Men will allow God to be everywhere but on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow his bounties. they will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
One of the most detestable characteristics of the western church over the past 100 years is the inability or, more accurately, the unwillingness to accept that evil resides within our hearts, save the transforming power of Christ in our lives. For true transformation to take place in the heart of the individual they must first accept that apart from the imputed righteousness that Christ bestows upon them, there is no good in them.
But over a period of time, those in the local church have begun to believe the hype that “We’re not that bad”. The problem is that if we are not that bad, then the good news of the gospel cannot be that good. In order to see our need for the good news that Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem and restore us by living a life of perfection and submitting himself to death and bearing God’s wrath against man’s sin upon himself, we must believe that our behavior was/is that bad.
We must stop defining evil as “anyone or anything that doesn’t live up to our expectation of what ‘good’ is” and start defining it as “anyone or anything that stands up against God and says, ‘I don’t want your goodness to rule over me, instead I want to be the source that determines all that is good in this life.'” When we change our definition of what evil is then we realize that evil isn’t just something that happens outside of us but it is something that can abide in us.
Recognizing this is important because for the individual to be truly transformed by the good news of the gospel they must grasp that they are indeed in need of transformation and that their sin is an evil act of rebellion against the goodness of a Holy God.