Author: Ron Graham
Good and Evil
—The Battle of Right Against Wrong
The main “opposites” in the Bible of course include Good and Evil. The age old struggle of good against evil still rages. But these are not equal opposites, and good shall be victorious.
1 There Was Not Always Evil.
God has always existed as a righteous God, and he always will. “There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Saviour” (Isaiah 45:21). “From everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness” (Psalm 119:42).
The goodness of God is perfect and pure. “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1John 1:5).
Also, the things God created were good when he created them. “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:15). “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Who Originated Evil?
Such Bible statements as those above show that evil cannot be attributed to God. So with whom did evil originate? John says, “Whoever practises sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. This is the reason the Son of God appeared. He came to destroy the works of the devil” (1John 3:8).
Jesus called the devil “a murderer from the beginning... the father of lies” (John 8:44). As to murder, the worst sin was the murder of Jesus Christ (Matthew chapter 27). As to lies, the first sin that we read about in the Bible was the lie that the serpent told Eve (Genesis chapter 3). The devil was behind both the first and the worst sins making him the father of all evil.
The devil has not always existed. If he is the originator of evil, then evil has not always existed. It appears that the devil was created as an angel. “Praise God all his angels. Praise him all his heavenly hosts... Let them praise the name of the LORD for at his command they were created” (Psalm 148:2-5).
Note:— Creator and His Creatures Jesus has always existed, even before he became flesh. Moreover, he created all things, even the angels. “All things were created by him, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether thrones, dominions,rulers, or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).
Now some of the angels in God’s creation did not praise God. Instead, they became “angels who sinned” (2Peter 2:4). They were “angels who did not keep their original estate, but left the place where they belonged” (Jude 1:6). Not only does it appear that the devil is such, but the phrase “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41) suggests that he is a leader of other sinful angels.
Does Evil Complement Good?
So whilst good and evil are opposites, they are not equal opposites. Good is the nature of the eternal God. Good exists in its own right just as God does. In no way does evil complement good. Evil is nothing more than rebellion of a created being foolishly following lies, and opposing the good of the Creator.
One of those lies is that good cannot exist without evil. That is a lie because good has always existed, whereas evil had a beginning. Before evil existed, there was good alone. When all the works of the devil have been destroyed, then again there will be good alone.
2 Evil Will Come to an End.
When created beings rebel against the Creator’s righteousness and disobey his word, they become active enemies of God. That is the definition and nature of evil.
On the other hand, good may be defined as listening to God and doing what he says. “Tell them everything that I command you, every word. Maybe they will listen and each will turn from their way of evil” (Jeremiah 26:2-3).
If everyone listened to God and did everything he commands, there would be no evil, for the commands of God are good. “Let my tongue sing of your word, for all your commandments are righteous” (Psalm 119:172). But not everyone does listen and obey.
The Short Battle Between Good and Evil
So a battle rages, because good must contest evil. “Put on all the armour of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil. We don't struggle against flesh and blood. We struggle against the foremost heavyweights among cosmic powers of darkness. We struggle against spiritual forces of evil in the celestial realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
This battle won't last forever. It had a beginning, and it will have an end. The outcome is certain. The battle and its end is represented in a vision given to John. “And they marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire fell from heaven and consumed them” (Revelation 20:9).
3 The Army of God Will Win.
You will notice in that last quote, that the battle was a fiasco. The forces of evil in that vision were destroyed before any of God’s people were harmed. In reality, we have a hard battle to fight. But we also know for certain that we will, in the power of Christ, come through it victorious, as though the battle were ended before it began.
Nevertheless, it is not an easy experience to fight for good and destroy evil. But we are called to do it, and it's well worth the trials. “¶The victors will inherit all these blessings [of eternal life] and I will be their God, and they will be my sons” (Revelation 21:7).
The good message of Christ includes this promise to those who take up the armour of God: ¶“We know that all who have been born of God do not keep on doing evil, but God’s begotten protect themselves, and the evil one cannot touch them.” (1John 5:18).
Will you be among the victors?