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God and Evil forbidden fruit

God and Evil

God and Evil

Seems an odd question, yes? The idea that the source of good could promote or tolerate evil is beyond thinking. But some Bible passages seem to suggest that God is ok with evil when it suits his purposes. I disagree.

God and Evil: Good vs. Evil

Good and evil have always warred. When God created the heavens and the earth, he declared his finished work to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Only good existed. Surely, God would not declare something good that was evil. Satan was did not spoil the world yet. Goodness ruled Eden.  A unique tree grew in Eden: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Within its desirable fruit lay the seeds of spiritual catastrophe. Yet the mere existence of the tree was neither good nor evil. It simply existed. Evil would come once mankind rejected the command of God.

Evil was possible, but never desired. God would banish Adam and Eve from the garden because they sinned. Satan had taken man’s eternal life. Death invaded the pristine empire of God. But God had a plan. A savior was coming. God would reveal the details over centuries but man could escape from Satan. A thickly veiled promise from God is in Genesis 3:15. Satan would suffer a terrible head wound from one born of woman.

God and Evil: The Horrific Price of Evil

We know that God does not promote evil because of the terrible, personal, price of evil that God would bear.  The placement of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil created a world with choice – a far better world than one without. But choice brought a dark possibility. If man were to choose wrongly, the result would be catastrophic.

Peter says Jesus was “foreknown before the foundation of the world” as the world’s savior (1 Peter 1:13 – 25, esp. 20. c.f. Proverbs 8:23; Micah 5:2; Ephesians 1:4). God was not surprised by the sin in Eden but was already fully prepared to rescue sinners from their deserved fate. That rescue demanded the death of Jesus so that God might maintain his pure righteousness (Romans 3:21 – 31). Would God tolerate sin while knowing that it would cost the life of Jesus? It is evidence of his extraordinary grace that he has not already destroyed the world. God “desires all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4), therefore, he bears with us and provides every person the opportunity for salvation in Jesus Christ alone.

God paid an extreme price for our sins. He will never promote evil.

God Uses Evil But Does Not Cause Evil

This is a crucial point. God has often used evil poeple to accomplish his purposes. Consider characters like Pharaoh, Jephthah, Nebuchadnezzar, The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day, King Herod, Judas, or Pilate, These wicked people chose an evil path but were still useful in God’s overarching plan. Were it not for Pharaoh, Israel’s family would have never survived the great famine and later produced Jesus. God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Judah (Jeremiah 1:15). He worked through despicable Judas to bring about salvation.  Even the soldiers who nailed the hands of the Savior to the cross were used by God.

God’s ability to precisely know the future allows him to carefully weave his plan through, and in spite of, the evil of men. God knew what Judas would freely choose when faced with temptation to betray Jesus. It was Judas’ choice, and he chose wrongly.  God used Judas’ sin but did not compel his sin.

Scripture says God hardened Pharoah’s heart (Exodus 4:21). But how? Did he compel that hardness or is there another explanation? To be consistent with the entirety of the Bible, we conclude that Pharaoh must have maintained his free choice.

God desired the saving of Pharaoh because he wants all people to be saved. God did not force Pharaoh to be obstinate and hard-hearted. But God understood that Pharaoh was so wicked that when confronted with the purity and truth of God’s demands and power, he would be stubborn. Thus, God’s very nature caused the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.

Still, God worked through that to bring Israel out of captivity. His mighty works, done at Egypt’s expense, would often be recounted by God and Israel. God can and will work with any freely chosen path to bring about his will. It is a mistake to suggest that God deprived man of his will and forced his sin.

Kingdom of God

“My kingdom is not of this world…”

John 18:36

There is much confusion surrounding the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of earth.  Christians, citizens of God’s kingdom, live in and under earthly governments. But just because God approves of earthly governance does not mean those governments are identical, or even parallel to, the kingdom of Christ. Often, they are enemies of the cross of Christ. We must distinguish between the heavenly and earthly authorities.

There was a brief period when no earthly government existed. Beginning at Creation and lasting until the days of Cain. Genesis 4:17 notes that Cain built a city. Such would likely have had some kind of centralized authority. Going forward, we encounter increasing and total corruption of mankind, resulting in Noah’s flood (Genesis 6 -9).

By Genesis 10, we are reading of nations (vs. 5) established by the descendants of Noah’s sons. Egypt is already a mighty nation when Abram and Sarai travel there in Genesis 12. It would be the Egyptian monarch who would order the enslavement of Israel’s sons. After their miraculous release from captivity, the Lord crafts them into his own nation with a divinely given code of law, often called the Law of Moses. In this divine economy, there are no human kings, princes, or presidents. There is no governing body apart from God. Judges occasionally rise to adjudicate disputes and to deliver the people from external oppression.

Soon, God’s people turn on him and demand a king “like all the nations”  (1 Samuel 8:7). Though displeased, God allows them to have a king. Ideally, God would still be the ultimate sovereign. But in short order, we see faithlessness invade the throne, and God’s people begin a slow descent into wickedness. At the beginning of the reign of the fourth king, a schism divides the people into two distinct nations.

In the historical background, mighty nations have arisen and would soon enslave Israel. The larger of the two was captured by Assyria and the smaller, by Babylon. Seventy years after its capture,  the smaller kingdom is allowed to re-establish themselves in Jerusalem. Although frequently overrun by more powerful nations, Israel continues until the absolute destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. At that moment, and probably earlier, the governments of the world were fully secular.

Rome morphed into the so-called Holy Roman Empire, but it was as corrupt and wicked as anything seen before. Its governance was always rooted in humanity and never found itself anchored in the authority of God. The very existence of that Empire was an affront to Christianity.

Our point is that no human government is on par with God’s kingdom. Some are better than others, but in the end, all are inferior to “the kingdom of his beloved son” (Colossians 1:13). Therefore, we argue that any allegiance to our earthly government must be second to our citizenship in heaven. Any activity of a political or governmental nature must be viewed carefully through God’s eyes, not our own.

In coming posts, we will develop these ideas further. Please watch for future articles.

When God is Silent

“Is there any word from the Lord?” – Jeremiah 37:17

The young man’s face betrayed the tension that lay beneath his words. “I believe in God, and I pray every day. But for some reason, God isn’t answering my prayers.” His words became softer as he continued, “I guess I’m doing something wrong.” His plight is not different from that of many Christians. In times of trouble, our petitions seem to fall upon a deafened Divine. Our expectations are unmet. Sadness, confusion, and despair may follow. Soon doubt and anger occupy our thoughts. “Why doesn’t God hear me?” we cry.

Our God hears his people (Proverbs 15:29). He is aware of our needs even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). He rivets his attention upon the most insignificant creatures (Matthew 6:26-30). As the pinnacle of his creation, we hope for a rapid, positive response. Still, God is silent. Why?

God is silent, not clueless

When God seems far, it is not because he is unaware. If the Father is concerned about birds and flowers, will he not also be concerned about the crowning achievement of his creation (Matthew 6:25-33)? The writer of Hebrews reminds that our Savior and High Priest, Jesus, knows our burdens. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one, who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). We can be certain, that God’s decision to act will come at the very best time for us

God is not silent because he is working

The crises in our lives seem to demand immediate attention. We cannot comprehend why God allows us to linger in distress. In fact, God is already busy changing our lives for the better. The Bible calls this discipline (Hebrews 12:6); it is evidence of God’s extraordinary love for you. Like a father who carefully watches his son as he struggles, God watches over our struggles too. Visit any high school or little league practice, and you will observe dozens of parents watching as their children run lap after lap, unendingly practice drills, and are pushed to exhaustion by their coach. Why? Because struggling produces something better in the future! Maybe your struggles are evidence of God at work in your life.

God is not silent because he is teaching

Paul struggled too. This great man, the one who declared “Rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 4:4), also begged God for deliverance from a problem. Three times he asked the Lord to remove his problem, but God declined. Why? Because Paul needed to learn humility and to trust God. His words were powerfully instructive: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Culture teaches us to be self-sufficient. Even the U.S. Army, an example of teamwork, extols the image of an “Army of One.” We need to be reminded that it is God who provides. Our trust must be on him.  Just as you would not hand a five-year-old the keys to your car, God will not give us what that, for which, we are not prepared. Perhaps God is teaching you a lesson in humility, patience, finance, relationships, or faith.

God is not silent; you are not listening

This is the hard one. God has spoken, and the answer is “no.” Remembering that God’s knowledge of past present and future is infinite, we should be confident that God knows what is best. Whether or not we understand is irrelevant; God is all-knowing. There are times, just like a loving father, when God that we should not get our request. God always gives what we need (Matthew 7:7-11), but he withholds that which is harmful.

The Christian knows that God hears and cares for him. Walk by faith, seek the encouragement and support of your brethren, and continue your petitions before the father.

Origin of Satan: From Where Did Satan Come?

skoczekKnown by many names, Satan is a central player in the Bible. He stands at a pivotal spot in salvation history. It is a truism that if there were no Satan, there would be no cross. There would be no need for Jesus to give his precious blood. All of God’s creation would be beautifully pristine. Sadly; Satan is real. We may try to push him from our minds and deny his existence, but he is as real as Jesus.

Since Satan is our enemy or adversary (1 Peter 5:8), we must learn as much about him and his ways as we can. As Sun Tzu, the famed Chinese general once said: “know thy enemy.” By knowing our enemy, we are better prepared to meet his attacks. Paul reminded the brothers in Corinth that “we are not ignorant of his designs.” Understanding the origin of Satan will help us to glorify God and will prevent us from making serious biblical errors.

The first we ever hear of Satan is in Genesis 3:1. Here, he has entered the Garden of Eden and is trying to spoil God’s new creation. It is a serpent that speaks to her, but that serpent is animated by Satan. However, Satan existed long before Genesis 3.

Satan Before Creation

There is little question that Satan existed before the creation of the earth. The real question is whether or not God created Satan; if he did, did God create him as an evil being. Let us begin by observing some important attributes of God.

God is love (Psalm 86:5, 15; 1 John 4:8, 16). His love is a sacrificial love that cost him dearly. Because of sin, the Father gave “his only begotten son” (John 3:16) for our sins. This gift is the evidence of His love (Romans 5:8).

God is true and only speaks the truth (2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 12:6; 119:160; John 17:17; Ephesians 4:21). God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2). His words are always true and never shaded with deceit

God is always faithful to his promises and covenants (Deuteronomy 7:9; 2 Chronicles 6:14; Nehemiah 1:5). God has never made a promise that he did not honor. There are no promises upon which he will renege.

If God is love, and if God is true, and if God is faithful, then how is it is that a loving, true, and faithful God could create an evil Satan? This is a bit of a conundrum unless we understand that Satan was not created as evil but as good. Clearly, there was a time when Satan inhabited heaven. Jesus declares, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Some connect this passage with a similarly sounding passage from Isaiah 14:12. However, the Isaiah passage seems to refer to the King of Babylon. Nevertheless, Revelation 12:9, suggests that Satan was in heaven, became rebellious, and waged war against God’s fateful Angels. Not surprisingly, God won, and cast Satan out of heaven.

Our conclusion then is that a good and loving God created Satan as a good Angel. But, Satan was unsatisfied with his position in heaven and sought to supplant God as the ruler of heaven and earth. Having rebelled against God, there was no place for the evil Satan in heaven. Satan, along with his angels, was cast out of heaven. Therefore, God did not create an evil Satan. Just as God did not create an evil Adam and Eve, he did not create an evil Satan. But when each sinned, he was cast out of his original abode.

So with this simple, biblical, explanation, we have defended God against the charge that he created evil. Satan and his angels, like men today, must accept the consequences of their choices,

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.


God’s Covenant’s – Patriarchal

Previously, three periods of time were addressed during which God dealt differently with people. Those periods are the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian. In this article, we examine the Patriarchal age in greater detail.


After Creation, God spoke directly to Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28). There are no middlemen, no priests, and no written word from Jehovah. God told Adam and Eve what he wanted them to know. He warned them and guided them directly. When sin occurred, as with Cain, he directly rebuked the sinner and punished them as he saw appropriate.

It was during this period that God spoke directly to Abram. He spoke to Abram and told him to leave the house and the land of his father. He enumerated three great blessings later fulfilled fully. God would speak directly to Abram’s progeny and restate the same promises to them. The point is that God is speaking directly to people.


Years after he spoke to Abraham, God would speak directly to Moses and establish a second period or dispensation. This Mosaic age includes only the children of Israel, the Israelites. The Patriarchal period would continue for everyone else until chapter 10 of Acts when Cornelius, a Gentile, was baptized and added to the Kingdom of Christ. The kingdom of Christ, or the church, is part of the third age or Christian dispensation.

It is troubling to some that the Patriarchal and Mosaic ages could coexist. We offer some Biblical examples to defend our position.

After the Mosaic period began, God still had dealings with non-Jews. The entire conquest of the land of Canaan occurred because God was judging those nations who had turned from Him to idols (Deuteronomy 9:5; 18:9-12; Leviticus 18:24, 25). They were responsible for their sins. They were punished with divine judgment.

There were non-Jewish priests even after the establishment of the Mosaic law. Jethro (Reuel), was one such priest. He is a priest of Midian (Exodus 18:1) and as the father-in-law of Moses. After the giving of the law at Sinai, Jethro advises Moses in the adjudication of disputes (Exodus 18:13-27). There is no suggestion in Scripture that his priesthood ended.

In the famed story of Jonah, the prophet is sent to Ninevah, an Assyrian city, to cry out against the wickedness of the people. Assyria, and Nineveh particularly, are non-Jewish places. Nevertheless, God expected their conduct to be holy. They were subject to God despite their Gentile ancestry. We know that God did not destroy Ninevah, at least, not at that time, because they repented (Jonah 3:10). They were amenable before God.

Finally, we point to Cornelius of Acts 10:1ff. He is undeniably Gentile (Acts 10:1; 14-16; 11:18). He is also undeniably godly as inspiration describes him as “devout” (Acts 10:2). He was not a Jew. He was not under the law of Moses, yet he is a righteous man. He is amenable to God’s laws as given under the Patriarchal age.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

God’s Covenants – Introduction

God has dealt with men differently through the ages. A misunderstanding of these periods or dispensations can have a profound impact on understanding God’s word today. Denominations base some of their worship practices on the law of Moses as if it were normative today. Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) agenda, assert that biblical injunctions condemning their actions are similar to other Old Testament teachings like animal sacrifice, slavery, and stoning of incorrigible children. Christians may contribute to this misunderstanding by depending solely upon Mosaic standards to assert standards for modern life.


God has dealt with men differently through the ages. Typically, He enters into a type of covenant with His creation. These are not negotiated covenants or contracts as we understand them today. These are unilateral covenants in which God binds both Himself and his creation to its terms. God is sovereign, i.e. He answers to no one other than Himself. Therefore, there is no one with whom to negotiate. Performance of the covenant is ensured by God Himself. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself (Hebrews 6:13 – emphasis mine, jbe). This is fully acceptable because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2 Hebrews 6:18). The problem has always been that man is not faithful to the covenant.

God’s Covenants: Patriarchal

In the very beginning, God dealt directly with mankind, typically speaking to the heads of the families. He blessed Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28) but forbade them to touch the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:17). He commanded Noah to build the Ark, which would save him from the coming flood (Genesis 6:14). He promised Abraham great blessings contingent on his obedience (Genesis 12:1-9). All men were subject to God’s commands. Some would remain subject to the Patriarchal covenant until Acts 10 and the conversion of Cornelius. But a subset of creation, the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would soon be given a new and unique covenant.

God’s Covenants: Mosaic

God promised Abraham to make his offspring into a great nation (Genesis 12:2). Now, some 450 years later, that promise was being fulfilled. Gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Hebrews (Israel) received a law of their own – a law never given to anyone else. This law included spiritual and worship mandates, civic instructions, and health regulations. Exodus 20:2 shows God is speaking only to the ones he brought out of Egypt, the Hebrews. The laws that followed, including the 10 Commandments, were only given to Israel. It is true that many of the commands in Christianity, but they are given anew and not as a continuation of the Mosaic law. This law, the law of Moses, was done away with in Christ (Colossians 2:14 et. al). We will focus more on this removal of the Law later.

God’s Covenant’s: Christian

There is now a new law which all men are amenable to – the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21). Many reject Christ and his law, other ignore it and some are neglectful, but this law is the law by which we will be judged. Turning again to the promises made to Abraham, we find the following: “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This is an early and somewhat vague promise (c.f. Genesis 3:15) but would become clearer in time (Isaiah 11:1, 10, Psalm 89:35-37). This new covenant is with all men and all are commanded to submit to it (Acts 17:30).

In a coming article, we look closer at each of these periods and the implications for men today.


 Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

Of God and Birds

Passer_iagoensis_maleI’ve been thinking a lot about God’s care for his people. I get in a rush sometimes and forget just how important his care is to us. Nothing happens secretly. He knows our every care and struggle. That means volumes to me.

As I write this morning I am sitting in our front room looking out onto two bird feeders. It’s still early morning, the shadows are slowly retreating, and I expect the arrival of the birds soon. They are so small and delicate. Yet they weather every storm without harm. For them, food never seems to be an issue. Even when I let the feeders empty they still seem to find food somewhere. The neighborhood cat patrols the area, but I have never seen him with one in his mouth. God takes good care of these seemingly insignificant creatures.

