What is wrong with the world today?
To start I would like to quote Walter Hilton: “I feel myself so far from true feeling of that I speak, that I can naught else but cry mercy and desire after it as I may.”
If someone asked you what was wrong with the world today, what would you say? Crime? Poverty? Or that people rebel against God? In this article I am going to discuss the two things I think are wrong with the world. The first thing is that people do not know and trust in God. The second thing is that those who do know and trust in God often do not follow his commands.
People have rejected God and try to be rulers of their own life instead of letting God rule in his rightful place as King of their lives. The problem with this is that we cannot rule our lives properly because we are all corrupted with sin, and we were never created to be independent of God's rule. Apart from the fact that people won't accept Jesus as king over their lives, they aren't even able to accept Jesus as saviour and king.
“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” (Ezekiel chapter 12, verse 2)
Clearly it is a hopeless case! However, fortunately, God has provided a way out the mess we created for ourselves by sending his son Jesus. It is not through anything we are able to do or any merit we may have—even faith itself is gifted to us.
“It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.” (Romans chapter 9, verse 16)
Salvation comes through faith alone but it should produce fruit in the person. In the book of James, in the New Testament, he tells his readers that faith without works is dead:
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
—James chapter 2, verses 14–17.
James teaches that since you are saved you should produce fruit to show it. Christians should show they are Christians by following God's commands. By using their money, time, and influence to serve one another and the world around. Too often Christians underestimate the importance of doing “works” and instead make excuses about having 'faith' or the importance of 'just believing.' To many people Christianity is a personal thing about my God and my salvation and my relationship with God. This is in complete opposition to the gospel! Christianity has always been a community based 'venture.'
Love is called the greatest virtue in the Bible and love cannot be shown if one does not have others to show it too. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 1, 13)
If you get married to someone, is it enough to just say the vows that join you together as man and wife and then carry on with your life as before? No, that would be ridiculous! All aspects of your life are now impacted by the fact that you are married! How you spend your money, how long you spend at work, what you spend your free time doing. You have to consider someone else now too. Likewise, when you become a Christian everything you do should be impacted by the fact that now you are part of the church, the bride of Christ! As a Christian you are now part of the body of Christ—so you should care for the fellow members of the body, and not just the ones you like. It may seem hard but we have the reassuring promise that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians chapter 1, verse 6)
Being a Christian isn't just about loving those who are also Christians however, it is also about loving those who haven't yet heard or accepted the gospel and most of all it is about glorifying God in everything we do through loving each other and the world around us.
The root of all of the world’s problems can be traced to two causes—people not knowing God and people not obeying him, but praise be to God that he has provided a way for us to come to know him and be part of his family through Jesus, a way to become like him through the transformative indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
—Philippians Chapter 1 verses 9-11.
Jessica McPherson lives with her best friend and husband, Eoin, and their family of rescue animals in Christchurch. She loves reading, writing, photography and scrapbooking but most of all sharing God’s love and truth with a hurting world. Jessica is particularly passionate about encouraging children and building them up in gospel truth.
Jessica McPherson’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jessica-mcpherson.html