Yesterday, we discussed the reality of evil. We saw that Christianity presents the God of the Bible as a God of love, but to have love, we must have a choice. That choice means there will be those who choose to reject God and the “agape” love Jesus presented. The question then becomes, “How did evil enter human behavior?”
The Old Testament has a few references to Satan, and that word in Hebrew means an opposing spirit, accuser, or hater. In the New Testament, the Greek word “diabolus” is used many times and translated as “Devil.” Skeptics usually convey the idea that Satan or the Devil is a physical being, making the concept of a personal promoter of evil look foolish. The biblical concept of Satan is that he is a spiritual being. He is not physical and exists in a dimension beyond the three dimensions we humans know.
The answer to “how did evil enter human behavior” is made clear in Ephesians 6:12. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” You and I would be helpless in this situation if not for the fact that God steps in and limits what those evil spiritual forces can do. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There is no temptation that has taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you can endure, but with the temptation also will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.”
The question, “How did evil enter human behavior?” takes us back to the question of good and evil and why we exist. Ephesians 3:9-11 makes it clear that through Christ, the intent was “that unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God.” The spiritual war going on is undeniable as we see the existence of spiritual evil all around us. The Church is called to demonstrate the triumph of good over evil.
By denying that we are a part of this war between good and evil, atheists automatically embrace evil. In rejecting this reality, they eliminate their purpose for existing, and they have nothing to replace it. Jesus stated this in John 8:42-47 as He answered the skeptics of His day. Satan is real and alive and well on planet Earth today. This is not a fairy tale or a myth. It is the reality that we can see all around us.
— John N. Clayton © 2022