God takes care of me too.

Jesus talked about birds.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (Matthew 10:29).

With over 10,000 species of birds worldwide it would be impossible to count their actual numbers. They are everywhere. Yet, God knows when one falls or is injured. That’s incredible. But here’s the kicker:

Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

What is Jesus saying? He is saying that if God takes note of the small bird falling to the ground, he will surely take note when you struggle. Even before you beg in prayer, God knows your pain. Before the first tear falls he is already weeping with you.

God truly cares.

Sometimes, in the majesty of his great will, we still must walk through dark places. It is part of the sanctifying process that every Christian goes through. But when we walk in darkness, God is there.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Today, look for the birds in your life. They fly through for a reason. They remind you of just how much God really cares.

The Basis of Morality

Khalid_Shaikh_MohammedTerrible. Awful. Horrible. Confusing. Evil. Five words heard all week describing the events in France. It is hard to find words that adequately describe the carnage and brutality produced by Islamic terrorists. In my circle of associates, I know no one who would support these murderous activities.

Elsewhere in the news we hear of other barbaric events. A 10 year old girl was strapped with explosives and sent into a crowded market. The bomb was detonated killing her and at least 20 others.  In my area a man was sentenced to death this week for murdering his 3 and 4 year old children by choking them to death. His wife goes on trial next.

There is plenty of death and destruction to talk about.

But consider that every description declares or implies these events to be bad or evil. They are correct. They are evil. But what is the basis for that declaration? How can I say anything is morally repugnant or wrong? Is it simply a matter of law?

No. By declaring a thing to be wrong, we necessarily imply the existence of a lawgiver that is beyond our world. We cannot declare a thing to be absolutely wrong without God.

Indeed, morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality has only two possible sources apart from God.

Morality Comes From Law

We quickly see the emptiness of equating law with morality. Our national history is speckled with clearly immoral laws. Slavery was legal in this country until the mid-19th century. While some states did not allow slavery within their borders, the federal government did permit and condone its practice. I know of no one who would argue that slavery is moral.

Many of the actions of 1930’s and 1940’s Germany were legal within that country. Yet, when the war was over, Germans were adjudicated guilty. They were judged against the lofty standards of the victors yet we must agree that their evil conduct was legal within their country.

Oddly enough, El Salvador is being targeted by one human rights organization because abortion is banned in that country. It is illegal. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, note that law is not an acceptable substitute or foundation for morality. Even pro-abortion voices, who believe the pro-abortion stance is moral, will conclude the same.

Morality based on law is changed when opinions change. Slavery ended. Germany was defeated. If we argue that morality is based on law then we must accept that morality is easily changed and shifted. There is no objective standard. That’s not stable. It’s not moral.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality Comes from Society

An advertising executive once said, “Truth is what the people believe.” I don’t agree and you probably do not either. We like to think of truth as being objective. Like 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn’t change. Truth and morality are inextricably linked. If truth remains firm and unchanging so does the behavior it reflects.

But if morality and truth are subject to societal shifts, we are again left with little more than an opinion. Until the 1970’s, homosexuality was considered wrong, even sinful. But today, society has largely changed its mind. Even some religious denominations now openly accept the practice of homosexuality. So what changed? Did morality change that quickly? If society and culture determine morality we must ask where we will be in another 50 years. Will society soften its view of pedophilia? In Utah the age of consent is 18 but a 23 year old may engage in sex with a 16 year old. In Mexico, the age of consent is 12 although there are some constraints until the child is older. Already, some communities view sex with children as acceptable in some circumstances. In this country, a small subset of the population argues for legalization of pedophilia.

What society once viewed as immoral is fast gaining acceptance. Ideas and opinions are changing.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Our point is simply this: God, that is, a lawgiver apart from our own existence, is the only reasonable foundation for any moral proclamation. Otherwise, what is evil today is heroic tomorrow.



pekShorty was my first dog. He was a Pekingese mix and walked very low to the ground. When I was about 12, Shorty was injured in a dogfight and required several weeks of TLC before he

was back to his usual health. I remember taking him for a walk in nearby woods. The sun set too fast and we were in darkness. The fastest way home was through a patch of recently cut brush. On most days Shorty would have been just fine and would have hopped along happily as he followed. But not this night. Everywhere he turned there was more brush and debris that he could not climb over. He was trapped. Every direction was blocked. But I was there with him. So I eased him into my arms and carried him through the brush until we reached the ease of a gravel road. I put him down and he made his way home, following every step I made.

