(Part 5 of 8)
From the Gospel of Jesus: Apart from the Triune God revealed through the Bible, as the Redeemer and Savior of the world, we cannot resolve our universal problem of evil, much less avoid eternal judgment. The evolutionary belief in progress has been thoroughly overturned by world wars, ethnic superiority and racism, systemic injustice, division and hatred, secular violence, and so much more — which vicious cycles we humans continually perpetuate against one another. This is our sad tendency because we are missing an essential piece of the puzzle in our search for a solution to life.
Here are three major considerations to help move us forward:
(1) What is the solution to the problem of moral evil we cause, incur, and experience on every level of our lives? Will improved education overcome evil? Will a better economic plan where everyone is equal overcome suffering? Will greater advancements in medical science and technology overcome death? Will colonizing another planet and starting over with the best of us secure the future? As important as education, economics, medical science and technology, and space exploration are, they have never alleviated nor rid us of evil, suffering, and death. In fact, as modern history bears out, many of these good things have been wrongly used, over and over, to intensify our woes.
(2) The missing puzzle piece we need, according to Jesus, is his sober assessment that we are all evil, which assessment is confirmed in the practical outworking of our lives — we are “b-b-b-bad to the bone”! We are bad trees bearing bad fruit, sinners who sin, our wage is death, and our future is potentially dreadful! Any answer to life bypassing this shocking truth about us is automatically doomed to failure. (Matthew 7:11, Mark 7:20-23, cf. Jeremiah 13:23; Hebrews 9:27, Romans 6:23. cf. Isaiah 1:18)
(3) Since our primary problem is alienation from our God (Romans 1:28-32, Ephesians 2:1-3, Colossians 1:21), the only solution is reconciliation to our God. This reconciliation is the astounding good news that is central to the purpose and work of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:15-17, Ephesians 2:8-10, Colossians 1:19-22). Moreover, if everyone were to repent and follow after Jesus it would make all the difference in the world (Mark 1:14b-15, 17, Galatians 5:16-26, Philippians 2:1-8)!
Therefore, seeing that we are dying sinners facing divine justice makes perfect sense that we heed the loving command of the Father, through the wooing of the Spirit of truth, to turn to Jesus as the risen Savior of the world. We need a redeemer who guarantees us full forgiveness, who changes and transforms our minds, hearts, and lives, and guarantees a perfect, eternal future of joy with him and one another. The gospel of our Triune God is the only message that perfectly corresponds to our hopeless condition and terrifying trajectory.
Robin Martens is the pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church