doing is to be silent, saying nothing.  But we are commanded to love our enemies and this “love” is a verb, a word of action; actively doing good to those who hate us, blessing those who curse us, praying for them.

When God’s command to do this is obeyed, miracles happen.  Countless stories are told of the absolute worst among men and women being turned to God’s glory.  Persecutors, murderers, traffickers, wracked with guilt, show up at the doors of those they’ve hurt, asking about Christianity, asking for forgiveness.  If they are wicked and evil, they are lost, and as long as they draw breath, there is the opportunity for them to be found (Luke 15).  Once found, they turn their lives around with the help of Almighty God, crossing from darkness into light, and this is a glorious event, celebrated in heaven (Luke 15:7).

When we leave it God to serve up justice, to take revenge on our behalf, to pay back wrong-doing and we obey his command to do good to others, especially those who wrong us, we demonstrate that we fully understand the eternal stakes and are trustworthy soldiers in the service of God.

That said, it is a normal, very human reaction to feel vindicated; to experience the satisfaction of the knowledge of a wrong being righted, however our hearts tally up the score.

Whatever is going on inwardly, the safety-zone is prayer.  Prayer is the place where we are safe to be completely honest with God.  Prayer is where we say whatever our hearts are yearning to say, thanking Him for His justice, for vindicating us, that we have been able to witness it.  Tell it to the Lord alone, and then love your enemies.  In this way, while followers of other so-called gods wreak havoc across the world, seeking revenge and justice for themselves, the followers of Jesus Christ stand out as lights in the darkness.

“O Lord, why do you stand so far away?  Why do you hide when I am in trouble?  The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.  Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.  For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.  The wicked are too proud to seek God.  They seem to think that God is dead.  Yet they succeed in everything they do.  They do not see your punishment awaiting them.  They sneer at all their enemies.  They think, ‘Nothing bad will ever happen to us!  We will be free of trouble forever!’ Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and bitterness.  Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.  They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people.  They are always searching for helpless victims.  Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless.  Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets.  Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.  The wicked think, ‘God isn’t watching us! He has closed eyes and won’t even see what we do!’  Arise, O Lord!  Punish the wicked, O God!  Do not ignore the helpless!  Why do the wicked get away with despising God?  They think, ‘God will never call us to account.’  But you see the trouble and grief they cause.  You take note of it and punish them.  The helpless put their trust in you.  You defend the orphans.  Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!  Go after them until the last one is destroyed. The Lord is king forever and ever!  The godless nations will vanish from the land.  Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.  You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.” (Psalm 10)

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.  Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.  O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.  Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.  You will destroy those who tell lies.  The Lord detests murderers and deceivers. Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.  Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.  Make your way plain for me to follow.  My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.  Their deepest desire is to destroy others.  Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.  Their tongues are filled with lies.  O God, declare them guilty.  Let them be caught in their own traps.  Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.  Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.  For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.”  (Psalm 5)

“I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.  Save me from my persecutors — rescue me!  If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.” (Psalm 7:1-2)

As news reports, gruesome videos and pictures bombard our eyes and ears of the terrors being meted out against Christians throughout the world and especially in the Middle East, the lie may enter our thoughts and hearts that we are powerless to fight evil on such epic proportions.

Christians are not called to savage barbarism and terror, so we do not fight against wickedness and evil that way.  We do not retaliate.  We do not answer evil with evil.  WE ARE CALLED TO PRAY.  The fight is the Lord’s.  We belong to Him and He is our only hope.  He alone raises up those who will march out to the physical battlefield and defeat the enemies of the Lord.  He alone will deliver His people and serve up proper justice!  He raised up Cyrus The Great this way, naming him through his prophet Isaiah and describing what he would do almost 150 years before Cyrus was even born (Isaiah 45).  That is the power of our Almighty God!

We are given the Psalms so we will know how to praise God, how to thank Him, and how to fight for ourselves and others through prayer to God, asking Him to rise up on our behalf and defend us.

It is not our Father’s will that we would live in fear and terror, robbed of peace and joy and the zeal for life.  It is not our Father’s will that darkness, corruption and death would fill the world, as these things do not glorify His Holy Name.  Life, beauty, freedom, love, peace and joy are the work of God.  Death, corruption, oppression, destruction and terror are the work of Satan.

Let’s take control of our hearts and minds and pray that Satan’s plans and his agents of terror be smashed by our Father in Heaven when He rises to defend His children in a hostile world.  As the world news reports about mass killings, beheadings, displacement and destruction, let us remember we have our own News to present to the world while there’s still time: the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world!

We know that Christian persecution, suffering and martyrdom will increase exponentially in the last days, but we also know how the story ends: every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!  It appears that the clock is speeding up and Satan is doing all he can to eliminate the ones who pray to the Most High God.  As we are slaughtered for the Name of Jesus, let us never stop praying for each other, calling on our Father to rise up and rescue us!  Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have.

When our hearts and minds are clouded with the cares of this world, we can read the Psalms aloud.  They’ve been given to us for this purpose.  They are powerful prayers and we can adopt them as our own.

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“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”  (Matthew 24:25)

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God.  Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“…God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature.  So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks.  And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like.  As a result their minds became dark and confused.  Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.  And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.  So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.”  (Romans 1: 18-23)

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.  What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.”  (Isaiah 5:20-21)

“You have wearied the Lord with your words.  ‘How have we wearied him?’ you ask.  You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them.” (Malachi 2:17a)

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.  These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The very first thing the Holy Scriptures teach us about our enemy Satan is that he is the most subtle and clever of all of God’s creatures of the field.  (Genesis 3)  He used subtle and crafty persuasions of falsehood on Eve and she acted upon them, introducing sin and death into God’s good world.  And we can see that Satan’s subtle lies have been his weapon of choice against God’s Kingdom and people throughout the whole story of humanity.  Satan’s sole objective is to destroy the works of God and he will stop at nothing to pervert and defile everything God has called ‘good’.   What better way to do this than to convince the whole world that what is good is ‘evil’ and what is evil is ‘good’?

The world’s society calls evil ‘good’ and good ‘evil’ on many different levels and is moving quickly towards tolerance of everything except Christianity.  It may soon seem preferable to be known as anything but a Christian.

Indeed, in this world the ways of the Eternal Most High God are called ‘outdated’ and ‘intolerant’.  Those who belong to this world scoff at God’s ways and see themselves as evolving to some higher state of existence as a society by means of ‘tolerance’ and ‘political correctness’. But the truth is their minds are dark and confused. They want the desires of their hearts, no matter how wicked, and they will call anyone evil who would dare contradict them.  They think they are wise, but God says they are fools.

Scripture tells us we live in the last days.  We belong to God, but we physically live in a world that is under the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)  We are not to be dismayed at what we see and hear going on in the world, but are called to set ourselves apart from it and to watch and pray.

And we are called to know the truth so we can discern the lies of Satan in the world and fight against his lies in our own lives.  We must always remember that his favorite style of warfare is subtle false persuasion.  He shoots his fiery darts at us from the safety of the shadows because if he stepped into the light, he’d be seen for the liar that he is.  Praise God, one day Satan WILL be seen by all and his whole legacy will be the epitome of ‘outdated’.