Friday, 11 April 2014

What’s wrong with the world?

What’s wrong with the world?

British author Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936)) has been called the “prince of paradox.” He was known for his insightful views on many issues. Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The Times newspaper once had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?” Chesterton’s answer at that time was the shortest of those submitted – he simply wrote. 
Dear London Times,
I am.
Sincerely Yours,
G. K. Chesterton

He was not joking. As a sincere writer, his answer was very theological. The problem of this world will never be addressed in full until we come to understand in our minds, hearts, and soul that the problem lies first and foremost within us. The scripture tells us that the disobedience and transgression of Adam and Eve is called Original Sin. It did not remain only Adam and Eve's. As life passes from them to all of their descendants, so does original sin, that is, to all men and women as descendants of our first parents, and their heirs, We all of us participate in original sin because we are all descended from the same forefather, Adam. This idea like that of sin is not popular with many today. However what needs to be comprehended is not what is popular but what is true. God's word is precise when it speaks of the condition of man. Consider the following scriptures which speak of the condition of man’s heart. Prophet Jeremiah diagnosed the heart of man in this way:"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Jesus Christ made this statement: “That which proceeds out of the man that is what defiles the man.  "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.”All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."(Mark 7:20-23)  The apostle Paul evaluated his own heart condition in these words: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good........ Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”(Romans 7:18-24)


Whenever we sin, there are consequences that come as a result of the sin. Some of those consequences are spiritual and some are physical. When Adam and Eve sinned they experienced both physical and spiritual consequences (Genesis 3). The first result of their sin was their awareness of their nakedness. They lost their innocence. In their embarrassment, they tried to cover themselves by making some sort of clothing. God knew what had happened, but he wanted Adam and Eve to understand and admit their sin.

When speaking of the penalty of sin three words need to be considered: death, separation, and condemnation. The scriptures records that God warned Adam and Eve that if they were to disobey Him that the result would be death. The word which God spoke to Adam and Eve warning of the consequences of sin proved true as the curse of death was pronounced upon Adam along with hardship in the pursuit of his daily needs. The prophet Isaiah speaking on God's behalf to the nation of Israel highlights the separation from God that is caused by sin.(Isaiah 59:1-2) “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.”

As a consequence of sin we suffer all kinds of afflictions, disease and illness, minor or severe, slight or incurable. In the mind and the mind's behavior, there are all kinds of maladjustments, breakdowns and imbalances. Within ourselves, with others and with all creation we find disorder and lack of harmony. There are addictions and bondage, anguish, fear, shame, restlessness, anger, stress, sadness and depression, and Relationships turn deceitful, selfish, and possessive There are addictions, distrust, loneliness, corruption, oppression, exploitation of the weak, injustice, violence, racial conflicts and wars, segregation and marginalization, misery and hunger, manipulation of the mass media and factual information. The list goes on and on as the reality of the power of sin is demonstrated daily in the lives of multitudes of people. The last consequence of Adam and Eve's sin was banishment from the Garden.
The physical consequence to sin will vary with the sin that is committed. However, the spiritual consequence remains the same; "for the wages of sin is death" Evil progressed more and more after man's initial sin. The earth is seriously damaged: The air, springs, rivers, lakes, and oceans are contaminated. Forests are being razed. Animal species are becoming extinct and our natural resources are being abused and destroyed. We are unable to love in a healthy and constructive way. We cannot express divine love. The Bible teaches that thoughts, attitudes of heart and actions which are sinful can eventually enslave an individual and destroy that person’s life. One need not look to far to see the reality of this matter all around. Many today are enslaved to alcohol and drugs. Others give testimony to being enslaved to lust and pornography and only God knows how many criminal sexual acts are the result of minds and hearts which have been poisoned by the pornographic industry. Others might be "controlled" by anger and hate that drives them to destructive acts of violence. The sin of the world generates multiple and serious consequences in all areas. 
In spite of God's design and desire for mankind to live in the harmonious and abundant life relationship with Himself and all creation... the sinful choices of mankind resulted in separation from God as a consequence. Seeing the chaos in His creation and more directly, our lives, God offers a single, complete and radical solution — His Only Son Jesus. The solution to the consequence of sin is Jesus Christ, no matter what the sin, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".  Bible says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16NIV)
God is the ultimate being in existence, perfect in power, love, and character. Since God wanted to share His love with others, He created the angels and human beings—spiritual creatures who can relate to Him. Because God is love, He wants us to love Him and love other people. This love in God's heart not only moved Him to create us. It also urged Him to go through a process so that He could enter into us and make us His expression. He, the infinite God, humbled Himself to become a finite human being named Jesus Christ. In Him, all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt, and through Him, all the fullness of the Godhead was expressed. Everything He did, said, and thought was a pure expression of God in humanity. This brought the highest delight to God, for in Jesus Christ, His eternal purpose began to be fulfilled in that a man was fully expressing God. Then the Lord Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross in order that through death, the God-expressing life that resided within Him could be released and made available to us. Christ opened the way for us to receive His divine life that we might become the reproduction of Christ, bringing delight to God's heart by fulfilling His purpose. 
God's love is revealed in creation, and it is also revealed in our salvation. God is always faithful in his love and show's his love for us constantly. From the beginning, humanity rejected God's love and lost all interest of being in communion with Him. Man chose to build a kingdom without God, and instead of worshipping the true God he worshipped the things of this world, his own handiwork - and in fact, he worshipped himself. Consequently, fear, shame, hate, violence, and death increased the world. Humans are profoundly divided within themselves. Their individual and collective lives portray the dramatic battle between good and evil and light and darkness. By taking a deeper look at the human heart and contemplating his/her life, we can see that they find themselves not only disposed toward evil but truly submerged within a multitude of evils. Mankind feels chained. We cannot experience the love of God and the salvation because sin separates and alienates us from God, the only fountain of life. The Word of God affirms this: In John 8:34-36 “Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.  "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.  "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” The scripture teaches that mankind needs salvation from sin and that God has provided this salvation in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.

