How and When Will Evil and Sin Be Completely Eradicated?

Two BIG questions for two related, high-impact realities—evil and sin.

  1. How?
  2. When?

The first chapter of the Bible (Gen. 1) describes the earth free from evil and sin. The last two chapters of the Bible (Rev. 21-22) describe the earth when evil and sin are completely eradicated. In between the Bible chronicles all kinds of ebb and flow between good and evil, between right and wrong, between hitting the target and missing the mark (sin).

Humans don’t have a date for the second question—When? So we cry out in anguish, “How long, O Lord?” (See Psalm 13:1-2, for example.) This sounds quite similar to the martyrs’ cry recorded in Revelation 6:10, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” It may not comfort you to know they are told to wait longer because God is giving more time.

You came into a world ripe with sin. It’s just a matter of time until sin has run its course and God brings it to an end. But that will be in God’s time, not our choice of time. We are left with the challenge to trust God and to purposely live for God as many days or years as we are on this earth. That’s what Jesus did when He was on Earth 2,000 years ago.

How do evil and sin get eradicated? God bends over backwards to give everyone evidence that He is God, and He awaits our response. An Old Testament example is the Israelites’ deliverance from Egyptian slavery. It looked like evil would win. It ended with a showdown that demonstrated evil didn’t stand a chance. Evil tried to come back. That’s when it got completely obliterated. (See Exodus 1-15 for details of how that happened.)

Revelation shares a similar scenario. Revelation 11:18 states it concisely. The rest of Revelation provides it in more detail, including the symbols of a dragon (Satan), a beast and a false prophet, and Babylon. They are to be destroyed by war, fire, and drowning, and eaten by scavengers. These symbols provide multiple ways in which evil and sin will be eradicated, never to return. Don’t fixate on just one way, but be assured these multiple symbols indicate the certainty it will happen.

We will live amongst sin and evil until Jesus returns, but he lives in us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the one who will end evil and sin, and we will be his trophies at His time and in His way. Until that perpetual heaven, we will enjoy tastes and snippets of heaven on an earth where evil and sin will give their last gasps.