OceanSide church of Christ
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT…
Wickedness and Evil
Victor M. Eskew
A. There are all kinds of events and happenings in our nation and throughout the world that so many refer to as being evil or wicked.
B. This should not surprise Christians.
1. The world has been wicked in the past (Gen. 6:5).
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2. John affirmed that the world was wicked in his day (I John 5:19).
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
C. The first Sunday of every month is now Q&A Sunday.
1. Our first lesson is entitled: “Questions & Answers about…” This lesson is geared to a specific topic.
2. The second lesson is just titled: “Questions & Answers.” This lesson involves our providing answers to questions that you have asked.
D. Since this is the first Sunday of June, our lesson this morning is entitled: “Questions & Answers about…Wickedness and Evil.”
I. WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF WICKEDNESS AND EVIL?
A. Genesis 6:5
a. Strong (7451)
1) Bad, evil (naturally or morally)
2) Strong notes that the word comes from a root word meaning “spoil,” or to be good for nothing
b. BDB: bad, evil, wicked, malignant, of persons, thoughts, deeds and actions
2. Evil: This word is exactly the same word that was translated wickedness in Genesis 6:5). This informs us that wickedness and evil are the same thing.
B. New Testament
1. Wicked (Matt. 13:49)
a. Strong (4190): hurtful, evil, degeneracy
b. Thayer: bad, of a bad nature or condition, evil wicked
c. Vine: active form of evil, maliganant
2. Evil: Many times in the New Testament the word translated “evil” is the same word translated “wickedness.” Again, evil and wickedness are synonymous.
C. Wickedness and evil are synonymous.
1. They involve bad things.
2. They involve things that are good for nothing.
3. They involve things that are degenerate.
4. They involve things that are malignant
5. They involve things that are morally corrupt.
II. WHERE DOES EVIL ORIGINATE?
A. In the Bible, we are introduced to a being who is called “the wicked one” (I John 2:13)
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.
1. The wicked one is none other than Satan himself.
a. He is the embodiment of all that is bad, immoral, degenerate, and hurtful
b. Jesus described him as a murderer and a liar, , the father of lies, and a being in whom is no truth (John 8:44).
2. His evil nature is displayed in many ways.
a. He opposes God.
b. He brought destruction to the first couple.
c. He was willing to tempt the Son of God.
d. He is the source of the demon possession about which we read in the Bible.
e. He has so many devices to bring people into his service.
B. As far as man is concerned, evil originates in his heart.
1. The teaching of the wise man affirms this. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
2. In Noah’s day, the imaginations of man’s heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).
3. The Edomites were told that “the pride of thine heart hath deceived thee” (Obad. 3).
4. The Jews of Jesus’ day used their mouth and lips to worship God, but their hearts were far from the Lord (Matt. 15:8).
5. Satan entered into the heart of Judas (John 13:2).
6. Satan filled Ananias’ heart to lie unto the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3)
7. From the small of sins to the greatest of sins, they begin first in the heart of man. For this reason, Solomon gives us wise counsel in Proverbs 4:23.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
III. HOW DOES EVIL OPERATE?
1. Evil seeks first to deceive. Satan does not want us to believe and accept any truth.
2. Paul tells us that in the Garden of Eden, “the woman being deceived as in the transgression” (I Tim. 2:14).
3. Remember, Jesus says that Satan is a liar and the father of them (John 8:44).
1. Unity prevails when individuals walk together who are agreed (Amos 3:3; I Cor. 1:10).
2. Satan, therefore, seeks to divide.
a. He wants us to fight over different doctrines.
b. He wants us to argue about different ideologies.
c. He wants us to debate about different creeds.
3. James 3:14-16
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
C. Destructively (I Peter 5:9)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
D. Deadly. Remember, it is the devil who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
IV. ARE THERE EXAMPLES OF EVIL IN THE BIBLE?
A. The men of Sodom (Gen. 13:13)
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
B. David (Ps. 51:4)
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…
C. The one talent man (Matt. 25:26)
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant…
D. Alexander (II Tim. 4:14)
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works.
1. Evil does not have to involve horrific acts.
2. Too, wickedness can be done by the people of God.
V. WHY DO MEN GRAVITATE TOWARD EVIL?
A. Evil is often easy, fun, and exciting to do.
1. People gravitate to the easy, fun, and exciting.
2. For some reason, even if something is wrong, they enjoy it if it brings pleasure.
3. II Peter 2:13a
And shall receive the reward of unrightouesness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.
B. A lack of proper teaching
1. It seems strange to Christians, but there are some individuals who have never taught their children Christian principles, values, and morals.
2. These individual live according to what they have heard, seen, and experienced.
3. In essence, they have been taught to be evil.
4. Revelation 2:20
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
C. No discipline
1. Some individuals have never been subject to discipline that eradicates evil behavior.
2. They simply run wild doing whatever it is that pleases them.
3. Two verses it the Proverbs:
a. Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
b. Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
1. There are two sides of selfishness.
a. Total care for self.
b. A total lack of care for others.
2. If a person does not care about others.
a. He does not care about how they feel.
b. He does not care about how they are treated.
c. He does not care if another is injured.
3. II Timothy 3:1-2a
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…
E. Approval of others
1. Some individuals need to belong. Some individuals need the applause of others.
2. Often they will do whatever is necessary in order to “fit in” and have the approval of others.
3. Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man bringeth a snare…
VI. CAN WE OVERCOME EVIL?
A. We can overcome evil by aligning ourselves with Jesus Christ.
1. In so doing, we cast evil out of our lives.
a. This is what is involved in the command to repent.
b. We die to evil and wickedness.
c. Galatians 5:24
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
2. Too, we engage in the practice of those things that are good.
a. The Christian becomes a different person.
b. He now works that which is good (Eph. 4:28-29).
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that is may minister grace to the hearers.
3. NOTE: With every conversion, there is one less evil person in the world.
B. We can overcome evil by showing good toward it (Rom. 12:19-21)
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
C. We can overcome evil by standing in bold opposition to it (Eph. 5:11; I Tim. 5:20)
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
1. We may cause some who are part of the works of darkness to come out.
2. We will warn those who are righteous not to be part of the unfruitful works of darkness.
VII. WILL EVIL EVERY BE DEFEATED?
A. We noted that all evil and wickedness spring from one source, Satan.
B. God has prepared a lake of fire and brimstone for Satan (Matt. 25:41).
C. One day, Satan will be cast into that lake and evil will be completely defeated (Rev. 20:10).
And the devil that deceiveth them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
A. Evil definitely exists in our world.
B. It is deceptive, divisive, destructive, and deadly.
C. The world is evil, and, even Christians, can practice wickedness.
D. However, evil can be overcome.
1. Through allegiance to Christ
2. Through the doing of good
3. Through standing in opposition to evil
E. Ultimately, evil will be completely defeated. When it is, we will be glad if we are standing on the side of good.