We’ve all seen the cartoon images where the choice is as simple as good v. evil… the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Industries of all kinds have taken these images in all directions. But there is grave danger in thinking in terms of only good versus evil.
Sure we know the stories of the angels, how Lucifer got prideful and believed with enough help from other angels, he could take God’s position. So he convinced 1/3 of the angels to follow him. As a result of their mutinous rebellion, they were cast out of heaven. As a result of this imagery, we often think people are either righteous or evildoers.
Scripture can even be taken to further this thought. “For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” (Ps 37:17) There is absolutely no doubt that there are righteous people on this planet and there is also no doubt there are evil people on this planet as well. But when left with only these two options, most people struggle to put themselves in either category. I would bet as you read this you would not consider yourself an “evildoer” but I would also bet you would also not rate yourself as “righteous” either. So where does that leave us.
This is why the imagery of these two words can be troubling. It is also that confusion that the true power of evil, Satan himself, depends upon. It is his desire that you never classify yourself as either one.
You see, in our society, an evildoer is one who does evil. So someone that goes along their day, doing a few good deeds here and there, getting upset at family and co-workers from time to time, even apologizing on occasion, but never actually seeking to ‘do evil’ must be OK. So these statements in the Bible about evildoers must not relate to them.
But Biblically speaking, anyone who falls short of the Glory of God is an evildoer. Well, the big problem there is that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) If there are only two sides of the coin, and the only way to qualify as righteous is to live up to the Glory of God but the Bible says that ALL have missed that mark… that’s a problem. In fact, a few chapters later we see the sentence for this crime, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23a) This sentence was handed down in Genesis 2 to Adam (even before Eve was created), “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
But it’s a problem that God has solved. The second part of Rom 6:23 says “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That free gift, the only way to move from evildoer to righteousness is “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The word “evildoer” may be harsh but it is simply anyone who is still living in sin. You see, sin is evil so someone who lives in sin, does evil and is therefore an evildoer. So to be labeled as an evildoer is easy, just keep doing what you have always done. Even if you throw in some good here and there, a sinner is still an evildoer.
Although the title of righteousness seems so far away, it is not. It is fully available through faith and grace. “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” (Rom 4:5)
So it’s not about whether you do good or do evil. You are either still living on your own terms and are therefore a sinner (an evildoer), or you have given your life to one who has already paid the price of your sins and are a believer (righteous).
If you have not given your heart to the only one who can call you righteous, contact me here. I would be happy to help you know how to connect with the one who loves you most.