Do We Perpetuate Evil?

On January 11, 2013 by Valmy S. Karemera

Chinnam is a Hebrew word that means “nothing.”  It is used four times in the book of Job (1:9; 2:3; 9:17; 22:6).  In this book, we are introduced to a “perfect and upright man” who is caught between the two great factions of the Great Controversy–Christ and Satan–for “nothing” (Job 2:3; 9:17).  The nature of suffering for “nothing” echoes contemporary sentiments against Christianity—“If there is an all-powerful God, why do innocent people suffer for nothing?”   Today, this question is considered to be the Achilles’ heel for Christianity.

To make matters worse, some Christian thinkers such as renowned theologians like N.T. Write, Bart Erhram, and Robert Alden are also joining the choir to voice their opinions by rejecting, doubting, and downplaying a literal existence of Satan [1].  How should Bible-believing Christians respond?  How should Adventists respond? 

That’s exactly the same question I asked myself recently after watching a short documentary entitled “Intended Consequences” in preparation of a recent presentation on the question of evil and inhumane atrocities committed against humanity around the world.  What do I have that lifts me above the struggles and disappointments of life?  As Seventh-day Adventists, what hope do we give others who are deeply hurting?

As I sat in that room preparing for this talk, the sanctuary and evangelism came to mind.  

In no other major religion or denomination is the doctrine of atonement more profoundly and distinctively defined as in Adventist theology.  With its comprehensive view of the human predicament and salvation, the sanctuary message gives Adventists a vantage point from which they can unashamedly share the reason for their hope—hope in knowing that when the High Priest completes His heavenly ministry (Dan 7; 8:13,14; Heb 8:1,2; 9:22, 23)—it will mark the end of sin and suffering—there will be no more night. No more pain. No more tears. Evil will rise no more (Rev. 21:4; cf. Lev. 16:8, 21, 22; Mal 4:1; Ezek 28: 18-19; 1 Cor. 15:52-57; Rev. 20).

More than anyone else, Adventists should be frontrunners in addressing the question of sin and suffering because they exist for no other cause, but to announce the imminent return of Christ—the only cause that will end all causes.  Outside this “blessed hope,” there is no other hope for mankind.

The Second Coming

While the first advent gives us the power and victory over sin—we are no longer “servants of sin”, but “servants of righteousness” (Rom 6:17, 18; cf. 6:22)—sin and suffering, however, remains a reality.  As such, only the Second Coming puts an eternal end to all human struggles (1 Cor. 15:52-57; Rev. 21:4; Rev. 20).   Without the Second Coming, the first coming of Christ is meaningless.

Thankfully, the Second of Coming of Christ is certain.  It is the heartbeat of every Bible writer. It is the burden of every page of the Bible.   The Old Testament devotes more than 300 passages on it.  The New Testament also mentions it about 200 times.  For these Bible writers, the Second Advent of Christ is the only rallying cry worthy of all our endeavors.

The Second Coming is that which has inspired generations after generations of believers to dare and dream of the impossible possibilities.  Noting this, C.S Lewis writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

Failure to evangelize is to perpetuate evil in the world. 

Edmund Burke once remarked, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” By our failure to evangelize, we align ourselves with those who are content with the world in its present form—with sin and suffering.  We immortalize evil in a sense that we willingly refuse to “tell the world”—that Christ is the only hope for mankind and His coming is the only solution to all of earth’s problems.  

By hastening the Coming of Christ, we literary say that we are tired of sin and suffering.  We groan in these earthly vessels waiting for His coming (2 Cor. 5:2-4).  Ellen G. White rightly asserts, “The giving of the gospel to the world is the work that God has committed to those who bear His name. For earth’s sin and misery the gospel is the only antidote. To make known to all mankind the message of the grace of God is the first work of those who know its healing power” [2]  

The man and his ministry

Few understand the urgency of ending this world with its sin and suffering like Goldon Lapani.  Each day, he prays, “Please, God, one soul for You today.” As a result of this prayer life, “two years after his baptism Lapani had raised up five Adventist congregations and baptized 145 new believers.”  Today—twenty years later, Lapani has led nearly 11, 000 people into the Remnant Church![3]

Hastening the Second Coming is the only enduring solution to the problem of sin and suffering.  We cannot turn back.  We must end this world in our lifetime or die trying.  It is not an option, but a moral imperative (Ezek 3:17-19).  By failure to evangelize, we perpetuate evil.

 


[1] http://ministrymagazine.org/archive/2010/november/where-in-the-world-is-satan-the-devil (accessed, Sunday, February 27, 2011).

[2] Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing, 141.

[3] http://www.adventistworld.org/issue.php?issue=2010-1012&page=24 (accessed, Sunday, February 27, 2011).

3 Responses to “Do We Perpetuate Evil?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *