Overcoming Evil With the Good of the Gospel
February 1, 2013
By Franklin Graham
The rising tide of evil in our culture—and around the world—should come as no surprise to followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that man’s heart apart from Christ is deceitful and depraved, (Jeremiah 17:9), and that the whole world system lies “in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Until Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on earth, we can expect the forces of evil to only increase in intensity and ill effect.
Not only has our culture here at home become darker and more dangerous as men and women forsake God and His ways, but the entire world stage is clearly becoming more unstable, violent and chaotic every day.
The Middle East is a caldron of foreboding forces. Just a few weeks ago, the nation of Egypt, one of the oldest countries in the world, voted to approve a constitution that is heavily Islamist. I am troubled by what that means for the Christians who remain in that ancient land who no doubt can expect increased opposition and persecution.
In Syria, the civil war between Islamic forces has claimed more than 60,000 lives, according to the United Nations. And there is tremendous concern that the hostility will spill over to surrounding countries, including Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict have already settled.
The possibility of chemical warfare by the Syrian government is real, and in nearby Iran—which supports the Syrian regime—the threat of nuclear weapons has the entire region on high alert.
In the midst of this unsettled, menacing evil, it can be easy to lose sight of our sovereign God, who is steadfastly and relentlessly working “all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11), and who authoritatively “nullifies the counsel of the nations” and “frustrates the plans of the peoples” (Psalm 33:10).
Our mighty God is the Lord of all history, the One who “declares the end from the beginning” (Cf. Isaiah 46:10). He sovereignly turns the heart of the kings of the earth wherever He desires (Proverbs 21:1), so that He may one day soon return as the King of kings and Lord of lords to finally subdue and banish evil once and for all.
In the meantime, the Scripture says that we are to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Christ dealt our adversary, the devil, a decisive blow on the cross, and the enemy knows that his doom in the lake of fire is sure. That is why his rage is so great now.
The greatest good is the Gospel, the Good News of Christ’s triumph over the forces of darkness—the principalities, rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. When the Gospel is preached, the power of God is released to set free those who respond in repentance and faith. The light of the Gospel dispels the darkness and deceit of the adversary, and the heart of man is transformed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Here in North America through our My Hope evangelistic campaign in November, and around the world through our Crusades, it is the power of the Gospel that works mightily and supernaturally to conquer the forces of evil. Pray with us. Pray for us.
As Martin Luther wrote in his hymn “A Mighty Fortress”:
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. ©2013 BGEA
Scripture quotations are taken by permission from the New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.