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Violence of Today

Staff Member
With the horrendous terrorist attack against the U.S.A. still fresh on all of our minds, violence and terrorism in our land has become a major concern of our government leaders at this time. Individuals are also worried and fearful of what could happen to them in an age of such a threatening society.

How are Christians to respond to these evil days? First of all the Lord gave the warning as His second coming approached we would see these attitudes occurring in the world. II Timothy 3:1-4 says, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.

There is no doubt about the hour in which we live being the season for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as we link the above scripture with others in the Bible. Matt. 24:33 says, So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

In order for us to compare our day with the day that Noah lived we can look in the book of Genesis 6:5-13: 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. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

The Bible describes our day very clearly from these scriptures. The condition of violence that caused the earth to be destroyed in Noah's day is the same condition our earth is in today. Many people today are crying for the violence to be removed or restrained in our society. They are demanding that governments do something about this wickedness but they do not realize what is causing it. They believe if only the government would pass certain laws this would correct the violent behavior.

The government has done many of these things and there are simply not enough laws to cover every offense nor enough men to police the system nor enough prisons to contain the wicked. Thank God for good police systems and prisons that hold societies' wickedness in check. God in His mercy has used good governments to restrain lawlessness throughout history. However, corrupt governments have caused much suffering for mankind also.

Today many different kinds of programs and methods are being implemented to deal with the violence. However, it can never be totally removed until its root cause is corrected. Today's madness cannot be dealt with by hiring more policemen to monitor and arrest offenders and then building bigger prisons to hold them. Our prisons are overflowing now.

Men and their programs only prune the branches of an evil tree, while the root system remains intact. What is the root of violence? It's rebellion against God and His laws. Therefore as long as the root system is untouched the tree will only grow more branches and bear more rotten fruit.

To remedy our problems in the earth we must all repent and turn to God and keep His laws and commandments and allow Jesus to change our evil natures into His nature of goodness. This total corporate turning to God can only take place when God brings judgement against evil and removes it, and then sets up His millennium kingdom in the earth. However, we must repent now so we can avoid the violence that will increase. In a time of violence many innocent people are destroyed, as well as the wicked. We should pray and seek God with our whole heart to be among those that shall be spared destruction. Only a true repentance and revival can save us.

Matthew 24:12-14:
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The Bible prophesies the events that will take place just prior to this time of the gospel going out to the whole world. The explosion of violence worldwide is one of those events. We are beginning to see this process take place in part as we are in the shadow of the millennium kingdom now. The Bible also speaks of a time of judgement that occurs during a tribulation period before the Lord's second coming.

Matt. 13:38-43: 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The tares (wicked people) in this parable are being bundled for destruction because of their evil ways while God is also separating His people from the world system so He might protect and reward them. Although judgment usually has an evil connotation to it (the execution of the penalty for sin); it also has a positive side. Judgement has to do with the sowing and reaping process. This is defined in Galatians 6:7-9: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

From this we can see that the negative side of judgment is evil that is sown reaps destruction, while on the positive side, good that is sown through Jesus is rewarded. God's judgement on evil is seen by the curse that is on wicked men, while God's judgement for the righteous will manifest in His blessings and rewards on them. Some innocent people are destroyed also, but they will receive their reward in heaven; The Bible declares the way into the kingdom of God is strait and narrow and few be that find it.

Luke 13:24: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Matthew 7:14: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Because men do not like a straight or restricted way we are seeing destruction on a massive level at this hour. This is not God initiating destruction against mankind through the curses in the earth, but it is the result of the fruit of evil manifesting in destruction. God can do no evil. He is righteous and pure. The negative judgments that are in our world, manifesting in violence, terrorist acts, earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. are a direct result of broken spiritual laws.

Ezekiel 11:21: But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.

The command to God's people in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation is for us to be lights filled with His love and glory. God promises His people a place of peace and safety in the midst of violence. Just as Noah and his family were kept safe from the flood waters in the ark, we are kept safe from the flood of violence in our spiritual ark, Jesus. The only safe place for us as Christians is our surrender and obedience to God. Then, there is safety in being in the will of God. It matters not what physical place we are living, our safety is in Him as promised to us in Psalm 91. We daily pray and claim these scriptures. A portion of that Psalm should encourage all of us. Psalms 91:5-7: 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; 6 [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.

Some Christians will ask why they have been victims of violence and suffering if God's Word promises them safety? First, to answer this we must define the two kinds of suffering: (1) Suffering for Christ: This suffering is the kind we go through for the cause of Christ as we are persecuted for being righteous. Examples are: going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, going without pleasures for the gospel's sake, suffering because of others wrong doings toward us, etc. The other is (2) Suffering because of our sins or others: Sins of commission bring curses. These are deliberate sins of rebelling against God's ways. Sins of omission can also cause us to suffer. These sins are the failure to pray, give, obey and take the time to learn of God's ways. James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. "

Many Christians are suffering not because they are outright rebellious, but because they are ignorant of God's Word or His ways. Hosea 4:6a says My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Some Christians are suffering because they are lazy and complacent. They do not pray as they should nor read their Bibles, witness, nor give their tithes and offerings, etc.

God's safety is promised by our relationship with Jesus. Psalm 91:1 says, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." If we want to be protected under God's wings in this violent hour we must:

1. Totally commit to God's will

2. Obey His Word in the Bible

3. Overcome self, sin and Satan

To be an overcomer at this hour and conquer the threat of violence against us, we must walk in faith and trust in God's promises of safety and deliverance. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 24:6, 13-14, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come."