The Christian Perspective

Think about your favorite fictional book, or your favorite movie. If you're anything like me, your favorite story probably has a bad guy in it.

The bad guy does bad things. And if the story is any good, then at the end of it, the villain either gets thrown in prison, or he's killed by the good guys, or else he turns away from his bad behavior and becomes good. Either way, those of us following the story are thrilled when he gets what's coming to him, or we cry genuine tears of joy when he realizes how awful his actions have been and he changes for the better, and the good guys show mercy on him.

But how can we be happy when the villain gets killed, or punished, if he was created and designed by someone else? How can we rejoice at punishment he receives when everything he has done was scripted by the author?

The bad guy himself didn't ask to be created. And even though, in the story, he did his evil deeds willfully, it wasn't as though he could have done anything else since he only did what the author made him do.

Yet we're thrilled when the good guy draws his gun first and shoots the villain down at high noon!

It's right for the evil doers to be punished. We all know this inherently (Romans 1:20). The fact that they were created and designed to be evil doesn't change that fact -- rather, it establishes it. If bad guys were not created to be bad guys, they would not be bad guys (Proverbs 16:4). The only way a villain can be justly punished for his crimes is if he was created to be a villain.

The overwhelming thing about this is that we were all created to be evil (Romans 3:23, 5:12). Every one of us was created to sin against our creator God, the one who gave us life. Some of us will die because of our sins, and those who are following our story will be thrilled that we got what we deserved, shot down at high noon. Some of us, on the other hand, will repent and ask for forgiveness, and our good God will show mercy on us, and those who are following our story will cry genuine tears of joy over our repentance (Luke 15:7).

The fact that we are created sinners is what makes it possible for us to be justly judged and condemned, yes, but it is also what makes it possible for us to be forgiven and accepted by the one we have wronged. God cannot be glorified as a forgiving God if there are no sinners for Him to forgive.

If you have not apologized to God for your own acts of disobedience, if you have not repented and trusted God to forgive you through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, there is no better time than now (2 Corinthians 6:2). He has promised that if you confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." (Romans 10:9-11).

Instead of trusting in our own rebellion to get ahead in life, rebellion that will justifiably land us in prison or worse, we ought to repent and turn to Christ. We should lean on Him for forgiveness. This way, those who are following our story will rejoice at our adoption into the family of God, rather than being thrilled at our execution.