There will come a time (during the Tribulation) that evil will not be restrained—when the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) is “taken out of the way” and when evil dominates the world (2 Thess. 2:7-8). During that time, in his book, “What On Earth is Happening?” Ray Stedman wrote,
The arrogant pride of humanity will break out into the open as the Antichrist steps forth and claims to be God…Evil will reign in triumph…lawlessness will fill the earth…men and women will stubbornly refuse to repent. Fear will not drive humanity to prayer but to further defiance. The human race will not wish to be delivered but only to be destroyed. People will take no delight in good but will celebrate the triumph of evil.
But that has not happened yet, and will not happen until the Tribulation. As long as believers are in the world, evil will not be allowed to dominate. Stedman said,
[In this world now] only the good is really acceptable. Evil must dissemble and disguise itself to gain acceptance. Once evil is unmasked, it is rejected by the world. This fact alone is ample proof that even the massive power of evil that we see on every hand is still in check by the even more massive power of good… Evil is powerful, but hemmed in by forces of good.
As a Christian, I see so much evil going on in the world, and sometimes I get discouraged and can hardly see any good. But, as Stedan indicated, overall, only the good is acceptable, and evil is masked and sort of hidden—but still we can see the results of it. Evil is now kept in check because of the salt and light in Christians. As Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14). “Salt [said Stedman] doesn’t merely add savor to food. It is also a preservative, halting the process of corruption.”
This puts a grave responsibility on us as Christians to be in the word and in prayer, so that we remain salty and light—so that evil will continue to be unmasked and hemmed in. I fear, and I can feel that we as Christians are becoming less and less salty and evil is becoming more and more bold. The spirit of Antichrist is on the rise. So, let us battle against it. He is coming soon!