• Buddy Coffey

A World Without Evil - How would it look?


Imagine for a moment: a world without evil.

A world without war or violence or persecution or hate.

A world without disease or death, abuse or suffering.

Without murder or rape or child abuse, or any other crime.

A world without pain or loneliness.

Without immorality, sexual perversion, addiction, or human trafficking.

Without poverty. Without starvation.

Without corruption, deceit, or greed.

A world without a single evil thought and without a single evil memory.

Our world today is filled with chaos, darkness, and evil. And every day it just gets worse.

Is there a way out? Is there a remedy? Can the downward trend be reversed?

Can the world return to Eden, to be a paradise again?

Imagine what it would be like to have all the darkness of the world just disappear and to actually live in a world without evil. That world is coming! Not tomorrow. Not next week. But it is coming. And it may be coming sooner than you think.

REMINDERS FROM SCRIPTURE

This is no pie-in-the-sky, Utopian dream. Scripture is filled with words that remind us of this future reality, from the Old Testament prophets to nearly every book in the New Testament. Let’s look at a few.

From the Prophet Isaiah:

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

~Isaiah 35:5-10

Can you catch Isaiah’s vision? No more blindness. No more deafness. No more disabilities. No more desolate places. People won’t be lying, cheating, or stealing but will be living the “way of holiness!” With perpetual singing and everlasting joy! In fact, there will be so much joy and gladness that there won’t be a hint of any sorrow or sighing. I’ll take it.

From the Prophet Ezekiel:

For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

~Ezekiel 34:11-16

Just prior to this passage, Ezekiel was writing on how evil and corrupt the nation’s political and religious leaders were. They were the elites and “powers that be” of their day: looking out only for themselves, treating the people harshly and brutally, and plundering them for every last dime they could squeeze out.

But God says that a time is coming when rather than replacing the corrupt leaders with other leaders, He Himself will take charge, rescue His people from all the evil and corruption, and lead them like a good shepherd. In verses 25-31, Ezekiel gives us a vision of the “world without evil” that is coming: peace and safety, security and blessing, and rescued from the “elite.”

From the Book of Revelation:

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. ~Revelation 11:15

What powerful words! What an amazing picture! Every humanly devised institution will eventually be taken over by our Lord, and it will not be the elites or powers that be that are in control, but Christ Himself will reign… for ever and ever!

From the Apostle Paul:

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. ~Romans 8:19-23

I hope you are beginning to see that this “world without evil” is much more far reaching than just “going to heaven when you die.” This passage, for example, says that all of creation will be set free from decay, and while we, too, will be renewed, restored, and redeemed, so will all the rest of God’s good creation.

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus’ gospel message always looked forward to this world without evil. He called it the kingdom of God, and that idea permeated His teachings. He began His ministry by preaching the “gospel of the kingdom of God.”

Now after that John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

~Mark 1:14-15

Jesus’ mission on earth had many components, and one of them was to announce, inaugurate, and demonstrate what this kingdom of God was all about. He was always talking about it! He preached it everywhere (Luke 4:43, 8:1) and sent His disciples to preach it as well (Luke 9:2, 10:9).

He told stories about it, and likened its power and presence to a number of common things: a mustard seed, yeast in a loaf of bread, a pearl of great price, the man who sowed good seed, and a hidden treasure to name a few. After His resurrection, Jesus continued teaching about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3), and as He was about to ascend into heaven, His disciples’ parting question wasn’t how to get the heaven but when He would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-7).

And Jesus’ message on the kingdom of God, that world without evil as I’m calling it, continued to be preached after His ascension. Kingdom talk and kingdom teaching appears in nearly every book of the New Testament.

You may have unconsciously combined entering the kingdom of God with our going to heaven when we die and thereby miss the point of much of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus was talking about two separate and distinct things.

Yes, being with our Lord in heaven will be a glorious thing, but the greater Christian hope is that later, when Christ returns to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, we will be with Him there, too, and will serve Him as kings and priests as He renews, restores, and redeems all of creation.

GETTING THERE FROM HERE

A world without evil isn’t going to come about by sheer human effort. All we need to do is look around us for proof of that. Those evils I listed at the beginning of the article are real: very real. And they just keep getting worse.

