My wife will tell you - I get in a funk sometimes. Actually, she would more accurately say, “a lot of times”. Sometimes it is personal frustration. Other times, which I want to type about today, it is just sorrow that this planet is so messed up.
Have you ever just been so… I don’t know, overwhelmed at the horrible condition of the world…? Pick up the paper, turn on the news, get to cnn.com. The theme of the earth: something is seriously wrong. Wars, murder, rape. Innocent people taken advantage of. Children, who should be protected, instead severely abused physically and used to gratify sexual desires for reprobate monsters. Sometimes, just the thought of living on such a world brings an anguish to my soul that is almost too much to bear.
I shared in a recent sermon how dismayed I was to hear a man scream at his infant in Costco. That was the most minor thing to disturb me, all things considered.
Did you hear about the man, Josh Powell whose wife (Susan) went missing? In 2009, she went missing and it was a big mystery. Then one of their sons drew a picture depicting the family on the way to a sudden camping trip, the one in which Mom (Susan) “got lost” and was never found. Suddenly it looks like the father (Josh) may know more than he is letting on. When it looked like the truth was going to come to light, he murdered his sons with an axe / house fire combination and killed himself.
I barely rebounded from that news before I was hit with the story of Donovan McKee. This 11 year old Pittsburgh boy was beaten by his mom’s boyfriend - with sticks - for 9 hours - because he didn’t vacuum the apartment.
What is going on here? Why doesn’t God do something about this?
Two things shock me about these stories. The first is the level of depravity it takes to inflict harm / death on a child. The second is that I am still shocked at how horrible sin is.
And it is horrible. So horrible that…to answer that last question I asked… it took the death of the Son of God to conquer sin. The sin in my heart was just as wicked as any of these stories - all affronts against God, all ways we spit in God’s face and decide we will live a life of self-destructive sin regardless of what He might say about it.
Yet God pours grace on a wicked world. The offer of forgiveness. Eternal life. Reconciliation. So God has done something about sin.
But what about those who will not accept God’s gracious gift? What about sinners who persist in selfish rebellion that hurts those around them?
Reminder: God will deal with that, too. In His perfect timing, He sent His Son to deal with sin. And yet future, His Son is coming back. Not to deal with sin, but to deal with sinners.
He closes His book with these words: Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy." Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. (Revelation 22:11-12)
Is He telling people to sin? What is He talking about?
He is simply saying, “Keep it up.” You want to sin? Go ahead. Sin. Reject Christ. Reject the Gospel. Do whatever you want. You love sin more than you love Christ? Go for it!
But He is coming with the ultimate payback - to repay everyone for what they have done.
This is what keeps me from crawling under a rock until I die or He returns. I have a commission to share the Gospel of His love. And He has promised that someday, He is going to make everything right. No more pain, no more injustice, no more betrayal. The world as it was meant to be.
Being discouraged at the state mankind's existence is like watching a football game and leaving at halftime, saying, "That game was terrible."
Let's hold all final comments until the end. Things are scheduled to get amazing.
Come, Lord Jesus.
p.s. - groans with the earth