The world is a mess, and we need Jesus.
I had a pretty safe, secure, sheltered childhood. I mean, yeah, I knew there was evil in the world. My family got involved in politics when I was eight, and abortion was one of the two political issues I understood at a young age. And I was reading stuff like A Wrinkle in Time with very obvious fights against evil powers in second grade. But even so, I don't think I quite realized as a kid how much of a mess the world really is.
All this violence, rage, fear, destruction, infighting and division, you name it. It's not okay. And there's a very simple reason why it exists: Sin.
I know I don't usually go back to the basics of salvation on here, I guess because the way I grew up, that's just fundamental, something I took for granted that everyone knows. But the older I get, the more I realize that not everyone knows it, and even those who have heard it don't necessarily understand. And it's a problem.
All these issues in the world, they're a symptom. Just like a fever or cough is a symptom of an illness and not the root cause of the illness itself, these things that are so terrible in the world are a symptom of sinful hearts.
Sin is the root issue from which all these issues come.
We are all born sinners. It goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. They sinned against God back in the Garden of Eden, eating the forbidden fruit. And because of that sin, we are all born sinners. We're not born good.
"As it is written, There is none righteous no not one." —Romans 3:10
The very earth is cursed because of sin (Genesis 3:17-19). And this is why there's so much in the world that is terrible.
It's the sin in our hearts that causes all this. And in this sin, we have been separated from God. We are dead in our transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). We have no capability to do what is right, what is good. We don't have the capability on our own, with our sinful hearts, to be kind and generous and forgiving.
But that's not the end.
Yes, we are sinners, but we have a Savior.
"And He has said 'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.'" —John 6:37
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." —Romans 5:8-12
Christ died that we might live. He took our sins upon Him, and paid the price that we deserve. And if we believe on Him, we will receive salvation.
"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" —Romans 10:9-13
I know it sounds terribly cliché to say that the answer to all of this evil in the world is Jesus, but it's 100% true. Because salvation transforms us. God gives us a new heart and a new spirit, He removes our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh. That's not to say we'll never do anything wrong ever again—sanctification is a process, not a magic wand—but God transforms us.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." —Galatians 2:20
So the answer to violence is not more violence. The answer to hate is not more hate. The answer to fear is not more fear. The answer is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Yes, we still need laws. We still need to protect and defend the innocent. We still have to fight for what's right against that which is evil. Because reality is that not everyone will be saved. Sin will still exist in this world.
But nothing will change unless we seek Jesus. Unless we share the Gospel. Unless God through His grace and mercy changes the hearts of men.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." —Matthew 6:33