- EVIL -
INHERENT OR LEARNED
by: Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Editor's Note: This article was written in 1995, and in light of the very recent deliberate killings by an evil man in Edmonton, Alberta who steered his vehicle into a family of Muslim worshippers killing four and severely injuring a boy, proves that Satan is still doing his EVIL work through his disciples! How unbelievably wicked and terribly SAD that this happened here! - Pastor Max Solbrekken, June 8, 2021
"For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living water an have hewn themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:8-13)
IS EVIL INHERENT OR LEARNED BEHAVIOUR?
A number of years ago, I was a guest of CJCA'S Ron Collister Show. For many years I had joined the popular host and his listeners in lively debates, on interesting and relevant topics.
Our July 1 program featured the very important subject, 'Is Evil inherent or is evil a product of environment or learned behaviour?' Is a person born with the propensity to do evil or is evil a learned behaviour?
IS GOOD OR EVIL WINNING IN OUR WORLD TODAY?
Ron Collister asked each caller the same question He asked me: "Which of these – good or evil - is winning in our world today"? Most of the callers seemed to think that the scourge of evil was dominating our society and winning big. The callers felt that evil was ruling this world.
INCREASE OF EVIL IS SIGN OF LAST DAYS
My answer mirrored the words of Jesus when he referred to the increase of evil as a sign of the last days: "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew 24:12) "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son on man...Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot...even thus shall it be when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:26-30)
How Evil were conditions on earth before God sent the Flood, as well also wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone?
The conditions on earth were very evil, very corrupt, perverted and violent in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah - much like the world is today. Here is the Bible record of the EVIL that existed during those 2 time periods.
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only EVIL continually." "And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man...." (Genesis 6:5-7)
Again, Moses reports: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." (Genesis 6:11)
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah was so immoral, evil and violent that when two angels visited Lot - to evacuate him and his family before the destruction began - they demanded that Lot bring out the two strangers so they might sodomize them.
"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came into thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know (have sex) them." (Genesis 19:4-5)
When Lot refused, the large crowd of homosexuals tried to break down his door, to commit gang rape! They told Lot to get out of the way, warning him: "Now we will deal worse with thee than with them." (Genesis 19:4:9)
The homosexuals in Sodom were violent, evil and brutal. They threatened Lot with violence and punishment if he refused to turn over these two young strangers to satisfy their abnormal, EVIL and perverted lust
The angels forcibly rescued Lot and smote the attackers with blindness, in order to prevent them from tearing down the door.
OUR WORLD IS VERY EVIL!
Wow! That is strong, and hits very close to home. The violence and evil is all over this earth, this world, and we are in days as EVIL as the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.
St. Paul warns that Evil will escalate as we near the last days, the end of this age: "This know also, that in the last days PERILOUS times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
"Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 13)
Again, he admonished: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS;"
"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
When you consider the recent evil, brutal and horror filled deaths of eight foreigners in Uganda's National Park by Rwandan rebels, it is not hard to believe that they were very unconscionable.
A study of the horrible raping and killing of dozens of young women by pornography sadist Ted Bundy, and the serial killings of dozens of young homosexual men - whom he first sodomized - by pervert killer John Wayne Gacy proves that consciences can become seared.
The killing of little children by their mothers like Jones of Alabama, and recently the three small children killed by their mother, as well as the killing of parents by children like the Menendez case when the 2 Menendez brothers brutally murdered their mom and dad for their wealth is ample evidence of the evil that reigns in the heart of lost and depraved humanity.
No wonder the prophet declared: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?"
RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL TRIUMPH
I answered Ron Collister: "Yes, it appears that evil is gaining ground and at present, may have the ascendancy but in the end, RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL TRIUMPH. One day, Jesus Christ will return and put away EVIL for good."
I interjected that there is however, some good news, a great revival of righteousness is presently occurring in our world.
Since the break up of the Soviet Union, a revival of Christianity is sweeping Eastern Europe. Recent estimates put the figure at 6,000 conversions to Jesus Christ every day.
Although gangsters, evil and crime is rampant in those countries, yet a mighty statement of righteousness and goodness is being made through the successful endeavors of God's people.
