Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2007
Despite every wickedness, and the ever- prevailing violence in our world today, there is hope for humanity, and that hope is in Jesus Christ.
Hope for the violent and wicked world.
Can you imagine the wickedness and violence in our world? Let us look around. Definitely, you know or have read or even witnessed evils resulting from the love of money. Where you reside, are there no political corruptions? In every nation, there abound corruptions. In most instances, politicians have stopped at nothing including killing to amass wealth, which the bible says is for a season. Fathers are killing their children, and children are known to be killing their fathers too, for money. There is decay all around us. Lies, half truths and hypocrisies thrive in all quarters. The world is groaning for a change. But when will this come? Day in and out, we hear reports of deaths in accidents; others involve wars - children, adults, men and women including innocents getting maimed. The pain is unimaginable for families and loved ones; but when will violence end?
No one likes pain. We all want situations where peace flourishes, but violence, injustice and suffering all abound. There has to be something new. A world consumed with hatred and suffering was not God’s original plan for planet earth. God had made man in his holy and perfect image (Genesis 1:26-31) “And God saw that it was good”. This phrase is a repeated theme in chapter one of the book of Genesis. At creation, the bible records that God had placed man in a perfect environment. Genesis1:1, 10, 11, 12, 18, 21, 25. Sadly, however, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve - our first parents - sin entered into human race. Thus, we all inherited a corrupt nature from our first parent.
Today, there is no single person on earth who is free of sin. We all have ruined nature. To illustrate the nature of sin, let us consider the apple tree. When it bears fruits, the fruits that come from apple tree do not resemble oranges. The nature of the apple tree makes it inherent, natural, customary and normal for that tree to bear apple fruits. Therefore, we can deduce that wherever we have human being, poor, rich, young, or old, because we have all inherited Adam’s evil nature, it follows that we will naturally, customarily and normally be evil. That is why there are so many evils in the world today. And these evils will never stop despite man’s efforts to eliminate them. Evil is spiritual, and we can only solve spiritual problems with spiritual means.
Certainly, man is in a dilemma. Humanity is in a fix. Jesus said the devil can not cast away devil. In Galatians 5:17, we read that there is a constant struggle between good and evil. Paul said the good things he wanted to do, he could not do them, and instead, he wound up doing evil that he detested. He exclaimed “O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” There has to be a change. In our circumstance, even death is not the solution. Sadly, if we die in our present state, we are worst off without Jesus Christ. I will give you and example. Luke 16:19-31. The rich man in our story died in his natural and selfishly proud body and ended up in hell. We do not want his portion! Paul found the answer in Jesus Christ.
In Jesus; there is an end to sin. I will show you how this works: In Numbers 21, we see a very nasty picture of people dying from snake bites. Serpents are often used as pictures of evil in the Bible (Genesis 3:1-5; Revelation 12:9). Also in the Bible, the bronze is associated with judgment. A bronze serpent is, therefore, a picture of evil judged and dealt with. In our story, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived: The people were saved from death from the serpent bites not by: (1) doing anything. The Scripture says we are not saved by "works, lest any man should boast." "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 2.
The people were saved by simply looking to the bronze serpent. Jesus referred to this remarkable event in John 3:14-15: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." Jesus clearly showed a similarity between what Moses did with the serpent, and what Jesus did on the cross. The dying people had to trust that something as seemingly foolish as looking at a bronze serpent on a pole was enough to save them. Surely, some perished because they thought it too foolish to do that. We are all dying in sin. Unless we look to Jesus and be saved, we all will perish. In Isaiah 45:22, we read: "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." We might be willing to do a hundred things to earn our salvation, but God commands us to only trust in Him - to look to Him.
Very soon we will be transported from the kingdom of this world with all its sinful allurements, human wickedness, heartlessness, injustice and all manner of evil and placed in the eternal kingdom of God, which is so vividly described by the Apostle John in Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”. My friend, this is the joy of the new birth - saved, simply by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
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