UNDERSTAND THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW:
1. God is not the Creator of evil. He originally created all things good.
2. God’s initial design for us humans in this life was not to know evil, only life in harmony with Him. Humans were conferred by God the bearing of His image (likeness & regency) to all other earthly creation. (Genesis 1-3)
3. God is the Creator of free will, and that means people can choose wrong/evil, as well as good/truth. God does not violate the free will He gave. It is necessary for true love. (Genesis 1:26,27; 3)
4. Back when human destiny and human nature were being tested/determined (Genesis 3), humanity (through representatives: Adam & Eve) chose to know “good & EVIL,” instead of God’s path. Therefore, the image of God in mankind (His likeness & our regency) was marred and forfeit, because we all now have a corrupt (self-ish) human nature, which is confirmed, manifested and evidenced by the fact that all sin; …and also, we now live in a fallen world, filled with the consequences of knowing both good and evil (physical suffering, disease, disaster, death, etc.). These are what I call “natural evils.” These natural evils seem like punishments, but they are actually the consequences of humanity’s choice in the most ancient times to experience evil alongside good. But, God states that he makes rain fall on the just and unjust. That is, He treats all (as much as possible apart from a fallen world, one’s own choices and others’) with the same blessings of life, so that we might know his impartiality and non-vindictive nature. And, Romans 8 declares that even the creation groans while awaiting the time humanity is fully redeemed by God’s Plan.
5. If we are not experiencing natural evils, then the evils we experience are the results of our (and others’) corrupted nature (like Satan’s nature more than God’s). That means we & others can do things that affect our lives, directly or indirectly (1 Peter 2:20, 3:8-22). Most times, we suffer, due to the choices of others… and this universe works off of the laws of action and consequence. But, if we cause the effect of suffering on ourselves (for having done wrong or risky things), what else do we expect? Some ask, “why do bad things happen to good people?” But there is only One who is Good, and He died for the unjust willingly… so that we may be rescued, not condemned (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Moreover, God calls Himself the Redeemer, because He can cash in the evils we experience—at the hands of others and of our own doing—for a story of our experiencing His goodness, unfailing Love and His glory.
6. We also have a very real, spiritual enemy: Satan and fallen angels and demons. Not only do these evil spirits operate in the unseen (spirit) realm on the individual level, but some also operate unseen on the local, regional and even national/ international levels. Again, these beings were given a ruling occupancy, when mankind chose to know evil…. and when God further turned over the rulership of the nations to them, due to mankind’s desire (as accounted in the Bible at the Tower of Babel, see Genesis 11 & Deuteronomy 32:8-9). The presence of and corrupting influence of these fallen spiritual beings is another major reason why there are wars, disease and famine, caused mostly by the greed of human national/global economy and governance “leaders.” The Bible calls the sum of these enemies “the (fallen) World,” and Bible scholars agree that the “world” is Satan’s anti-God system of rule for subjugating and continually deceiving humanity (2 Corinthians 4:4). Those who are held captive by Satan via “the world” are also equated with “the world,” since they are its constituents by default. Thankfully, Jesus says to His disciples, “In this world, you will have Tribulation, but be of good courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In other words, Jesus arrived in human flesh, in order to defeat Satan’s present, evil world and set human captives free!
7. God will—one day—create a new world, after he brings all evil to justice (Revelation 20-21). Those who trust Him for their own forgiveness and for a relationship with Him will see all things righted… but that time is not now. Currently, we wait patiently and endure, knowing that we (who believe) are rescued and awaiting the appearing of Jesus (Titus 2:13), the only Source of mankind’s reconciliation to God.
8. During our (believers’) wait, God wants to turn our trials and hardships into the way to teach us about selflessness, love, wisdom, meekness and devotion to Him (James 1). Without these trials and hardships, our corrupted human nature would just keep turning inward and never be transformed into being like Jesus, our Savior (Hebrews 11-12). These hardships and trials, allowed by God, are called “correction,” and it is not vindictive. Rather, It is meant to be transformative and has a great deal to do with His plan for the Ages and our specific purpose in His Kingdom. It is not punishment—an unending judgement for eternity. If we experience the evil people do, or the consequences of our own wrongdoing, it is never “God’s Plan.” But He can redeem it because of Jesus. If it is a natural evil (sickness, death or destruction) then He makes all things new in the new world.
9. Punishment (separation from God’s Life, Love and Light for eternity) can happen only to those who reject Jesus, Who is God’s Rescuer and Healer from all evils. To reject His rescue is to be defiant and choose to remain condemned for preferring a fallen nature and evil deeds. (John 3:19, 31-36)
10. Actions to take:
—Denounce your corrupted human nature (the “fallen self”) and Satan & all his doings.
—Announce your Faith that Jesus (Yeshua of Nazareth) is the Son of God, Who was miraculously born to Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, and Who (after living a sinless life) died for our sin and was raised again, so that we can be reconciled to God and healed of inner corruption.
—Proclaim the Creator of All (YHWH) is your God and the Rightful Ruler of All Creation… that Jesus (YHWH incarnate) will return to bring all evil to justice.
—Show this belief openly by:
A. being baptized in the Name of the Trinity: Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
B. continually participating with the Spirit of God, Who constantly influences each believer to live out their identity as a new creation, part of the spiritual Body of Jesus… for the purpose of being transformed into one who feels His kind of emotions, thinks His kind of thoughts, speaks His words, and does His kind of deeds. This participation cannot mature, if one is not meeting together with other believers in a community of the Faith.
If you decided to agree with God about your inner brokenness and have now put your trust in Jesus because of this video’s message, please tell your story by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full range of resources regarding the 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide, including training yourself on presenting the Gospel and/or equipping your church for being on mission every day, please visit the Life on Mission page.