I might add, that in our recent crusade (1992) in Truskavets, Ukraine - a health resort city which boasts many sanitariums and draws people from across Eastern Europe - Mikhael Gorbachev's sister - Galina Sergiovana - answered a salvation altar call to confess Jesus Christ as her Saviour.
Evangelical Christianity is so strong in South Korea, the Church is growing faster than the population in that former Buddhist stronghold! And in 1986, Newsweek carried a story titled, 'LATIN AMERICA: TRADITIONALLY ROMAN CATHOLIC RED IS TURNING PROTESTANT BLACK'.
The large feature article reported that the gospel of Christ as preached by Evangelical Christians were gaining converts at 400 per hour. That's 9,600 every 24 hours! The 'red' spoke of the scarlet colors used by Roman Catholic prelates and the 'black' referred to the Bible carried to church by Protestants.
CHRISTIANS DYING FOR THEIR FAITH
Believers in Jesus Christ are being tortured in a number of Muslim dominated countries, and forced to convert to paganism under threat of death and starvation! A classic case is Sudan, where fanatical Muslims have since 1989 murdered more than a million black Christians in an unparalleled "religious cleansing".
They are being given the ultimatum, "Convert to Islam, or die". From numerous authenticated reports, we understand that this present genocide is much greater than that of the demonized Muslim strongman, Idi Amin, who terrorized Uganda in the not too distant past.
And who is presently being granted protection by Saudi Arabia. Several years ago, 'Newsweek' carried a report by one of their journalists who had proof that the Muslims of the north were selling black animist & Christian women as slaves for $15 US. Recently, Rev. Cal Bombay, long time TV broadcaster with 100 Huntley Street together with a TV camera crew traveled to Sudan, met the Muslims and documented the purchase of 319 black Christian & animist women and girls, into freedom.
After his initial success, Bombay undertook a second dangerous and costly journey to purchase the freedom of hundreds more slaves from their Muslim captors! The 'Canadian Press' quotes Bombay: "I want the world to know what a rotten thing is happening in the south of Sudan, by a rogue government that is fundamentally violent and trying to force people to become Islamic".
INHUMANE TREATMENT OF CHRISTIANS
The inhumane, EVIL treatment of Christians in Muslim dominated lands today, has to go down in history as comparable to Adolf Hitler's holocaust of 6 million Jews, Joseph Stalin's murder of 7 million Ukrainians by starvation in 1933 and Mao tse Tung's genocide of between 40 to 80 million Chinese.
According to Dr. David Barrett, an Anglican minister & statistician - who has been tracking this phenomenon for more than a decade - an estimated 330,000 Christians are martyred every year, somewhere in the world - for their faith in Jesus Christ! That is what I call real EVIL.
Oral Roberts said a number of years ago: "I don't know how we're doing it, but somehow we are winning." And Billy Graham stated, "I have read the last chapter in the book and it says: 'We win'!"
EVIL - EXACTLY WHAT IS EVIL?
The Webster Dictionary meaning of evil: Daniel Webster defines 'evil' as "morally wrong, immoral, sinful, wicked, causing injury, mischief, trouble, pain, bad, harmful, repulsive".
The Webster Dictionary meaning of inherent: And his definition of 'inherent' is: "forming an essential or intrinsic element of; existing inseparably within an object or person".
Is the human race cursed with two strikes against it at birth? Could there be a genetic defect in those who rise to infamy such as Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Jeffry Dahmer or John Gacy?
Or has this evil come to us because of the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, as the Bible states?
WHAT ABOUT ENVIRONMENT: home, church, school, friendships, fraternities? What part does upbringing, training, nurturing, learning and companionship play in a person's character?
I BELIEVE THAT EVIL IS BOTH INHERENT & LEARNED
In more than 40 years of very active Christian Ministry, I have formulated a definite opinion that - without doubt - EVIL is both inherent and learned.
The Bible states, "The wicked are estranged from the womb. They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies". (Ps alms 58:3) And, "The scripture hath concluded all under sin". (Galatians 3:22)
You don't need to teach infants how to lie. We've all seen them do that even before they can talk. Holding a cookie behind his back, little Billy will shake his head saying, "No, I didn't raid the cookie jar".
