The world isn’t perfect, and we’re part of the problem.

15 Apr

Sharing the gospel requires you to explain the truth about our current reality as well as our future reality. We must be able to communicate what things are like now, and why; as well as what things will be like and why. I’ll spend this week covering these topics in three posts: Earth – Creation to present, Heaven and Hell. Some people claim to be Christians while denying the historical Christian teachings about one or more of these subjects but I find the support for those denials unconvincing. (I’m mainly referring to the concept of Hell, as most Christians embrace the notion of Heaven and no one denies that we actually exist and that the world is broken in some major ways)

Coming to an agreement about the current state of the world is not difficult: just ask someone to recite what types of headlines they read or what types of stories dominate the news. Occasionally there are feel good pieces but the bulk of our news reflects tragedy. War, theft, murder, famine, sickness, child abduction – the list goes on. Part of the difficulty in sharing the gospel is connecting ourselves to the broken world we live in. I often hear people say “I can be good without God” or “I just try to be a good person.” My responses are usually something like “Well I can’t” and “So do I, but I fail sometimes.”

Who, me? (Yes. We are ALL part of the problem.)

Who, me? (Yes. We are ALL part of the problem.)

I lead with my own brokenness and ask if they are perfectly good or if they just aim for being good, hoping that they have the integrity to admit that they aren’t perfect. Then I explain that the same things that we do on a small scale (white lies, lustful looks, anger) lead to the awful stuff going on in the world on a large scale.

If they go with me that far I’ll press in a little, asking how they think we got this way and if it was always this way. Increasing knowledge isn’t actually leading to better people – we still have the same crooked tendencies. Once they share their take I ask if I can share what God says in the Bible.

This part is pretty simple: God created everything and it was good. People didn’t have these rotten desires and there was harmony between people, the planet, and God. The very first people God made chose to rebel against God, believing that he was holding something back from them. By this act, evil entered their hearts and unfortunately it’s genetic. The reason we turn on the news and see death, and the reason that we sometimes do things we know we shouldn’t do is that we’ve inherited this selfish, rebellious attitude from our parents who got it from their parents before them and so on.

If someone tracks with me this far I want to tell them that the story doesn’t end there: there’s hope! Jesus makes it possible, and I share the Gospel with them. But sharing the Gospel of ‘Jesus Saves’ carries little weight with someone who thinks they are fine. The first step is to take a step back and look at the world and our own actions, asking if things are the way they ought to be. The answer is a clear no, which then opens the door for finding possible solutions.


3 Responses to “The world isn’t perfect, and we’re part of the problem.”

  1. amphomma April 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I look forward to more dialogue like this with people around me. Thinking we are “fine” is perilous. My prayer is for more inquisitive minds, more open hearts, more lives ready to change. Keep writing!


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