I learned a lesson that night about our Father.

Shorty got stuck. I get stuck. I am trapped by problems that I cannot overcome. When that happens, God eases me into his arms and carries me to safety. He does for me what I cannot do for myself. God carries me over the turmoil of life.

God carried Noah over the turmoil of a destroyed, wicked world (Genesis 6:11-14). God carried Abraham out of an idolatrous nation, led him through distant wanderings and made great and abiding promises to him (Genesis 15:1-20). He brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage but then protected them as they wandered 40 years in the hostile wilderness. He finally brought them into the land of Canaan. The Father brought the Son through the darkness of Gethsemane and Golgotha and set him over all others (Colossians 1:15-20).

He will do the same for you. Ask. Trust.

I once hesitated to ask God to deliver me from problems I created. I believed it was true that if I made my bed, I should sleep in it. But that is not Biblical. Each of us stands condemned of our own choices (James 1:14, 15) and cannot free ourselves from that condemnation (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). We sin and we ask God for deliverance as we should. God will help us out of our own foolishness. He will save us from ourselves.

Isaiah 59 is a powerful chapter. It opens with a declaration of God’s ability to save but mankind’s building of an impenetrable wall of sin. The prophet continues to reveal God’s displeasure at sin and his coming justice. But then at the end, “And a redeemer will come to Zion” (Isaiah 59:20). When we’ve built a wall that separates us from God, when we are stuck, a deliverer will come.

Shorty understood deliverance. That night, I was his redeemer, his deliverer. I did for him what he could not do for himself. I wasn’t angry and was never agitated. I just loved my old dog.

At 6-1 I have never been called Shorty. But for today, feel free to call me Shorty. I’ll understand.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

The End of Time… Again

Just when you thought it was safe to look at your calendar again we learn that the world is ending again, this week. In fact, it seems that end time events are already in progression and that the passage of time is already slowing. By Monday evening, time will stop at precisely 7:30 PM, local time. About three hours later the world will have come to an end for a large number of people. For those, life will end and only a dark misery will remain which will govern their lives for the next nine months or so.


The madness over the Alabama – Notre Dame BCS National Football Championship is overwhelming. social media is full of references to the game as fans cheer their team. Folks will spend tens of millions of dollars on travel to Miami, accommodations, tickets to the game, celebrations, souvenirs and the like. Others will spend the next two days doing little but talking about the big game. To be sure, the game is exciting and the rewards of victory will be sweet. But really people, are we not a little upside down here. Have we ejected any sense of priority?

I love Alabama football. I once worked for the Alabama Football Radio Network flagship station. I covered coach Bryant, screened call-ins for Coach Perkins and watched games from the press box. I grew up with the gravel-like voice for coach Bryant on the television on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed my share of Coca-Cola and Golden Flake. But let’s be clear, there are far more important things than this game.

72,000 will be in attendance, 30 million will watch the game. Many, probably most, are lost (Matthew 7:13). Each face in the crowd and each person watching from homes or bars represents a single soul. Security at the game will be tight. Law enforcement will strive to assure the safety of each  person there. Yet, destruction and eternal damnation awaits most of them (1 Thessalonians 1:5-12).

Many of us, your author included, have already begun to talk about the game. In fact, we talk about the game with complete strangers. Why then do we struggle to even mention Jesus to people we already know? The Great Commission is a charge to everyone of us (Matthew 28:18-20) but it is also a charge we often ignore. Each of us has the ability to instantly reach hundreds of our friends and associates yet we spend our time with posting silliness and  sometimes coarse or profane language (Ephesians 5:4).

Let our goal be purity of life and faith (1 Peter 1:22). Let us rise with joy at the thought of golden streets and glorified bodies, not touchdowns and field goals. Football is not a sin. Enjoying a game is not a sin, but giving more glory to Nick Saban and Brian Kelly than we offer to God is wrong. I’m only suggesting that we recover our sense of priorities and return our Lord to the place of preeminence (Colossians 1:15-20). I’m suggesting a way forward in which we become as excited about Jesus as we are about football and maybe even more.

Enjoy the game but remember who you are and who you belong to. Seek first His kingdom and not some temporary football dynasty. Draw near to God (Hebrews 4:16, 25; James 4:8)!


Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter  @jbevans.