A world without evil isn’t going to be something we just evolve into either. Whatever “evolution” is happening now is certainly not ridding us of evil. If anything, it seems to be increasing the evil in all aspects of life.

Yes, that world without evil is coming, but it won’t come before the very foundations of our present society are shaken to the core and a new foundation replaces the old. A time when evil is finally dealt with and God’s good creation is restored to the way He intended it to be.

That time is coming, but hold on to your seats, my friends, for we’re in for a rough ride before we get there.

The book of Revelation, supported by scripture throughout the Bible, depicts three great events that must come to pass before we get to the world without evil. Revelation was written as a letter to be circulated to seven churches in Asia Minor suffering from persecution and other trials. Its purpose was to show them – and by extension us – the things which were to come to pass that I will summarize below.

Revelation is chocked full of symbolic language, vivid scenes, with horrific beasts and other creatures, all of which can be confusing to the reader. And like much of scripture, Revelation contains multiple levels of meaning. For this article, I will extract the basic time line and most prominent features and leave the detailed interpretations to other articles.

The Great Tribulation – Demonstrating That Man’s Way Doesn’t Work

You think things are bad now? Just wait! Revelation foretells of calamitous times ahead, with wars, famines, disease, plagues, pestilence, earthquakes, and the upheaval of society in general. Hail and fire storms, oceans turned to blood, rivers and streams filled with toxic chemicals and undrinkable.

Political, economic, and religious powers will rule for a while but will eventually fail catastrophically. All mankind will be affected, without exception. Jesus calls this period a time of “great tribulation.”

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” ~Matthew 24:21-22

If we haven’t already entered this period, we’re just about to. Look at a couple of the signs Jesus gives as precursors, and see if you don’t agree that His words from nearly 2,000 years ago read like today’s headlines:

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

~Matthew 24:4-5

This passage isn’t saying that the deceivers will claim to be Christ (that, too, will happen). It says there will be people who proclaim that Jesus is the Christ and declare that they are speaking in His name. But what they will speak won’t be the truth but lying words that will deceive the many. In the Great Tribulation, these deceptions will ramp up sharply to the point of being able to deceive the “very elect.” (Matt. 24:24)

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:”

~Matthew 24:6-7

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”

~Matthew 24:9-10

We don’t have a lot of persecution in America… yet. But our brothers and sisters in Christ overseas are suffering horribly in some areas, even to the point of martyrdom. That hasn’t hit the U.S. yet, but we do see a rise in discrimination and hatred, especially when believers stand firm for their faith outside the norms of our sick society. It may not have touched you yet, but I assure you it will in the tribulation to come.

During the Great Tribulation, Christians will bear a particularly heavy burden, at least through some of it, because persecutions will increase like never seen before. Revelation speaks of martyrs and beheadings, of believers being unable to buy and sell like others, of worship of a system so corrupt it’s called a “beast.”

But there’s a reason for all this to happen, as it will show once and for all time that man’s ways – strongly influenced by Satan – do not work and will fail catastrophically. It is also a time when evil is clearly present, yet the majority do not turn from it (Rev. 9:20-21).

For Christians, the Great Tribulation will be incredibly difficult, and during this time we need to be fully focused on the coming kingdom of God, that world without evil that’s our ultimate destiny. We are to overcome, to conquer, to persevere, to press on with that vision in mind. And we’re told that we will succeed in that overcoming but perhaps at the cost of our lives.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

~Revelation 12:11

I hope you saw that last phrase. Some believers are going to give their lives during the Great Tribulation, and that’s a very sobering thought. Have you thought about that possibility?

The Return of Christ and the Millennial Reign –

Demonstrating That God’s Way Does Work

But just when everything seems hopeless and it looks like evil will prevail, Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords, coming in power and great glory! He is followed by armies of heaven, and they are ready to decisively defeat all the evil powers that dominate the earth. He comes to conquer, and rule, and judge, and to begin dealing with all the evil in the world once and for all! Those who are His at His return, both living and dead, will join Him in that return. (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

It will be the most dramatic event in all of history!

