Today is Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus rose from the dead to bring salvation to the world. And as I look around the world today, it does not appear to be saved. Evil is everywhere. The devil appears to be winning. Children are being sexualized. Women are being erased. Drugs are being legalized. Crime is going unpunished. Justice is being perverted. Addiction is rampant. Families are being destroyed. Homelessness is everywhere. Violence has taken hold of our cities. The devil’s hand is in all of this. He must be very pleased watching where the world is today. The world appears to be a place in dire need of salvation.
19th century French poet, Charles Baudelaire said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” And his next greatest trick was convincing the world that God doesn’t exist. More and more people are rejecting God in their lives. A recent poll by the Cooperative Election Study found that 48.5% of Gen Z identifies as either agnostic, atheist or nonreligious, and only 31% believe religion is “very important.” This is the way evil spreads. When we reject the existence of God and the devil, we reject the concept of good and evil, and embrace moral relativism. We create the conditions where evil is allowed to flourish because we fail to even recognize evil as evil.
In modern America, many recognize evil as good, so that good becomes evil. Christianity is under attack. Christianity has become vilified. Our intelligence agencies recently placed orthodox Catholics on the FBI terror watch list. When 6 Christians were murdered last week in Nashville, 3 of whom were children, by a crazed LGBTQ activist who targeted the Christian school because it was Christian, the FBI didn’t label it a hate crime, Joe Biden and the White House never mentioned that those who were killed were Christians targeted for their faith, and the people on the left mourned the murderer more than those she murdered.
Many of us have found ourselves striving to live a Godly life in what has become a godless world. It's easy to get caught up in the world with all the wickedness we see every day, and allow that evil to cause us to become someone or something that we are not. We cannot allow all the evil that is being spread throughout the world, to change us from who we genuinely are. We must stay true to ourselves and true to our beliefs. It’s easy to get embroiled with so much anger that we allow hatred to take control of us.
When I see how those who are to protect us from the evil, not only allow it, but encourage it, I get angry, my blood boils, and at times I get filled with hate, hate because I can’t understand how people want evil in the world. There have been many times when I allowed hatred to take hold of my heart when I have witnessed the evil around me. But that is what evil does. That is evil’s job – to sow hatred in everyone it touches. We must guard our heart from the evil and the hatred.
The devil does not care who wins the cultural wars that that we get entangled in. He only cares about spreading hatred in all of our hearts through the wars we engage in. Yes, the devil wants abortion to be legalized in our country, he revels in the fact that 800,000 babies are murdered every year. But beyond that, he takes great pleasure in the hatred that abortion instills in all of us. Families are torn apart over issues like abortion; siblings refuse to talk to each other; parents and children no longer see each other; those we should love are alienated from us because we reside on opposite sides of the political divide. The devil wins every time we succumb to hate.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. Jesus preached, “You have heard it was said, ‘love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” But how are we to love our enemies? Love and enemies are contradictions in terms. Enemies are supposed to be reviled and hated, not loved. Are we to love the greatest enemy of all, the devil? But Jesus commanded us to do so, and gave us examples of how to do it. He healed the ear of the Roman soldier who came to arrest him and bring him to his death. And before he took his final breath on the cross, Jesus gasped, “father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He showed love and compassion to those who were trying to kill him. He was mocked, ridiculed, scourged and nailed to a cross, and did not allow what was happening to him to change his heart, to change the way he loved.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.