St. Paul blames Adam for our fallen condition: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". (Romans 5:12)
THE REMEDY or ANTIDOTE AGAINST EVIL
Then, he gives us the antidote or remedy against EVIL. "For as by one man's (Adam) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Jesus Christ) shall many be made righteous". (Romans 5:19)Again, the Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". (Romans 3:23-24)
Here, we find the dilemma of the human race. We were born with a nature that is at enmity with God. We are sinners by birth, by nature and unfortunately, sinners also by choice.
But God, sending His Son to die for our sins - as our substitute - paid the ransom price to purchase our salvation. Through His grace, we receive a new nature and are born again from above.
Here is the good news, then: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 6:23) In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul agonizes over the fact that.
"For I know that in me (that is in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not, for the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not that I do."
"O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" THEN HE GIVES US THE KEY: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 7:18, 19, 24; 8:2)
EVIL IS ALSO A LEARNED BEHAVIOR
The Bible verifies this as well: "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners". (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Here are a couple of true sayings: "Birds of a feather flock together", and "Show me who your friends are and I'll show you who you are".
It's a known fact that most child abusers were themselves abused as children. And the majority of perverts were themselves corrupted by older relatives, friends or authority figures.
Sad to say, the fourth case involving molestation of young boys in the Edmonton area - within the last number of years - was reported among the Uncles-at-Large membership.
Homosexual perverts know how to infiltrate places of respectability, influence and position of authority among the most vulnerable to their advances, namely teenage boys.
Proof of this has been documented and reported far too often in the past few years, about young Canadian hockey players sexually manipulated, intimidated and perverted by coaches and others working around hockey arenas.
Our hats go off to NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy - who fingered well-known hockey coach, the homosexual predator, who is now serving time in prison for his EVIL sexual crimes.
It is no wonder the sodomist community around the world rejoiced in jubilation when OUR GUTLESS CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, against all decency - lowered the legal age of homosexual activity to 14, something which the perverts who have been lusting after young boys have desired for years.
RONALD REAGAN CALLED FORMER SOVIET UNION an "evil empire"
COMMUNISM - EVIL OF EVILS! US President Ronald Reagan called the former Soviet Empire an "evil empire" and he was right! Now we know the enormity of the crimes of that wicked system, with Eastern Europe bankrupt economically and the ecology so terribly polluted that it will take billions of dollars and decades of hard work to bring things back to normal there.
The Bible says that God will destroy those who destroy the earth! (Revelation 11:18) The callous attitude of Soviet Communists toward human life and the ecology has brought God's judgment upon them.
GOD WARNS US ABOUT PEOPLE "WHO CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL"
God's Word warns us about those who, "call evil good and good evil". (Isaiah 5:20) Prophet Amos exhorted, "Seek good and hate evil". (Isaiah 5:14-15) And Moses warned: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do EVIL". (Exodus 23:2)
THE LORD'S PRAYER: DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Jesus knew that we would be targeted by the "enemies of righteousness", who seek our destruction. Being in "all points tempted" like ourselves. He knew that we would be tempted, tried and buffeted by the flesh, the world and the devil.
He gave us 'His Model Prayer'; so that we would know how to pray and what to pray about, in order to receive strength from Almighty God! Our Lord declared: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:17-20)
Again Jesus stated: "For out of the heart proceed EVIL thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" (Matthew 15:19)
10 YEAR OLD BOYS COMMITTING MURDER - NOW THAT IS EVIL
The tragic killing of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool, England a number of years ago by two ten-year old boys certainly tells us something about EVIL.
How the two boys could have conceived in their hearts to trick a little toddler -- who had walked away from his mother in a shopping mall - into accompanying them to his death is inconceivable! - Except for one thing ..
There is an EVIL DEVIL whose intent is to Steal, kill and Destroy! Satan is to blame! But so are parents who refuse to serve God themselves, and have no regard for their children's spiritual upbringing.
