The Bible’s View
Can Crime and Violence Ever Be Eliminated?
TO KNOW the cure for crime we need to know the cause. The Bible reveals its cause. Crime is a symptom of what is called sin, which, in turn, was caused when a rebelling heavenly son of God induced man to disobey the law of his Creator. Accordingly, ever since that first act of disobedience in the garden of Eden, mankind has been sick—physically, morally and spiritually, despite his many technical and scientific achievements.
But why today’s sudden upsurge of crime? Something that happened during the lifetime of Noah, some 4,400 years ago, sheds light on the matter. He lived during an era so marked by violence that this fact comes in for special mention. The Genesis report says that the Creator of mankind “saw that the badness of man was abundant in the earth” and tells us that “the earth became filled with violence.” (Gen. 6:5, 11) How very similar to our day, someone may say.
Yes, very much like our day. In fact, Jesus drew a parallel between those days of Noah and the time of his future invisible presence at the end of this present wicked system of things, saying: “Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matt. 24:37) In verse 12 of the same prophecy he spoke about an “increasing of lawlessness” that would cause “the love of the greater number” to cool off. This increase or upsurge in lawlessness—call it crime and violence if you like—is particularly characteristic of these two periods of time, the one just prior to the Flood and the one during “the presence of the Son of man.” Could the reason in both cases be the same? The Bible indicates that it is.
Why Today’s Sudden Upsurge?
Genesis chapter 6 tells us that before the Flood invisible sons of God, angels, left their rightful position in heaven, materialized human bodies and married women on earth. They brought forth a hybrid race, their progeny being called Nephilim, meaning, most likely, “fellers” or “those who cause others to fall down.” Since their coming to earth was out of harmony with God’s purpose, it could hardly be expected to result in good, nor did it. An increase in violence, in keeping with the meaning of the name Nephilim, was the direct result. Yes, disobedient heavenly sons of God on earth were chiefly responsible for the upsurge of crime and violence in pre-Flood days. Has anything similar happened in our days? Yes.
According to Bible prophecy, the “presence of the Son of man,” likened to the days of Noah, would begin at the end of the “appointed times of the nations,” a set period of time during which God would permit faithless men to experiment with man rule to their own detriment. (Luke 21:24; see also Ecclesiastes 8:9.) At the conclusion of this time, after man’s failure to rule himself successfully, God would step in and set up His government with the glorified Jesus Christ as ruler. Bible chronology and the fulfillment of Bible prophecies coincide in marking the year 1914 C.E. as the time when this happened.
What invisibly took place, we read about in Revelation 12:9-12: “Down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! . . . On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.’”
After awaiting world rulership at his Father’s right hand for almost 1,900 years, Christ was now authorized to act against Satan. And act he did by hurling the Devil and his demons out of the invisible heavens down to the earth. From now on, the Devil, although still invisible, was to have his field of activity limited to the earth.
The angels of Noah’s days left heaven and came down to the earth of their own choice; the Devil and his demons in this time of the end have had no choice in the matter. They were simply evicted! The angels of Noah’s days were able to materialize human bodies on earth to enjoy illicit pleasures; the Devil and his demons in this time of the end have been unable to do so. Is it any wonder then that their frustration, anger and fear of impending judgment have driven them to influence men and organizations to acts of crime and violence of even greater magnitude than those of Noah’s days? How true the words: “Woe for the earth”!
But Christ’s long-range prophecy ends on a positive note as we read in the parallel account of it at Luke 21:25-28 (as quoted from The New English Bible): “Portents will appear in sun, moon, and stars. On earth nations will stand helpless, not knowing which way to turn from the roar and surge of the sea; men will faint with terror at the thought of all that is coming upon the world; for the celestial powers will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory. When all this begins to happen, stand upright and hold your heads high, because your liberation is near.”
How encouraging to hear Jesus’ promise that the conditions that have caused nations to faint with terror at the thought of where the world is headed are in reality an indication that better times are on the way, that liberation from these things is near! The hurling of Satan and his demons to the earth is a first step in a liberation that the Bible shows will bring about a completely new system of things in “this generation.”—Matt. 24:34.
Until that promised liberation comes, and as Satan’s time grows shorter, we can be sure that today’s mounting wave of crime and violence will sweep many persons off their feet and suck them into its powerful undertow. But this need not happen to you.
Show by words and action that you unequivocally stand opposed to lawlessness and disobedience to God of every kind and that you put full faith in his provision for life through Jesus Christ. This will provide God with a basis for granting you the opportunity to live forever in the crime-free world that he will soon establish. In the meantime apply sound Bible principles to protect yourself as best you can.
Today’s upsurge of crime and violence will soon end. Beyond it will be the security of God’s righteous system. Would you like to learn more about it? Ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses in your locality or write to the publishers of this magazine and we will gladly arrange for a qualified person to call on you, free of charge.