Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Can't Change; No, You Can't (Part 3)

"Yes we can heal this nation; yes we can repair this world."

These specific changes, desired by Obama supporters as spoken by Sen. Obama in the video from Part 1, are certainly admirable goals. Who would not want to see the nation be healed in terms of political animosity between Republicans and Democrats that keep the legislative branch largely ineffective? Who would not want to see the nation be healed in terms of remaining bigotry, which is so great that 20 percent of Kentucky voters said "race" was a major factor in determining the candidate for whom they cast their ballot? In regards to repairing the world, who would not want to see a world in which there is (for example) more peace and less war?

Human beings working together certainly can bring a type of healing or reparation into the world in limited ways for a limited time. But both history and the current world situation show that any healing achieved by a nation eventually returns to disease and ultimate death; any reparation brought to the world (such as at the end of WWII, where many said war would be banished forever) quickly falls into a state of disarray. One reason why this must be the case is that when we say we want our nation to be healed or the world to be repaired, we pre-suppose that there was a certain healthy or functioning state of affairs. When a physician cures a patient, he does so with the knowledge of how a healthy body should operate; when a mechanic repairs a car, he does so with the knowledge of how the automobile should run. But in this nation and in this world, we have mutually exclusive visions for what a pristine situation should be. The Islamist views the ideal world condition as one in which everyone submits to sharia law, the communist views the ideal as one in which there is no hierarchal government structures, the Zionist views the ideal in which the Palestinians cede their land to Israel, the Darwinists deny the concept of "repair" as they teach the world growing from a state of chaos to increasing order with the strong killing the weak. Not taking these competing ideologies into account, the humanist vision for world reparation will always fail.

The Bible teaches that the world was created by a Sovereign God and that humankind was given dominion over and care for creation, and freedom in creation, as they enjoyed God, worshiping God through His Word. Humans neglected this Word, listening instead to the word of Satan, which called them to worship themselves. Self-worship has characterized humanity ever since, causing perpetual strife with one another and with God. This human rebellion earned God's judgment of death and wrath. But God sent the Word into humanity- the Word took on human flesh and was named Jesus. Jesus worshiped God perfectly throughout His life and then took God's judgment against humanity- the judgment of death and wrath that Jesus did not deserve- upon Himself on the Cross, dying in the place of all who would believe on Him. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and ascended to the right hand of God. Jesus now offers life to all who trust in Him- a life that will conquer death, a life of freedom from self-worship and the strife this causes, a life of freedom to worship God through the Word. This reality- a reality that is so hard to see due to the rebellion of creation and the remaining sin in the lives of those who follow Jesus- will one day become fully manifest on this earth, when Jesus physically returns to the earth and truly repairs the world. No one human nation will be healed in this glorious event, but all nations will give way to the kingdom of Christ.

Many will not accept the account of the Good News of Jesus as outlined above, and we would not wish to force anyone to accept it. But as this Good News goes throughout the world, the Holy Spirit of God will open the hearts of many people from every language-group, tribe, and nation to hear the Word of life. One thing Christians cannot do is to say, "Yes we can repair this world," for world reparation must come through a Savior- Jesus Christ- and if we try to repair this world without direct reference to Jesus, we are engaging in a form of self-worship- rebellion against God- which is the problem, rather than the solution.

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