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The Only Hope That’s Left


For many years, I have pondered and taught on the inevitable downward spiral that takes place within a culture that suppresses the truth about God. Romans 1:18-32 tells the story. It’s social and spiritualdevolution—it is God giving people what they want. They want a life without Him, and He gives them over to their own desires.

Living in a culture like Romans 1 describes is difficult and painful. The greed, murders, and all kinds of evil wear people down. “Life” becomes increasingly unlivable. People don’t feel safe, loved, or optimistic about future prospects. It can become a grind to just get up out of bed and face each new day. It’s not a pretty picture.

Romans 1:18 says that this downward spiral is the present manifestation of God’s wrath. God is angry at ungodliness and unrighteousness and the effort to avoid and ignore truth.

How are Christians supposed to live in such a place? Let me offer a few suggestions, if I may:

  • We are not to become self-righteous, but rather brokenhearted and empathetic. Romans 2 describes the moralist, the one who thinks that because he is able to criticize the sins of Romans 1 he is somehow exempt from judgment himself. We can’t be that guy. We need to follow Jesus, the One who wept over Jerusalem and paid for the sins of the whole world. We need to be like the Father, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
  • We should engage the people living with us in this corrupt society, not withdraw from them. It would be easy, and is no doubt tempting—to isolate, move, disengage and remove ourselves entirely. But that would be a complete failure on our part to obey Jesus’ commands to be salt and light.
  • We should see the degradation of the culture as a great opportunity. The light of the gospel shines brightly in the darkness. The opportunity to be healed sounds wonderful in a hospital of sickness.

We really do need to be like Jesus. Jesus came as a missionary to this sin-laden planet. He was sent by His Father. He listened to His Father, He watched His Father, He obeyed His Father, He operated by the power and authority of His Father.

Now He turns to us and says, “As the Father sent Me, even so I send you.”

Therefore, we are sent by Jesus as missionaries. We are to listen to Him, watch Him, obey Him, and operate by His power and authority.

We’re the only hope that’s left. Christ in us is the hope of glory. There is no Plan B.

  1. December 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    This terrible tragedy is not because of guns, it is because a person who has no hope and living without the fear of the accountability of a judgement we cannot not run or hide from, “GOD”. Anyone of us are capable of the most heinous acts. Because I believe in GOD, because I believe in the Christ dying for my sins, because I believe in the reward of Heaven and the punishment of Hell being forever I want to behave in a way that will guarantee my going to Heaven,I cannot do it on my own but through the power of the Holy Spirit. So what if I am wrong and I just become dirt, most people will say I was a good man. We all know most people who say they are Christian’s are not, the acceptance of abortion and what is considered popular entertainment proves it. Christ said the greatest law is to love GOD with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength the second is to love your neighbor as yourself how many of us do . Well we have thrown that truth out and this is the result. I don’t believe all these types of mass murders are caused by sociopath’s especially the young men no hope, no future, great anger and they just do not care because we have taken that reason to fear…GOD and convinced them He does not exist.

    A lot of comments have been made “How could a loving GOD allow this” it is terrible, heart breaking, I believe with all my heart those children and all children who have died so young are in Heaven my GOD is a loving GOD the heart break of the parents is unimaginable for me. BUT a man said “For those who believe in GOD this earth is as close to Hell as they will ever be and those that do not this is a close to Heaven as they will come”. Christ said even to his believers that there would be great suffering in this world, we all know how Christ suffered and all the early Christians. DO not put your hope in this world but in GOD, and Heaven will be your reward.

  2. December 18, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Good work, Bill! We are to be busy, be faithful, and be ready! Keep lookin’ up!

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