Dear members and friends of our ELS:
I happen to be a bit of a news junkie. I try to stay up on world events. If you are reading this article, chances are you also have a hearty interest in the news—synod news, yes, but far beyond. We Christians want to be aware of others’ needs and predicaments as we add them to our prayers ascending the throne above.
The prayer-plate has been crowded in recent days. At the hour of my writing this article several concerns compete for spots on the plate: horrible persecution of Christians in Iraq; bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; Ferguson, Missouri, in chaos because of a young man shot dead by police; the Ebola virus threatening the world scene; Ukraine and Russia poised for escalated warfare; U.S. politics exposing a great divide; morals in our country eroding; news of a prominent suicide; and people close to us suddenly coping with serious illnesses…. Yes, pray we must.
Looming over the airwaves with its flood of bad news is the elephant-in-the-room query: Is evil in control? Sadly, so many people do not know the Savior, do not know of the solid hope for the future by faith in Him. They are unaware of the proper Book where guidance and answers are found. People quickly despair and wonder, “Is evil winning?”
Answer: a resounding NO! Here is why:
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into the world and defeated sin, death, Satan, and hell through His holy life, innocent death, and triumphant resurrection. This was prophesied at the time of the fall into sin. To Satan God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). In the course of time, God fulfilled His plan of hope for all: But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons (Galatians 4:4–5).
- God assures us that He has all things under His control for the benefit of His Church. He will sustain us from evil forces at work against us: The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18). For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones (Proverbs 2:8).
- When evil signs surround us, the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 come to mind. Hard times for the Church have been foretold and are to be expected. This testifies to our Lord’s powerful rule, “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21).
- By faith in the Savior’s atoning work for sinners, we confidently look forward to the ultimate Victory Day of the blessed resurrection of the saints and life everlasting. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:5).
Neither evil nor the Evil One can ever win. Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him in heaven will be His called, chosen, and faithful followers (Revelation 17:14). With our risen King, we hold the victory! May we help others join the celebration.
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President