Evil in the World
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
21 July 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
We hear from people all the time who mention or complain about the evil in the world and that it seems to be winning, particularly when it involves what is happening to animals.
While evil is very prevalent in the world, we don’t believe that it is winning, for there is an ever increasing number of compassionate people who are taking a stand against the evil they see and experience.
Even if some of these compassionate voices are not believers in God, mostly because of the hardness of heart they see in so-called believers, we know that God still hears compassionate people, and helps us block the evil in the world.
However, we also believe that the compassionate voices of believers are even more powerful.
Part of the reason we believe this is explained in Psalm 52, which David wrote because Doeg the Edomite sided with King Saul against David, and betrayed him.
David wrote this psalm on a more personal basis, but the truths it portrays are universal and can be applied to the people who commit these evil acts against the animals we mentioned above.
Let’s take a closer look at Psalm 52:1-9.
1. Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
We hear people boasting about their hunting and fishing exploits, about their barbeques, and the flesh they eat, without the slightest inkling of any sense of compassion for the animals that suffered and died for their evil pleasures.
And God seemingly endures this all day long, waiting for the true children of God to help free creation from its present corruption and end the evil in the world.
2. Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
3. You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right.
This is exactly the way that most compassionate children of God, who care about animals and don’t eat them, feel about the indifferent and hard of heart people who care nothing about the suffering and death of millions of our fellow human beings, billions of other animals, and the destruction of our environment.
4. You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
This is exactly the way people who don’t want to hear or see the truth about the horrible suffering of animals that their greedy lifestyle causes must feel, so they can pretend to feel justified while they continue to contribute to the torture and exploitation of animals.
5. But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent,
And uproot you from the land of the living.
God is tired of seeing these selfish lifestyles, the evil in the world, and will call those people to account for their ungodliness.
6. And the righteous will see and fear,
And will laugh at him, saying,
7. “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And was strong in his evil desire.”
8. But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9. I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it,
And I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones.
However, we are not to sit back with our feet up and wait for God to take vengeance on the evil in the world; we are to be actively taking a stand against all the evil we see around us.
We are to be the peacemaking children of God for whom the whole of our suffering creation anxiously awaits, to free it from its corruption.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at Amos 8:1-14, when he is shown another vision.
1. Thus the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit.
2. And He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.
We strongly believe that God is looking at the corruption and evil in the world today in a similar way that He saw in Israel in the days of Amos.
In this context, the church, today, is very much like Israel was in the days of Amos.
Most people were enjoying themselves without any concern for the way that the Lord wanted them to live, just as it is today.
And as God says, the day of reckoning is about to take place.
3. “The songs of the palace will turn to wailing in that day,” declares the Lord GOD. “Many will be the corpses; in every place they will cast them forth in silence.”
4. Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land,
Are not the millions of humans who get caught up in the warring madness of others also among the needy?
Are not the billions of animals who suffer and die every year to satisfy the greedy appetites of most humans also among the needy?
Of course they are, and the churches had better wake up to the evil in the world that they are participating in.
“When will the new moon be over,
So that we may sell grain,
And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market,
To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger,
And to cheat with dishonest scales,
6. So as to buy the helpless for money
And the needy for a pair of sandals,
And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”
This is exactly what is happening to the animals.
They are helpless, and they are bought and sold for money, and some of their skins are made into shoes, and they are fed adulterated food, sometimes containing feces.
These are just some of the things that make God angry.
7. The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob,
“Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds.
8. “Because of this will not the land quake
And everyone who dwells in it mourn?
Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile,
And it will be tossed about,
And subside like the Nile of Egypt.
9. “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
“That I shall make the sun go down at noon
And make the earth dark in broad daylight.
10. “Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning
And all your songs into lamentation;
And I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins
And baldness on every head.
And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son,
And the end of it will be like a bitter day.
Isn’t it better to turn away from these evil ways and repent and become the peacemaking children of God that Jesus calls us to be?
Of course it is!
Mary and I made this change many years ago, and we have been exceedingly thankful ever since.
We all need to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
11. “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
“When I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.
12. “And people will stagger from sea to sea,
And from the north even to the east;
They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD,
But they will not find it.
13. “In that day the beautiful virgins
And the young men will faint from thirst.
14. “As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria,
Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’
They will fall and not rise again.”
And there are signs that these things are beginning to happen in the world today.
It’s time to end the evil in the world.
If we truly repent and desire to change, the Lord will deliver us from the evil in the world, as we are told in Colossians 1:13-29.
If these things happened in our lives, they can happen in everyone else’s life, too.
13. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14. in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15. And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.
16. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him.
We need to understand these things, and that God considered everything He made to be very good (Genesis 1:31).
17. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
19. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20. and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
If Jesus already did this, then why are most other people so intent on shedding more blood?
We can end the evil in the world.
We can be part of the healing process.
We can be peacemaking children of God.
21. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
22. yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —
23. if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
We chose to change just as Paul did, and as many others chose to do.
It’s not too late, but now is the time.
24. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.
25. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,
And way back in the Garden of Eden, God bestowed upon us the stewardship of the whole of creation that we would care for it; and humankind, for the most part, have turned their back on this task, and worked against God’s intent for our lives.
26. that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,
27. to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28. And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.
29. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
And likewise, we also labor to help end the evil in the world.
We are all being called, but will we answer in a positive way?
Are we going to be a part of the solution, or continue to be a part of the problem?
We pray that each and every one of us chooses to be a part if the solution that will free the whole of creation from its present corruption, and end the evil in the world.