Thursday, March 18, 2010

Loving the World

I've been accused of being too pessimistic about the prospects of mankind to correct the mess we have made of this world. I guess the rationale is that people got us into the fix we are in so we should be able to get ourselves out. This sounds good in theory but it will fail in practice.

The idea that mankind can fix our problems is a very humanist perspective that denys our nature. All people are naturally selfish and this causes us to do things that harm others along with our relationship to God; "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, NKJ).

Our sin nature should be obvious but humanists are ideologues who think that enough of the right regulations, training and funding can cause people to act reasonably. To recognize the natural selfishness of people, all we need to do is observe children. Parents don't train their children to act selfishly, they come by it naturally. Before I was a Christian, I came to the conclusion that selfishness motivated everyone's actions because I knew why I did what I did. Even when people do good things for others, their motivation is usually selfish since they expect something from them in return.

Since I've become I Christian I now understand the potential for a higher motivation to do good; out of sacrificial love in following Jesus. Jesus died for us not expecting anything in return. Our good works only have merit with God when we likewise act in the best interest of others out of gratitude for what Jesus did for us. But people who don't know the love of Christ have no choice but to act selfishly even when they do things to benefit others. Such actions have no eternal value; as Jesus said, "they have their reward" (Matthew 6:2).

The Bible tells us that as people turn further from God, He will turn us over to ourselves which comes with consequences. Romans 1:28 says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." Thus, "evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13). This is the trend we should expect as humanists get their way in the world.

I certainly would like conditions in the world to improve. But that can only happen when more people turn to Christ. So I'm doing my best to alert everyone I can to the dangers of the path we are on in this world so that some will turn to Christ and thus not to suffer the inevitable fate of the world.

It is very dangerous to be so attracted to this world that you miss the much better world that God has for those reciprocating His love by following Jesus. 1 John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." And consider this: "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).

Few people do this but I have experienced great comfort on the occasions when I have practiced Paul's admonition to, "set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). Looking forward to what God has in store for us helps us deal with all the bad trends in this world. And this is a much more realistic approach to life than suppressing the implications of the world's trends and thinking, "all things continue as they were from the beginning" (2 Peter 3:4).

No comments:

Post a Comment