By Ralph D. Winter
From his Editorial Comment originally published in the January 1998 Issue of Mission Frontiers
A major reason why some very honest and thinking people find it hard to believe a Creator God is in charge of things is precisely due to the unacknowledged factor of satanic, destructive opposition to God’s creative benevolent design. Only the presence of satanic efforts in the constant damaging of God’s creative intent can explain the pervasive, insidious, painful horror of the destructive parasites of our world.
Did God create these evil bugs? That is what some of the evolutionists are wondering about. (Are the grisly predations of life against life on this planet His ideal?) That is why some of them cannot believe in a divine creator—they are as unaware of Satan as we are. Have we gotten accustomed to rampaging evil within God’s creation?
Hugh Ross says in his newsletter, Reasons to Believe, “Belief in Satan is even more politically incorrect than belief in God.” (4th Q, 1997, page 8—better yet, write for this superb resource, Box 5978, Pasadena, CA 91117).
So we began to fight the microbes that were designed to destroy. Some specialists just a few years ago thought that all disease could be shortly eliminated from this planet. No one apparently realized that Satan’s evil, dark angels would continue to invent new ways to penetrate our body’s defenses. The wonder drugs of sulfa and penicillin and a myriad of antibiotics were for a time another optimistic marvel.
No one apparently realized that Satan’s evil, dark angels would continue to invent new ways to penetrate our body’s defenses.
But the true scope of microbial evil was, and is, underestimated. Just as once we thought we could do nothing to fight the plagues at their source, we now continue to give up easily with the newest species of tuberculosis, malaria, and many other maladies that distress and destroy and hold the world captive to torturing pain.
Where is Missions in all this? Don’t we know now where we stand? Can’t we realize that merely sending out friendly missionaries is not enough…that God is expecting us to fight Satan back at every level? What does “Thy Kingdom come…deliver us from evil” mean? How can people around the world convert to a God who appears not to care and/or does not understand how to deal with malaria? Or who Himself tweaked the DNA to produce ingenious parasites? What sort of good news is that? If God’s missionaries don’t toss a penny into a fundamental assault on malaria, how can anyone believe that an omnipotent God cares?
Now we know—or we should know by now—that the mysteries of viral illnesses can be combated, and that God is expecting us to not just lie down and let the plagues roll over us.
Can we in good conscience go around the world with a gospel for everyone that tells people about a loving God but does not identify Him as being willing and able to fight the satanically inspired diseases that are killing people right and left? Can we tell people to “be warmed and filled and believe in Jesus as you die?”
I have a hunch that somewhere along the line we got off the track of glorifying God by fighting Satan and his perversions, and got more interested in bailing out of this world, getting ourselves and our friends to heaven.
Our task is to honor and glorify God and to lead all peoples to “declare His glory.” That is the overarching task of the believers. It is a lot more, not less, than winning people to Jesus Christ. It is called Missions.