Before we start today’s article, I want to recap where we have been.
So far, we have agreed:
- All Scripture is God-breathed.
- Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever;
- God is light and in Him there is no darkness.
This week’s scripture:
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19 (NIV)
Last week, I challenged you to believe, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Or, in other words, “God is good, all the time.”
It was important to make this decision based upon Holy Scripture, because if we were to try to discern God’s goodness from what we see in the world, we might conclude that God has some evil in Him. All of us have heard, at one time or another, someone conclude that if God were a holy God, He would not permit war, famine, suffering, etc.
The Bible makes it clear that although we are children of God through our belief in Jesus as Lord, the whole world is under the control of Satan. If you think about it for a minute, this explains a lot. Satan desires to seduce people into following him, so he offers the same temptations he offered Jesus. Satan tempts us by making us question ourselves and our beliefs and then offers us power and wealth in exchange for worshiping him. God permits this because He will not take away our freedom of choice and it is through our suffering that we grow in endurance, character and hope.
C. S. Lewis once said that Satan’s greatest achievement would be to convince everyone that he didn’t exist. Then, when people fall into hardship, poor health or disappointment, they will blame God. To move away from God is to move toward Satan.
Once we accept and start living into the reality of Satan’s control over the world, we realize that we are truly resident aliens – we are in the world, but we are truly not of the world. We worship a LORD who is good, fair, holy and just while we live in a world which is the opposite. We look forward to the day when we are set free from this world and live for eternity in the realm of perfect and unstained love. Understanding Satan’s dominion in the world also motivates us, that while we are still here, we are to spread the word of a different realm where God is in control and invite those who are perishing to accept Jesus’ offer of grace and become children of God as well.
So, decision time. Do you believe we are children of God and the whole world is under the control of the evil one?
If so, return next week for Romans 5:3-5.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Christopher Waters, Rector