Christian Universe ™
Good And Evil, Just And Unjust
December 30, 2012
When evil people commit horrible acts of violence against the innocent, people often blame God. They ask either why God made the evil person do what they did, or else they ask why God did not stop the act. From the beginning, mankind has been given free choice to choose good over evil. In the very opening chapters of the Bible, we find Cain killing his brother, Abel. God does not make people commit evil, neither does He condone wickedness. Time and chance happen to us all.
Good And Evil, Just And Unjust
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 12-30-2012
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 01-06-2013
After the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many people have asked, “Where was God?” or “Why did God allow this to happen?” People who profess Christianity, for the most part, are not familiar with the scriptures. They tend to follow charismatic leaders and do what they say, rather than seeing what God, or His son, Jesus Christ, had to say about life.
I have long been struck by this passage of scripture in Ecclesiastes, which tells us that time and chance happen to everyone, assuring that the swift do not always win the race, the strong do not always win the battle, the wise are not always fed, the well-educated do not always get rich, and men of skill are not always recognized for their work.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them."
Men are often caught by surprise, just like fish that are often caught unexpectedly in the nets, or birds caught in the trap without their suspecting. Sudden events can take us all by surprise.
Some count upon their righteousness to save them from calamity, but this is not promised, either.
Luke 13:1 “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Like those of old who were sure that the tower in Siloam had fallen upon the men because that they were evil, Jesus evened the playing field, assuring them that they were all in the same boat.
Jesus also dealt with this in a parable about the two men who went to pray.
Luke 18:9 "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
We do not do well to think that our righteousness places us in a position where we can blame others for things that we used to do, and things that perhaps still slip up and do from time to time.
We need to learn a lesson from the apostle Paul, who felt that he was chief of all sinners.
1 Timothy 1:12 "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
Just as the grace of God saved Paul from his grievous sins, so shall the grace of God save us, despite ourselves. But, like Paul, we must never forget where we came from and what we were.
Matthew 5:43 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
God showers blessings upon all, upon the undeserving as well as the deserving. The same blessed rain and sunshine that provide food for the righteous provide food for the unrighteous, as well. God is kind and merciful to all. What sets us apart is how we deal with the grace that God has extended to all of us.
Some choose to do wickedly, despite all the good that God showers upon them. It is not God who makes them evil. He gives them free will. It is the sinner who decides to do wrong. We see this when God set a choice before ancient Israel.
Deuteronomy 30:15 "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
God does not choose for us. He did not choose for the man who killed the innocent children and teachers at the Newtown school. We each choose to do evil or good, and what befalls us in the judgment is based upon our choices.
John 5:28 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
The righteous do righteously, and the wicked do wickedly. We choose good, or we choose evil.