Tony Elder

Tony Elder

“Evil is coming!” That’s the ominous warning being sounded by a TV network as it promotes one of its new shows for the fall season. I have no idea what this program may be about, but those teasers will probably effectively raise the curiosity of some of us to the point where we’ll tune in, at least briefly, to see what kind of “evil” it’s talking about.

While such a declaration of some sort of approaching terror might get our attention, I would suggest that in reality evil is already here. It can easily be found in programming already offered on that network and others, as well as in our society in general. We don’t have to be concerned about evil showing up down the road — we’re living in the midst of it now. You don’t have to watch fictional stories on TV to encounter it — you’ll find news programs reporting on it in the events taking place in our world and nation. Just look out your window and evil is evident in our own communities and neighborhoods.

The presence of evil shouldn’t surprise us. It’s been around throughout the history of mankind, ever since showing up in the Garden of Eden in the form of a deceptive serpent. However, it does seem to be getting worse. And that shouldn’t surprise us either. The Bible warns us that in the last days “evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:15). The evil in our world seems to be more openly and boldly manifesting itself in various ways. It’s not just lurking in the shadows, but is proudly announcing its presence and openly pursuing its agenda.

No matter what human faces or organizations you might associate with the evil of our day, let’s not forget that the real enemy is a spiritual one. Behind the terrorists, the ungodly, the political figures, the celebrities, the mass shooters, the neighborhood hoodlums, or whomever you see manifesting the evil around you, keep in mind that there are unseen spiritual forces at work. This is where the real evil lies. “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” (Ephesians 6:12). We’re not just facing human evil, but powerful, spiritual evil.

The good news is that “good” is here, too. No, I’m not referring to some kind of inherent goodness in man. I’m not advocating the sentiment that “there’s good in everyone” or that somehow society through its own wisdom and morality will win the battle against the evils of our day. The “good” that is present and available to us is the Spirit of God. He is working in the world today as well. He lives within those who are trusting Christ as their Savior. And He can fill us, guide us, and empower us to overcome the evil around us.

While the good news is that the Holy Spirit is here, the even better news is that He is more powerful than the evil forces at work in the world. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4). We don’t have to cower in the face of the growing evil around us. We have a greater power living in us which can give us victory.

Evil is here and is worsening. However, we have the Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome the evil with good.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.