As long as sin exists, conflict will continue to rage

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, January 18, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Conflict is raging. How can we keep God’s perspective? – G.P.

Dear G.P.: The world has always been in a state of unending conflict. Lawlessness is in conflict with the law. Intrigue and dishonesty are in conflict with truth and honesty. Intolerance is at odds with tolerance and understanding. Lust and pleasure are in conflict with propriety and purity. Godlessness is at odds with righteousness. Disorder is at war with decency and order. As long as sin exists, conflict will continue to rage. With the constant 24/7 news cycle, these matters stay at the forefront of our minds.

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The Bible mentions three enemies that bring about conflict: the world, the flesh, and the devil. They combine to form a powerful foe to defeat mankind, but God is still in control, working in the lives of people.

Worldliness is an attitude of the soul, never lifted upward in recognition of God. Its gaze is manward – never Godward. It’s a materialistic, sensual view of life, centering its attention on gratification of human appetites and desires, completely blind to the things of God. This is why the Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).

The second enemy is the flesh, which speaks of sin’s nature. The Apostle Peter wrote: “I beg you… abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). But there’s hope, because when Christ died on the cross for man’s sin, He made the nature of sin inoperative by offering us forgiveness and salvation (see Romans 6:11).

The third enemy is the devil, the commander-in-chief of the powers of evil. He accuses, tempts, deceives, and lies, working through his allies – the world and the flesh.

But we can know peace even in the midst of conflict if we turn to the God of peace, Jesus Christ.

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)