Removing the Cause of Sin
After Christ returns, He will establish a kingdom of peace. But before that, He will have to deal with the ultimate cause of all sin and suffering.
One of the greatest truths of the Bible is that Jesus Christ is returning to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Not only is this one of the greatest themes of the Bible, it is the core of the true gospel message (Mark 1:14-15).
There is much to learn about how the world will change under the rule of Jesus Christ and His resurrected saints. But before we can understand the many positive changes that will come under Christ’s administration, we must understand how God will deal with the problem of evil, sin and suffering right at the outset of His rule on earth.
The root of evil
One of the primary arguments that have been leveled against God’s existence is the problem of evil and suffering. The common logic is this: How could a loving God allow humans to be plagued with so much pain and suffering? Since many can’t reconcile a loving God and a suffering humanity, they conclude there is no God.
But it is important to understand why that logic is flawed.
The Bible reveals that there is a God who is defined by His central characteristic of love (1 John 4:8). His will is not for human beings to suffer—but to live happy, productive lives (Jeremiah 29:11; John 10:10). But He understands that real happiness and lasting fulfillment can only be achieved when human beings choose to live by His character of love—which is defined by His law (Psalm 1:1-3; Proverbs 29:18).
The answers begin with Genesis 3. In the Garden of Eden, God gave the first two human beings, Adam and Eve, the opportunity to live according to His law of love—which was represented by the tree of life. They were to completely avoid the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—which represented a rejection of God as Lawgiver. In essence, choosing its fruit meant human beings chose to define for themselves how to live.
Sadly, Adam and Eve chose the latter tree—and ever since the majority of human beings have been living life apart from the guidance and rule of God and His law (Proverbs 1:29-31; Romans 8:7).
The removal of Satan will put human beings in the ideal position to make right decisions and live in a world of peace and happiness.But this decision and the suffering that has accompanied it did not come in a vacuum. The key to understanding the human condition is understanding the influence of the serpent. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve made their wrong decision as a result of the influence and prodding of the serpent—who was Satan the devil.
This being—who formerly was a beautiful angel of God (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28)—is the adversary of God and human beings. His purpose is to separate human beings from God and keep them from fulfilling their potential to be born into the family of God (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8).
Revelation 12:9 explains: “That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan … deceives the whole world.”
Yes, Satan has influence over the majority of humanity. He deceives them into believing lies. The world is essentially being held captive by Satan (2 Timothy 2:26).
This is why the human experience has been a 6,000-year struggle filled with evil and suffering. Satan has influenced human beings to reject God’s law, leading to the evils that have plagued humanity, such as war, violence, hunger and corruption.
Ultimately, Satan’s influence will bring human beings to the point that humanity will nearly destroy itself (Matthew 24:22). This is the moment, discussed in our previous blog post, when Jesus Christ will return to earth to save humanity from itself. Jesus Christ will establish His Kingdom at His return—but one of His first orders of business will be to remove the main obstacle to peace and happiness. Satan is that obstacle!
Shortly after Christ’s return, God will send “an angel … from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1-2).
Satan (and his demons) will be completely constrained for 1,000 years (the Millennium)—having no power or opportunity to “deceive the nations” (verse 3). This 1,000-year prison sentence will open the door for humanity to truly develop its potential and learn to live the way of life that Adam and Eve rejected 6,000 years ago.
Results of Satan’s removal
The effects of Satan’s absence will be dramatic:
- Satan will not be able to broadcast his attitudes of rebellion and negativity. According to Ephesians 2:2, Satan is the “prince of the power of the air.” By analogy, this means that he has the ability to broadcast to humanity attitudes that influence us to be “sons of [characterized by] disobedience.” When his ability to transmit attitudes to humanity ceases, human beings will have fewer temptations to sin and will more easily “tune in” to the influence of God’s Holy Spirit.
- His deception will cease. As we already have seen, Satan is responsible for deceiving the “whole world.” We are told that his deception is based on his innermost character—he is a liar (John 8:44). With his deceptive influence removed, mankind will be able to learn and understand God’s law. God’s government will spread His loving and beneficial law throughout the entire earth—replacing deception with truth and understanding (Isaiah 2:3). Those who were previously blinded to God’s truth will be able to finally understand “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
- Humanity will have the chance to become at one with God. One of God’s annual festivals, the Day of Atonement, is linked to Satan’s binding. This holy day teaches us that humanity will have an opportunity to be reconciled with God when the obstacle of Satan is removed. We believe the vast majority during the Millennium will accept Jesus Christ and live by His laws. There will be some cases of rebellion, but they will be dealt with swiftly and fairly (Zechariah 14:18-19).
Essentially, the removal of Satan will put human beings in the ideal position to make right decisions and live in a world of peace and happiness. The fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is necessary for the next step in God’s plan, pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. This festival pictures the 1,000-year reign of the Kingdom of God on earth.
To learn more about the cause of and solution to humanity’s problems, download our new booklet Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?