How does God deal with evil in this world?

In biblical history, God dealt with evildoers in a variety of ways. God brought Pharoah and Egypt to their knees with the plagues. God defeated the Philistines with the judges and King David. God defeated 185,000 Assyrians in one night by his angel. God made Nebuchadnezzar eat grass like a cow. God struck Herod Agrippa I with disease. God has used many methods to punish evildoers in the world. 

But there’s one other approach. God most often uses his people to address evil in the world.

In Revelation 19, Christ appears as a general mounted on a white horse, followed by a great army. He’s preparing to destroy the beast who’s been persecuting Christians in the Roman province of Asia in the first century. John has already revealed that Satan is behind this persecution. But he’s enlisted some to carry it out in real time: a best from the sea, a beast on land, a false prophet, and a harlot. In my opinion, they represent the Roman Empire, the Roman culture and economy, Roman religion, and the city of Rome herself. 

One-by-one these characters are introduced. And one-by-one, they’re destroyed. In Revelation 19, Christ is preparing to defeat the Roman political machine. With him is a sizeable army from heaven. It’s tempting to interpret this as an angelic army, but one detail suggests otherwise: the army is clothed in clean white linen (v. 14). Elsewhere in Revelation white clothing is applied to Christians. Here, this army is the faithful, redeemed, and victorious people of God. 

When John wrote this book, Christians in Asia lacked influence, prestige, money, and clout. Everyone was against them: the Romans, the Jews, the courts, and the pagans. Still, Christ used this ragtag army to defeat the most powerful entity on earth. 

This helps us in three ways. First, it gives us hope that our efforts are effective. We do the will of God, and the Lord Jesus uses us to accomplish his purposes in this wicked world. We may look like a T-ball team playing in the World Series. To God, we’re his agents of righteousness.

Second, it helps us remember our job on earth. We’re soldiers of Christ, fighting a cosmic battle against evil. We may suffer, we may even die, but we won’t be defeated. In the Lord’s army, we fight against evil every day.

Finally, it helps us trust the power of God. We have the armor of God. We wear the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

So then, every day, we hear and answer the battle cry, “Soldiers of Christ, arise!”