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Sunday, April 08, 2018


We, as a race, are pretty good at telling each other what's wrong. It's too hot or too cold. You're too narrow-minded or you're so open-minded that your brain leaked out. I don't like my job. I don't like my spouse. I don't like my government, my neighborhood, my quality of life. Currently there are protests everywhere about so much that is wrong. Shootings in schools, sexual abuse, governmental foolishness, the media ... the list just goes on and on. Something that has always disturbed me in all of this is our apparent inability or unwillingness to provide solutions. Oh, we might give it a half-hearted try. "Limit guns" is supposed to put an end to school shootings. Does anyone actually believe that? Howard University students demand (among other things) that there be no armed police on campus. Is that really going to solve the problems? And, although it disturbs me that people offer what's wrong without offering any genuine solutions, I also find myself readily shooting down the ones that are offered ... like I just did in this paragraph.

We have a lot of problems in our world. Corruption, environmental problems, greed, murder, racism, sexism -- all kinds. We are not offering solutions. And the ones we do offer are too little too late.

Let me tell you, then, about a solution. I would like to, at least for a moment, stop complaining about what's wrong and stop complaining about what's wrong with the meager solutions that are offered for what's wrong. I'd like to say there is an answer.

The primary problem at the root of every single problem we see is the heart problem. It is the sin problem. And there is a solution to that problem. I would like to say that the solution is Jesus. He is, in fact, a solution. He can change hearts and make people new. He can forgive sins and make people God's people. And that is certainly a solution. Changed hearts make changed lives. But I held back slightly in saying that He is the solution because He only changes hearts and lives of those who come to Him. And He said that the number would be "few" (Matt 7:13-14). If there is to be a comprehensive solution, it must be more than "accept Christ" since we already know that not all will. What, then? Well, the rest of the story is God. We have the comprehensive affirmation that God "works all things according to the counsel of His will." (Eph 1:11) "All things" is complete. Sinful humans intend evil (Gen 8:21) and God intends good (Gen 50:20). "The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble." (Prov 16:4) Even the wicked.

We can be certain that Christ is the answer for all who believe. We can have confidence that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin (John 16:8). There is not the slightest doubt that "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." (John 6:37) We know that God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom 8:28). We know that He does whatever He pleases (Psa 135:6). We can trust in Him, so that whether in Christ or not, everything will work out for His glory and for our good.

Now, be careful. It may look like I just said, "Don't worry; be happy." It might come across like I just gave you a free pass to do nothing, to sit back and watch. I didn't. We are called to work (Eph 2:10). We are commanded to make disciples (Matt 28:19). We are even called to suffer (James 1:2-4). We don't get to take it easy. We just know that the outcome is certain. That ought to embolden us to do the work that seems so hard. Because "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31) That's our answer.


Craig said...

I find it interesting that Prison Fellowship has been so successful in changing the lives of prisoners throughout the world through sharing the Gospel, yet so many oppose the same sort of things (in schools for example) that might actually have the same sort of success keeping people out of prison.

Stan said...

I find it sad that Christians claim to have this answer and aren't very willing to share it. "Too difficult."

Craig said...

Amazingly, the successes of PF are quantifiable and repeatable, it’s been demonstrated across the globe. Yet, heaven forbid, (ok liberal orthodoxy forbid) that we actually use a proven successful life transforming program preemptively to help people avoid prison.

True, something we’re all guilty of.