With the Satan-empowered armies defeated and the leaders dispatched to the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20), Christ turns his attention to Satan himself. He casts Satan and all his deceptions into a bottomless pit and binds him there for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3). At long last the power and influence of evil is removed from the earth!

But even with this, evil itself is not totally eradicated, because the effects of past evils still remain in the hearts and habits of mankind. Christ deals with that next and in a most unusual way: He Himself begins a 1,000-year reign on the earth, which we call the millennium, in which he renews, restores, and redeems all of creation from the evil that has permeated it for so long. The earth is reshaped into that incredible picture seen by the prophets, and those who belong to Christ will serve Him in that process as kings and priests.

Can you imagine a greater contrast than the one between the world during the Great Tribulation and the world fully restored by Christ? The inhabitants of the earth will be awestruck! They will see for the first time that God’s way really does work, and they will see Christ for who He really is, through eyes not distorted by false views and hearts not under the influence of evil. I believe the vast majority will decide to surrender their old, evil ways of life and at long last be reconciled to God. They, too, will be renewed and redeemed and will be saved by His blood.

A thousand years is a long time, and there will be births and deaths during that period. Imagine being born into the millennial kingdom! Never having known evil! I think that the majority of these, too, will receive Christ as savior and become part of the redeemed.

But not all will. Even with evidence before their eyes, a few – and I pray it will be just a very few – will still remain centered on themselves and far from God.

But there’s still more to the stoy.

First, the remainder of the dead are to be resurrected to physical life at the end of the thousand years. Won’t they be utterly amazed at the transformation the world has undergone! But they will still have their old heart and habits, including whatever evil may have been in them.

Second, at the end of the thousand years, Satan is to be released again for a short time, and during that time he will stir up any residual evil that remains (Rev. 20:7-9). Having served that purpose, Satan is then thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), and the world is rid of him forever.

The Great White Throne Judgment – The Final Verdict on Evil

We have now accounted for all of mankind. Those who were “in Christ” at the time of His return (both alive and dead) have been given resurrection bodies, and there is no evil in them.

Those who survived the Great Tribulation and lived into the millennial reign, as well as those born during it, will have seen firsthand a renewed creation without the influence of Satan and his evil ways. They will have seen firsthand the believers who now have resurrected bodies. They will have experienced living God’s way. It is my belief that the majority of them will receive Christ as savior, though some will not.

And finally, we have the dead who were “without Christ” now resurrected to physical life.

At this point any remaining evil is dealt with at what scripture calls the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev.20:11-15). Every single one of us will stand before that throne to be judged. Scripture says that at this time the books will be opened, and whoever’s name is not written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire.

And at long last, all creation is free from any evil whatsoever! We will have a world without evil! Forever more!

NEW HEAVENS, NEW EARTH

The Bible closes with a description of what this world without evil will look like as we leave this present evil age behind and enter eternity forever.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. ~Revelation 21:1-6, 22-26

And then because what I’ve been reading describes a World without Evil, it continues:

But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

~Revelation 21:27

Yes, let’s imagine that World without Evil, because it is going to happen; it is going to come to pass; it is going to be our home for all eternity!

AN INVITATION

Perhaps what you have just read is new to you; perhaps you’ve heard it all before. Either way, I want to call your attention to a simple fact: as marvelous as the World without Evil will be, the only ones of us who will enter it are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

No exceptions!

We all will one day stand before God at the Great White Throne of judgment. And it is then that we hear whether our names are in the Lamb’s book or not.

What’s your verdict going to be?

The incredible good news is that you don’t have to wait until then to find out. Those who have decided to follow Jesus and look to Him in faith to forgive our sins and to save us have already received the verdict in advance: Christ the righteous Judge has declared us to be “in the right” – righteous! Our destination is secure: we will indeed get to enter that world without evil!

For everyone else, let me echo the invitation you will find at the very end of the Bible: “Come!” Don’t put it off, just come!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. ~Revelation 22:17

If you’re ready to begin that incredible journey of walking with Jesus, and if you want to be assured that you will one day enter that World without Evil, I suggest you start by saying this brief prayer:

“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”

If you are a new believer and prayed that prayer, or if you have any other prayer requests or comments, please let us know. Just send an email to SaltRadioMinistries@gmail.com We’d be honored to pray with you.

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