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Reactions to Evil

Christians should respond to evil by acting in love on the side of truth.


John Roth tells what happened to him late one night on a commuter train in Hamburg, Germany. John says:

The train car was completely empty at the late hour and I dozed sleepily as it rattled past the harbor and then through the industrial district. Some minutes into the trip, an elderly man dressed in rags and clearly suffering from mental disability shuffled into the car. And he was closely followed by four teenagers, young men sporting an assortment of chains and tattoos and body piercings, and they entered the car amid raucous laughter and loud talk.
And almost immediately, their attention focused on the old man, who seated himself near the center doors. The four began to taunt him, shouting obscenities and making humiliating references to his mental condition. Then one of the teens shook up a half can of beer and aimed the foamy spray into the old man's face. And then without warning began kicking his legs with their heavy boots and punching him in the arms and face.
[John Roth says] Seated toward the back of the car, I looked on with a mixture of horror and fear as the terrible scene unfolded before me. I'm not a big person. I'm not trained in any of the martial arts. And I've never considered myself particularly brave. Yet as a professing Christian, I knew with absolute certainty that I could not simply sit back and watch this helpless old man be mercilessly beaten.
I whispered a deep prayer: "God, calm my fear. Show me the right thing to do". And then without really giving my next actions any careful thought, I got out of my seat and walked purposefully toward the old man and his attackers.

What do you imagine John's going to do? What would you do? How do you respond to injustice and violence and evil? What ...

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John Henry Beukema is pastor of Cypress Bible Church in Cypress, Texas, and author of Stories from God's Heart (Moody). He served as associate editor of PreachingToday.com.

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Sermon Outline:


How should God's people respond to injustice and evil?

I. Two reactions to evil

II. Two wrong reactions to evil

III. A better way