Sunday, November 18, 2012

Facts Underlying the World Condition

The Manufacturers’ Handbook (my name for the Christian Bible) reveals the reasons why the world is as it is today.
2000 years ago a man by the name of Saul, born in Tarsus in Asia and writing with his new name of Paul, wrote:
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 NIV)
Paul, a late appointed apostle of Jesus Christ, was reflecting on the reality of man from the viewpoint of the Creator of the Universe. Earlier in his letter to Christians in Rome, Paul countered some very faulty logic on the part of some who had heard about this God worshipped by the Jews and some convinced Gentiles. He wrote for all to consider:
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge." But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved. (Romans 3:1-8 NIV)
The apostle suggests that our conclusion must be one more consistent with reality, as he said:
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."  "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:9-18 NIV)
Note the list of failings he cited:
  • None are righteous.
  • All lack understanding.
  • None seek God.
  • All have turned away [from God] and become worthless.
  • None do good.
  • Like open graves, full of death, they practice deceit.
  • They run to shed blood.
  • Ruin and misery mark their ways.
  • They know nothing of peace.

And the ultimate denunciation:
  • They do not fear God.

The unbelieving world is “hoisted on their own petard”. Like the builders of the ancient Tower of Babel, unbelievers attempt to do what they want, ignoring their Creator, and fail to achieve their goal of omniscience and omnipotence. Such shall be as many are, being judged for their arrogance.
God reminded the Israelites that they should:
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9 NIV)
As a world, we are missing the mark. God’s ultimate judgment is closer now than at any time in history.
If we are driving and see the flashing lights at a train crossing, the obvious intelligent thing to do is to obey the sign and avoid being crushed by the coming train.
There is a train approaching the world and God is flashing signs warning us. What will we do? How will we respond?
Will we decide that we can risk crossing in front of the train and become road kill? Or will we take heed, seek God and live?
The choice is yours! The answers are clearly shown in the Manufacturers’ Handbook. Fool or wise man or woman. Which shall it be?

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