And now, the golden text of the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
Jesus said: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL". (John 3:19)
He invites us all: "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest". (Matthew 11:28)
WE CAN NEVER BECOME GOOD ENOUGH, IN OUR OWN STRENGTH, TO PLEASE GOD OR BECOME RIGHTEOUS: ONLY THROUGH THE ALL-ATONING DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS FOR US, CAN WE ATTAIN RIGHTEOUSNESS OR GOODNESS.
The Bible says, "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin"! (1 John 1:7)
And St. Paul states: "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new". (2 Corinthians 5:17)
FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given...of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end....with justice from henceforth even for ever." (Isaiah 9:6)
God is eternal and infinite. He does not think with a finite mind as we do! His thoughts and actions reflect His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and eternalness.
God's plans and purposes for this universe and all of us, were formulated in His mind before He created the foundations of the world.
He cannot make a mistake, lie or be wrong in His intentions of deeds, for He is totally righteous, all knowing and all wise.
EVERYTHING GOD DOES IS FOR ETERNITY
He knows the future and sees the pitfalls and snares that await our stumbling feet. And He helps us, protects us from the devil, the world and ourselves! In these the last days, the last days before Christ returns in the blessed Rapture, God is protecting his children from evil.
WHY ARE WE SO IMPORTANT TO GOD?
Firstly, we were made in His image. Secondly, Jesus personally died for our sins and finally, through the new birth, we are a part of Him - his body.
The words, "there shall be no end" and "for ever", show the eternal purposes of God in the birth of Christ. THE INCARNATION WAS SERIOUS STUFF.
The moment, of God the Son - wrapping Himself in human flesh - coming down to save us, was deliberately and perfectly timed and executed.
"But when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)
This wasn't an after thought or a fill in. The decision to send King Messiah to this earth, was communicated to Satan - the adversary - immediately after Adam and Eve's tragic fall.
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15)
Here, God promises a "virgin born" savior (her seed), Who would conquer Satan through His substitutionary death. In the process, the Savior would suffer a minor wound (bruise His heel), and Satan would be totally defeated (bruise his head).
Although Jesus suffered more than any man, was wounded and marred for our total salvation, it was minor because He laid down His life of His own free will. (John 10:15-18)
Satan could not take it from Him! And He arose again on the third day, destroying Satan and his power over us!
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" (Hebrews 2:14)
FROM THE INCARNATION TO THE RESURRECTION, AND THROUGHOUT THE 'GOSPEL AGE', GOD HAS CONTINUED THE EXECUTION OF HIS ETERNAL WILL, THROUGH HIS CHURCH, THE CALLED-OUT-ONES.
This is why it is so important that we live with "eternity in mind". All our plans and goals should reflect this mind set, in our relationships to God, the Church - His body - and the world! We need to prepare, in these last days, for eternity, for Christ's return and to spend eternity in heaven with God.
Let us study the Word, pray, witness and give joyfully, to help build His eternal Kingdom.
Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3,7)
The Bible makes it clear that, "He who hath the Son hath everlasting life: and he who believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
That means that all those who do not personally know Jesus Christ, must receive Him as Savior and Lord in order to be saved.
IS THERE A REAL HEAVEN & A REAL HELL
St. John emphasized: "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:9-13)
HERE IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH - All who reject Jesus Christ and refuse to receive Him as Lord & Savior are calling Almighty God a LIAR, "because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son." (I John 5:9-10)
Do you think for one moment that anyone will escape the judgment of God when they reject Jesus Christ - His gift to the world - and call Him a liar?
That is serious stuff, since He is the judge of the entire world! How do you think an earthly judge would react if someone in his courtroom called him "a liar"? He would immediately be guilty of 'contempt of court' of worse.
St. Paul puts it all in perspective when he says, "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (Hebrews 2:2-3)
In the Apocalypse, St. John warns: "And the DEVIL that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are, and SHALL BE TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT FOR EVER AND EVER. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:10-15)
HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS
Jesus invites, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, both now and forevermore.
Editor's Note: This article was written in 1995, and in light of the very recent deliberate killings by an evil man in Edmonton, Alberta who steered his vehicle into a family of Muslim worshippers killing four and severely injuring a boy, proves that Satan is still doing his EVIL work through his disciples! How SAD that this happened in our city!
- Pastor Max Solbrekken, June 8, 2021