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Ancient Words: Evil, a

Depressing Thing

Evil is a depressing thing. Thinking about someone just deciding to kill innocent shoppers at random this past week makes the heart sad, sorrowful and depressed. Human kindness is gratifying for the heart but evil expressed in murder stabs and wounds the heart.

Our heart is like God’s heart. He feels grief and pain as well. In the days of Noah, our first book in the Ancient Words, Moses records how God felt during the increase of wickedness after 1,500 years since Adam: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled (Gen 6:5-6).” Only eight survived from the world population; now God would start all over with the human race thru Noah and his family.

God was also hurt by the wickedness he observed on the plains of Sodom about 600 years later and told Abraham He was going to destroy all five cities on Sodom’s plain. Abraham pleaded for God to recant this punishment if 50 righteous souls could be found.

In fact, he bargained all the way down to 10 righteous souls but this was to no avail. The cities and everything comprising this plain of Sodom was destroyed with only ash left as evidence of any existence at all. Only Lot and his two daughters survived the total destruction of this area—-and to this day nothing lives in this area where a thriving population once existed.

The sadness of God’s heart continues as Jesus pronounces judgment in 33 A.D. on three cities in Israel for being witnesses to His miracles but not responding to his teaching—-for not repenting of evil: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you (Mat 11:21-24).”

Men cry today in response to mass shootings of the innocents—“Love not hate!”—they shout over the microphones. Yet, what most all fail to see is that God IS Love!

Our politicians want love to respond to hate, yet they refuse to embrace God and His only Son, who are the personification of love. Take down the crosses, remove the verse of scripture, take down the stone tablets, remove the name “Jesus." Evil will always fill the void where God is absent. Remove God’s commandments, written with His own finger, and evil fills the void. Remove prayer from schools, sports events, graduations, government assemblies, etc.—evil fills the void. Remove the name Jesus and evil will fill the void.

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget……..(2Pe 3:3-13).”

(Scott and Jane Johnson minister with ast Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to brgbible@gmail.com.)

• • •

Deception

I took my God children to see the new Spider Man movie this week. Hunter who is 12 loves all things Spider-Man. He knows all things Marvel/Avengers (or whatever they are called) so he was especially excited. He tried his best to educate me the whole way to the movies. When we got into the theater there was not one other person in attendance. We literally had the entire theater to ourselves, and for my 9 year old and 12 year old, this is the perfect scenario for me!

So, we’re watching the movie, and all is going well and then it happened. No spoiler alert, but suddenly, the plot takes a wild twist and we were all shocked. A major deception takes place in the movie and Hunter is really thrown off. He kept saying, I have seen all these movies, and I can predict what’s going to happen “but I never saw that coming!” Not sure why, but this twist in the plot really had him baffled. Even when the movie was over, he kept talking about how the character had everybody fooled.

It got me to thinking about life and our everyday lives. It gave me an opportunity for a teaching moment with him. It’s amazing to me how many people are deceived every day, and what’s worse is that according to the Bible it’s going to continue to get worse.

We need to know WHAT we believe and stand firm because the enemy is alive and uses all kinds of people, yes even church people, to deceive others.

“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5

Keep your eyes and ears open and stay alert!

Peace and Blessings,

(Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.)

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