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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20180218 THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

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THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

SERMON STARTER

          The mass shootings of public arenas, concerts, churches and schools do not surprise us anymore. Murphy's Law says, "What can go wrong, will go wrong."  There have been scores of manmade and natural disasters in the U.S. the past 6 months. It's as though a nightmare of evil has been let loose in our world.

          Many of the problems are related to natural disasters, while others are caused by human evil. I remember as a child listening on my grand mother's cranked up radio to the introduction to The Shadow radio program, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!," spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr. His voice always sent a shiver up my spine. The opening of the show would always end with a loud slamming of a door.

          On Monday, February 12th, 19 nineteen year old  Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people in cold blood with an AR-15 automatic rifle. He also severely wounded another 12 people. He legally purchased the weapons and ammunition used in this shooting  the week before under U.S. existing laws. Although red flags were up around this young man, no one, including his friends, neighbors, and even the FBI, though informed about his danger, did nothing to deal with him.

          It would have helped if only one of the people around Nikolas would have attempted to make a connection with him. I am struck by how isolated he was from people. One of the things that promotes violence in the heart of mankind is that disconnect that we all feel when people die all around us and no one is there to comfort us in our loss. We are a nation that has devalued human loneliness and grief. We have devalued tears and weeping. We no longer esteem emotional things at all.

          What's really wrong is in the heart of man. Only Jesus in human hearts can make a positive change in this world. My sermon today explores how we can find Him in the midst of the mess we've created.

Pastor Phil  <><<   

February 18, 2018 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

What does God have to do with all this Evil?

Isaiah 45:1-8 - Ephesians 6:10-13

"The mass shootings of public arenas, concerts, churches and schools do not surprised us anymore. Murphy's Law says, "What can go wrong, will go wrong. What's wrong is in the heart of man. Only Jesus in human hearts can make a positive change in this world."    Pastor Phil  <><<

7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.   Isaiah 45:7 (ASV)

 

What upsets every scene, domestic or political, is not man's desire to be so bad. So far I have never met a man who wanted to be bad. The mystery of man is that he is bad when he wants to be good. - George MacLeod,

 

This morning we will explore three type of Evil. The First is. . .

I. WE RESIST SPIRITUAL EVIL - Ephesians 6:10-13

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. NKJ

 

          A. RULERS - ARCHAS = arch = The First Ones; Preeminent Ones

                    1. Definition: The first person or thing in a series: the leader

                    2. There is a Satanic Hierarchy just like human armies

                    3. Generals, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Privates

                    4. Their end is predicted in Scripture - 1 Corinthians 15:24

                                        24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the

                          Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

          B. AUTHORITIES -  EX-OUSIA = exousia = Power/Rule of Govt.

                    1. Definition:  The ability to do something; capability; might;                              enablement or power

                    2. These are leaders who operate in delegated authority

                    3. Eg. We elect officials who have limited authority

                    4. Satanic operatives also get into positions of authority

                    5. Their purposes are to kill, steal and destroy - John 10:10

                        10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

                          I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more

                          abundantly.

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, cont. p.2

 

    C. POWERS OF THIS DARK WORLD - KOS-MO-KRA-TO-RAS =           kosmokratoras

         1. This generally applies to spirit-beings who have parts of the                     cosmos under their control.

                    2."Master spirits who are the world rulers of this present                                  darkness" Amplified Bible

                    3. A world-class Satanic Ruler - Eg. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin

          D. SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLIES -

                    PNEU-MAT-IKA  PON-ER-IA = pneumatika ponhria

         1. Definition: Spiritual forces that are wicked and inhabit the                            physical sphere above the earth.

                    2. Territorial Spirits that rule in the regional heavenlys

                                        12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that

                          you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before

                          your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of

                          your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood

                          me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes,

                          came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of

                          Persia. Daniel 10:12-13 (NKJV)
                    3. These ancient ones still rule the celestial heavens there

 

Let's explore the Second type of Evil. . .

II. WE RESIST WORLDLY EVIL

          A. Since the sin of Adam we live in a fallen world - Genesis 3:17-18                17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife,                  and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You

              shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall

              eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring

              forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.

                                       

                    1. The fallen Cosmos, World system or order

                    2. We all fall under Adam's Curse - Genesis 3:17-19

                    3. Sweat, Thorns, Thistles, Aging, Death, Decay, Sickness

          B. The World has Fallen, become under Satan's Domain - Isa. 14:12

          12 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you

               are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!

