Every time I see “Breaking News” during a news broadcast, I have to say a prayer; because I know in all probability another innocent person has lost their life. These are the days we are living in. We have seen evil rise up in the land, the likes of which we have not seen since Hitler and the Holocaust. Men have risen up, murdering innocent men, women and children, in the name of their god. Men who carry pens and cameras, not weapons, have been beheaded. There is no doubt an evil straight from the pit of hell has risen up in our world, but incredibly there are those who would excuse it. There are those who would blame the victims to excuse the terrorists.
An even more incredible argument comes from those who would blame Christians, Jews and God. They would dare to lay the evil of man at the feet of God. Clearly, these people do not know God’s Word, and so they do not know God. They boast of their knowledge and yet they speak in ignorance.
If you go back to the beginning, in the Book of Genesis, the evil in the hearts of man was revealed. God created man in His image and gave him everything in the Garden of Eden. There was one limitation put on man—God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam everything, including a mate comparable to him, but Adam and Eve had to have the one thing they were denied. Because of their disobedience, sin entered the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).
The sin of man did not stop there. Adam and Eve had children. Their firstborn son, Cain, murdered his brother, Abel, and tried to hide it from God (Genesis 4).
Man’s sin continued to grow and spread until finally God had enough.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart (Genesis 6:5-6).
God was grieved in His heart because He saw the wickedness in the hearts of man. It was not how God created man. It was the choices man made. Man chose to be evil. Man chose to disobey the Lord. In their wickedness, they thought they could disregard God and His Word, but God will not be ignored. He is the Creator of the universe, so He can also destroy what He created.
As evil as man’s heart is, God still has great grace and mercy. He could have wiped out the entire world, but He did not. He saved two of every animal, along with Noah, his wife, their sons and daughters-in law. God wanted man to have another chance.
Unfortunately, man did not recognize God’s great mercy and continued to pursue evil—continued to rebel against the Lord. In the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord said:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
God saw the hearts of man and still, He sent His Son to suffer and die on the Cross, providing salvation for a rebellious people. Paul the Apostle said: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Even in our sin, God loves us and He desired to reestablish communion with us, so He sent Christ to die for us. In our limited minds, I do not think we can fully comprehend the love of God. We cannot truly understand the depths of God’s love.
In spite of all God has done for a rebellious people, there are so many who would blame Him for the evil in this world. They refuse to acknowledge that true evil resides in the hearts of man. It does not begin in the heart of God. True evil is the absolute absence of God’s love. It was Christ who taught true love:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:43-44).
While we mourn with the family and friends of those who have been murdered by these Islamist terrorists, I think it is important to embrace the words of Christ. The only way we can truly defeat the evil of man is through the love of God.
I would call upon all those who walk with Christ to lift up the families, friends and more so, their murderers in prayer. Those who have embraced this terrorist ideology are facing eternity in hell and I believe God has called us to pray for their salvation. If you doubt this, remember these words from Peter the Apostle, who was crucified by his enemies:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).