Man’s love of life is the root of all evil and the basis of every sin.
Is it good to go to school; get a good job; build your own house and have lots of money? Not according to Jesus. Jesus had none of these accomplishments. In his doctrine, they are the preoccupation of Satan and men. Therefore, they are offensive to God (Matthew 16:23).
What then is good? Jesus says: “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17). Therefore, anything that is of God is good. Jesus considers only the things pertaining to the kingdom of God to be good. Everything pertaining to this world is evil. Schooling, jobs, housing and money pertain to this world and, as such, are evil and not of God.
Everything earthly is a human alternative to the will of God in heaven. Continued devotion to the things of this world militates against our desire to be with the Father in heaven and is therefore absolutely evil.
Children are good (Matthew 18:2-4); but men are evil. In order to be good, men, who Jesus categorises as “the sons of this world,” have to become “the sons of light;” another word for sons of God (Luke 16:8). That means all our affinities to men and to this world must be relinquished in favour of God and the kingdom of heaven. These include allegiances to fatherland, to family and relatives; and to race, sex and creed.
Relative and absolute evil
Men are consumed by the love of life, leading us to regard anything that threatens our life as evil. This makes us define evil erroneously in relative terms. If the enemy kills us, he is evil; but if we kill him, we are good. However, God sees evil in absolute terms.
Jesus regards as absolutely evil anything that undermines God’s will. This makes man’s life the greatest evil of all. The love of life, expressed in our determination to enhance, promote and safeguard our temporal condition, commands our allegiance even above the first and greatest commandment; which is to love God with all our heart. Therefore, Jesus regards man’s love of life as the root of all evil and the basis of every sin.
Indeed, we steal, cheat, fight, kill and commit adultery in order to save our lives. We only overcome sin by hating our lives.
Jesus’ re-definition of evil
Jesus reveals that the love of life makes men enemies of God. He tells us that God has made the hatred of life in this world the primary prerequisite for the attainment of eternal life. Jesus says: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
Thereby, Jesus redefines evil using the kingdom dynamic whereby what is highly esteemed among men is abominable in the sight of God (Luke 16:15). Since men esteem their life highest of all, Jesus defines everything that diminishes our love of life in this world as good. Therefore, in his doctrine, poverty becomes a blessing (Luke 6:20). So does mourning and weeping (Luke 6:21). Indeed, Jesus says we are blessed when men hate and revile us because of him (Luke 6:22).
Correspondingly, Jesus tells us not to bother to resist evil anymore (Matthew 5:39); to even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45); and not to fear death (Luke 12:4). Death becomes something good because it leads to our reunification with the Father in heaven. But life is evil because it keeps us away from God.
The problem with the love of life is that men are totally unaware of its sinfulness. The love of life blinds men to the truth about good and evil. Indeed, we define our righteousness by the extent to which we love and promote life; the very thing that God hates. Therefore, to understand good and evil from God’s perspective, we must first break free from the bondage of the love of life.
The love of life prompts us to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and to make “evil things” like the atom bomb and the machine-gun; as well as “good things” like the aeroplane and the aspirin. But both our “good” and “bad” products are evil in God’s sight because they are of the world and not of God (1 John 2:15-16).
Therefore, it is wrong for Paul to say: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). God will never reconcile himself to anything, least of all this absolutely evil world. It is also erroneous to say we become righteous by being washed in the blood of Jesus. We can only become righteous by following Jesus’ example of hating our life in this world and laying it down.