Apostle Paul said “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9).  The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but "though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor."  And He, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, King of kings, Son of Eternity, to whom all things belonged, decided to become poor for our sake. He then resurrected from the dead to become the life-giving Spirit. As the life-giving Spirit, God is able to dispense everything that He is and has into us so that we can become exactly what He is—the expression of God in humanity. C. S. Lewis said it well: "The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God." God became a man so that you might become God's child.

The Incarnation of the Son of God unites earth to heaven. God's greatest revelation of Himself to man is in Jesus Christ. Revelation is the disclosure of truth previously unknown. Before the coming of the Son of God to earth many varied forms of revelation existed. Belief in the existence of God is innate. Since man is a rational, moral being, his very nature provides him with intuitive knowledge. The Bible says, ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him' (Colossians 1:16). Every created thing, from the vastest galaxy to the tiniest particle in the universe, owes its existence to Jesus Christ. There is not an atom, a molecule, a neutron, a proton, a photon, an electron, a quasar or a quark which is not his by right of creation. But He chose to leave eternity and submit himself to the limitations of time and space. He became ‘obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross'. He knew exactly what would be involved in his earthly mission. 

Jesus Christ exchanged the perfect harmony of heaven for the turmoil of life on earth, with its pressures and pains, trials and tensions, conflicts and crises. He exchanged being worshipped by angels for being reviled by his enemies. The one by whom ‘all things were created' (Col­ossians 1:16) had to borrow a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41), a donkey to ride into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40) and a coin to give an illustration (Luke 20:19-26). The one who owned every square inch of Earth was so poor that he had ‘nowhere to lay his head' (Luke 9:58). The one who created water as a liquid compound with its molecule made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms (H2O) had to ask someone to give him a drink when he became thirsty ( John 4:1-7). Even in death his body was laid in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:57-61).

These are spectacular picture of what it meant for the one who created all time, space and matter to step into their limitations. It was a humiliation without para­llel. C. S. Lewis said, ‘The Eternal Being who knows every­thing and who created the whole universe became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a [foetus] inside a woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a crab.’ Yet even this gets nowhere near the staggering truth of what happened when Jesus laid aside his heavenly glory and chose to become human, a truth made even more amazing when we realize  that he did this ‘for our sake'.. Praying to God the Father, Jesus spoke of “the glory that I had with you before the world existed'” (John 17:5). Our minds are incapable of grasping the splendor of God's glory, which is so wonderful that even the highest angelic beings cover their faces in his presence (Isaiah 6:2).


God cared for us enough that he sent his Son to die in our place, for our sins. Now we can be fully forgiven and begin an unhindered relationship with God. When people make mistakes, there are two responses to the sin. Either they acknowledge their sin or they try to hide it. God understands we make mistakes, but he wants us to admit our faults. We cannot correct a wrong until we are able to admit that we made a mistake. 1 John 1:8-10 says “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The new life in Jesus, frees us from the devastating hold and effects of sin, guilt and death (Rom. 8:1). Like love and acceptance, most of us want to find fulfillment in life. The God of the Bible offers the most fulfilling life possible. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)The resurrection power of Jesus provides us the Power and Grace to live an abundant and everlasting life filled with righteousness, joy, peace and happiness. 

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