                    1. Satan and his Demons have limited rulership over the world

                    2. Their time to rule is almost over

                    3. Their rule is chaos, destabilize, undermine God's purposes

     C. List of worldly sins is lengthy

                    1. Gluttony, lust, fornication, greed, pride, despair, wrath, sloth

                    2. Today's Addictions of all kinds: substance, gambling, porn

 

Let's explore the Third type of Evil. . .

III. WE RESIST HUMAN EVIL - Jeremiah 17:9

9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know    it?

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, cont. p.3

 

     A. Human Evil is Adam /Eve's choices released into human hearts

                    1. Albert Einstein's Quote

                        "I do not fear the explosive power of the atom bomb. What I fear is                                the explosive power of evil in the human heart."

                    2. M. Scott Peck calls it "Malignant Narcissism" in his book,

                        "People of the Lie"

                    "They are men and women of obviously strong will, determined to                                 have their own way. Such people literally live "in a world of their

                          own" in which the self reigns supreme."

                    3. Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way"

     B. The answer to Evil is not found in Words on Paper but on Wood

                    1. The Cross of Jesus is God's Answer to Man's Sinfulness

                    2. His Blood covers the awfulness of our messes

                    3. He died for shooters and their victims

                    4. He died for a sinful nation that rebels against

                        anything Godly

                    5. He died for you. . .Have you accepted Him?

 

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GOD'S ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr7_i8HJ-Jo

 

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, Text:

Isaiah 45:1-8 (NKJV)
1 "Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held-- To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
2 'I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant's sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'
8 "Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:

 

          My Southern Baptist Churches I grew up with sang a lot of “Cross” songs in their worship music repertory.  We sadly sang, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross,” and “Beneath The Cross of Jesus,” and “At The Cross.”  I tried to bring them into the independent charismatic churches I served as an interdenominational pastor, but they rejected them as “too sad.”  Contemporary churches want music that entertains and leaves people humming tunes about how much God loves them or about the things they propose to do for God. 

          There’s an irony here, because too long evangelicals and Protestants have been calling people to a gospel of prosperity and possibility thinking, but we’ve forgotten the Cross of Jesus that makes faith itself possible.  The Cross is Christ’s message of faith and hope to the world.  It is not our faith in Him, but Christ’s faith in us demonstrated by His Cross that puts fire into His Gospel and makes it possible for fallen man to change by the power of God.

          I awakened from sleep Thursday morning singing in my heart this song:

BENEATH THE CROSS OF JESUS

First Verse:

Beneath the cross of Jesus
  I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
  Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
  A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
  And the burden of the day.

Fifth Verse:

I take, O cross, thy shadow
  For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
  The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by,
  To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame,
  My glory all the cross.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr7_i8HJ-Jo

 

Eg. The Holocaust

https://bible.org/article/problem-evil

 

Lamentations 3:37-38 (NKJV)
37 Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That woe and well-being proceed?

 

Lamentations 3:37-38 (NIV)
37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

 

Isaiah 45:6-7 (NKJV)
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'

Proverbs 16:4 (NKJV)
4 The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV)
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 45:1-8 (NKJV)
1 "Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held-- To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
2 'I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant's sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'
8 "Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel 28:13-19 (NKJV)
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.
18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever." ' "

 

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2. Charles Swindoll wrote: “Life and pain are synonymous. You cannot have one without the other.”

3. As you know, Job knew a lot about how much life can hurt.

a. In Job 14:1, he said, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”

 

 

 

Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance. - Cardinal John Henry Newman

 

Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree. Ethiopian Proverb

 

Evil is the real problem in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics.  It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man. -  Albert Einstein

 

There is nothing evil in matter itself. Evil lies in the spirit. Evils of the heart, of the mind, of the soul, of the spirit- these have to do with man's sin, and the only reason the human body does evil is because the human spirit uses it to do evil. - A. W. Tozer

 

Evil often triumphs, but never conquers. - Joseph Roux

 

God is so powerful that he can direct any evil to a good end.

   Saint Thomas Aquinas

 

God would never permit evil if he could not bring good out of evil. - Thomas Watson

 

Evil can never be undone, but only purged and redeemed. -

Dorothy L. Sayers

 

Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it, and with this I begin and end. - John Newton