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When Evil Strikes

June 19, 2017
When Evil Strikes
This weekend, Englishman Darren Osborne, 47, plowed a van into a group of Muslims returning home from their late-evening prayers in London. Amazingly, even after many were injured in the chaos outside their mosque, worshippers were able to restrain the assailant as he attempted to escape. The police were quick to announce the incident as a terror attack.

This assault on Muslims by a non-Muslim comes within weeks of terror attacks in England perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists. Was it done in revenge—eye for eye, tooth for tooth style? In shock and sorrow, residents of London are reaching out to the families suffering from this tragedy. How should Christians respond to the growing tide of bigotry and violence in our world?

First, it shouldn’t surprise us. The increasing spread of hate and violence in our world should remind us of what Jesus said about the last days.: “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Violence abounds—and it seems to be begetting more violence as opposing sides become more intolerant of one another.

Second, Christ calls us to respond as He responds to hate and evil—with love! The apostle Paul wrote, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. … For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8, 10).

As selfish sinners, we are all at risk of falling into the trap of hatred and vengeance. It is only the grace of Christ that can change our thoughts and actions to share love and forgiveness when evil is done to us.

Throughout Scripture, we see this biblical principle reiterated time and again. As children of the heavenly Father who gives the blessings of sun and rain to the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45), we are commanded not to return evil for evil (Romans 12:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, 1 Peter 3:9). But rather, the Scriptures say, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

If you would like to find out more about how God handles the challenges brought on by evil, check out this great resource by clicking here: Why Is There Evil?
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