Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Good and Evil


And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9 NKJV)


See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. (Deuteronomy 30:15-18 NKJV)


The Fruit of the Tree

Good is fully represented by the Lord Jesus.  Evil is fully represented by Satan who is also known as the Devil and as the Serpent.  The Lord is our Savior.  Satan is our adversary.  As the Devil, he is the diabolical or evil one. As the Serpent, he is the subtle deceiver. When God created the heavens and the earth, He said that everything He created was good.  After the woman was created, creation was very good.   But in the Garden, there was a tree that provided a test for Adam and Eve.  They weren’t to eat of the fruit that tree.  It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But of course, Eve took the fruit and ate it since Satan as the Serpent got her to question what God had said.  God had said that they would die if they ate of that tree. Satan questioned the certainty of that statement.   Eve believed the Liar instead of simply believing what God had said.  Adam then joined her in her error so as not to be separated from her.  He chose his bride over paradise if I understand 1 Timothy 2:14 properly. 


God said that the fruit of that tree would make them “like God”, knowing good and evil. I don’t think that just meant that they would understand good and evil, but I think that as God, they would then be able to decide what was good and what was evil.   Men have been trying to control others based on what they decide is good and evil ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden when in fact, we are supposed to let God determine what is good and what is evil.


Our Society

We have become like the society of Noah’s day.  We read, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5 NKJV).”  We try to legislate standards of good and we can’t do it because we don’t agree about what is “good.”  However, we normally do know evil when we see it.  It involves, murder, hate, lying, violence and rebellion. 


Some people are born with an evil spirit, others make deliberate life choices that open them up to possession and oppression by demons.  The Lord dealt with evil spirits when He was here on earth.  He cast those spirits out and freed the persons possessed by them from their control. We would like to believe that that there is no such thing as being “possessed” today, but I don’t believe that. People on drugs and abusers of alcohol open themselves up to demonic possession.  Many of our young suicides relate to the bondage of evil spirits by those who have abused mind altering drugs. 


Why Do People follow Evil People?

In the Lord’s day, people who were religious were evil.  While it does not appear that they were possessed, they were certainly doing the Devil’s work. They were the ones who convinced the crowds to reject the Lord and to crucify Him.  Their evil should have been obvious; but, even so, people followed them and yielded to them.  Why? I suppose it is because everybody wants to be on the winning team and the Lord sure didn’t appear to be a “strong” leader who would liberate the nation from Roman rule.  But there is something else in the heart of man that seems to “like” evil.  How else can one understand gladiator sports that included the throwing of Christians to lions in public arenas? 


Is it true that evil prevails and good does not?  It sure seems that way.  But we who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ know that one day good is going to prevail.  Satan is going to be destroyed and those who follow him and believe his lies will be destroyed with him.  Following Satan and believing His lies may give temporary satisfaction and temporary victories in this life, but the long-term consequences are eternal damnation. That is true even if religious people who do not know the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, speak with the appearance of authority while lending their support to questionable doctrine and to ungodly leaders.


Doing good does not save for eternity or put our sins away but doing good is certainly something that should characterize a Christian.  Does it characterize those of us who claim to be saved? There is a constant battle between good and evil in our world today.  May we who are saved make sure we are fighting the good fight and that we are not siding with evil.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the weeks of January 13 and 20, 2019

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