The tract you are reading contains some good news and some bad news. When privy to this kind of statement, typically, the inevitable question is posed, which do you prefer to hear first? Regardless of the order, the truth is we will never treasure the good news, unless we are thoroughly convinced of the bad.
To determine the nature of what the good and bad news truly is, we must first perform a spiritual diagnostic test. Just like a broken down car hobbles into a service station and gets hooked up to a diagnostic machine to determine the source of the problem, so we need to plug into God’s diagnostic test to determine mankind’s problem. If the mechanic cannot successfully trace the source of what is in need of repair, it doesn’t matter how many parts he sells you or labor he performs, the car will remained hobbled and your pocket book will smart for it. This is true in other areas of life as well, such as, medical practice. The key word, of course, is practice. Before doctors can prescribe a right cure, they must determine the true source of illnesses. Typically they run tests and through the process of elimination seek to determine the root cause of our diseases. Without a correct diagnosis, however, it doesn’t matter what cure doctors prescribe, it will not heal their patients.
This spiritual diagnostic test will determine your worldview. It will determine your view of God, man, and the world we live in. How we view these three crucial areas, who is the true and living God, what is the true nature of man, and our conception of the world will determine whether or not we will correctly fit into this life or find ourselves hurling against it. Just like a three legged stool must have all three legs secure to sit upon, so each aspect of our worldview must be sound in order for us to thrive.
First, what is your view of origins? How did man arrive on this planet? Were we created by an Almighty God with a divine purpose or did we come from goo to zoo to you? Did we evolve and life is therefore meaningless? Is this life nothing more than a cruel cosmic joke based upon random selection where the only thing we can look forward to is to become food for the worms? Or is there something transcendent that is above and beyond mankind that inspires us to live for something greater than ourselves?
Next, what went wrong with the human race? You don’t have to live long in this world to recognize something is terribly wrong with us and the world we live in. Something has been broken and has bent mankind towards perdition. One just has to look at the newspaper and read the headlines to know something is seriously amiss with humanity. Murder, mayhem, perversion, war, death, disease, maladies, and malfunctions are the norm. How do we give an account for these predicaments? How do we explain our desire for peace while our hearts rage within us? Why do we do the things we know deep down inside we shouldn’t do and the things we know we should do, we end up not doing on a consistent basis?
Lastly, how can the problem be fixed?
Though there are many religions, philosophies, and systems of thought that compete to supply answers, we can reduce them down to two opposing worldviews. Each vies for mankind’s loyalty today. One worldview is theistic in nature and believes the God of the Bible is the center of all things. The other worldview is humanistic in nature and believes man is the center of all things.
One view believes that God is the lawgiver; He alone determines good and evil and man is therefore obligated to obey His will. The other view believes that man is a law and a god unto himself and thus determines good and evil for himself apart from His Creator.
One represents the seed of the woman and the other the seed of the serpent. The seed of the serpent chants, “My body, my rights, my choice, my thing, I do want I want to do, whenever I want, with whomever I want, and nobody will tell me what to do, not even God! And my one commandment is thou shalt not get in my face! Don’t judge me!” The seed of the woman has a different heart and message, which humbly states, “Not my will, but thine be done!” You are one of those two seeds even as you read this tract.
The humanist believes the source of the bad news is outside of man. They believe man is inherently good, it is just his environment that is messed up. We see this view constantly presented in the news. When something goes wrong the same failed answers are provided. Like a broken worn out recording, the demand is for more money, more education, and more government programs. We are trillions of dollars in debt pursuing this foolish course and yet they never stop to evaluate whether or not their view is correct. If it is true that man is good and his environment is messed up, how come we don’t have to teach children to be rebellious, whiny, spoiled, bratty, selfish, liars, and believe the world revolves around them. No, these traits just comes naturally. It is just a part of our spiritual DNA and comes with our birthday suit, the flesh that houses us.
Thankfully God’s word grants to man a different diagnosis. It places the source of our problem not outside of man, but within man. This is a part of God’s diagnosis as revealed in His Word. Romans 3:10-18 states, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Jesus Himself stated, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man (Matthew 15:19,20).”
God’s word accurately pinpoints our wretched state. We are conceived in sin and go astray from the womb. We are enslaved by a sinful nature that rebels and rails against all lawful authority, including God’s supreme authority. We are spiritually blind and grope in the darkness. We under the influence of Satan who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. We arrive in this world kicking and screaming on a fast track that leads straight to Hell.
Obviously then, God’s solution on how to fix what went wrong with man is entirely different than those posed by this world system. Since humanists refuse to believe in God or in an afterlife, they vainly image that man can be “saved” in this life by laws, government programs, education, science, technology, and more money. This is why humanists gravitate towards seats of power in government and utilize civil government to pass their laws and public policies to establish their version of a better world. These social engineers view government as the laboratory, which can perfect man with their grand social experiments. Inevitably, by not correctly assessing the true source of man’s problems, their cures end up worse than the disease. The best this world system can do apart from our Creator is to establish pits for man to fall into and then come up with programs to bail us out.
God’s solution to what ails man is totally other. In fact, the source of our answer does not originate with man or this earth in which we dwell. It comes from above. It comes from heaven and it is called redemption. It is called salvation. It is called an unspeakable gift that is full of glory.
If man’s problem was truly economic, God would have sent a financier. If the root of our problem was educational, He would have sent a professor. If the source of our trouble was the lack of government programs, God would have sent a heavenly bureaucrat. God, however, knew our problem was the sin that raged within us, so he sent us a Savior!
To solve the sin problem, end our torments, and vanquish the alienation with God and each other, we must change. The true change that must be made comes from within. Otherwise, we can change our names, our schools, our parents, and never truly change. When we get older, we can even change our spouses, change jobs, and locations, but this in and of itself will not truly change our lives. The problem, we must remember, is not outside of us. Thus wherever we go and whatever we do, our problem will go with us. The true change must come from within. By God’s grace and Holy Spirit conviction, we must change our hearts, change our minds, and change our behavior. The Bible calls this necessary change, repentance. It is this gift that leads us to experience the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I pray today that you will humble yourself, believe the truth of God’s word, and be set free as you repent, believe, and receive God’s great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas