Over the past week, we have seen the tragedy of children being gunned down by one, who portrayed evil in a physical form. From this, discussions of gun control, amped up security, school safety and insults from all sides have permeated our lives through social media and news agencies. We have seen the ugliness of hatred, the fearfulness of insecurity and the inability to think in a productive manner. Political leaders, law enforcement officials and those we view as “in the know”, have inappropriately blamed agencies, people groups and individuals for a heinous act which was caused by a single person, who clearly had mental illness and emotional problems. No matter who you may be, no matter where you may be reading this, we have all been affected by this tragedy. But have you considered the problem within our society is much bigger than gun control, school safety or individuals whom we feel have allowed this system of hatred and bigotry to continue?
What about the other immoral behaviors that permeate our society? I’ll give you a few. Millions of unborn babies are massacred annually. Immoral sexual behavior oozes out of the pours of our TVs and movies. Violent behavior has become acceptable since the birth of video games. We have allowed our evil fantasies to become our reality. So why would we allow this to occur? Why do we thrill on the ills of others? How has our society come this far this quickly? Simply, we have rejected the message of the Good News.
The issue concerning all of our society’s problems is not with the individual evil acts we might be marching against, rather it is our broken hearts. Hearts that have forgotten in Whom we have been created in. Hearts that have blocked out love. Hearts that have become corrupted by fantasies and wonders of amazement which have tried to destroy a belief in an Almighty, Ever-Present, All Knowing God. Our hearts have become blackened by evil desires, temporarily trying to fill the God sized void we all have inside of us.
Do we need to discuss how to make our society safer? Yes. Do we need to debate gun control? Sure. But we also need to discuss mental health issues, insurance involvement, over taxing, over spending and even political offices and the corruption involved there. But let me ask this question:
“For what profit is it to a person if they gain the whole world, and lose their own soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for their soul?”
These questions were brought forth by a man long ago. His society was similar to ours. His society said, “You can take the life of your enemies”, yet he taught to pray for those who persecute you. His society said, “If you want to divorce your wife, just give here the paperwork”, yet he taught what God has joined together, let no one separate. His society taught, “Don’t waste your time with beggars and diseased”, yet he spent time with them.
Don’t we say the same thing? Our society says, “Destroy entire groups who are violent.” Yet He says, “Lift your enemies in prayer and pray for their eternal souls.” Our society says, “Love whomever you want, whenever you want, how you want.” Yet He says, “Intimate love is between a husband and wife.” Our society says, “Play your violent games, listen to your hate-filled songs, enjoy everything while you can.” Yet He says, “Out of the heart of a person, the mouth speaks.” Our society says, “Separation of church and state.” Yet He said, it is God who places those in power. Our society says, “Remove ‘In God we trust’”. Yet He said, Trusting in God is the only thing that can keep your society in place.
The heart of the matter in our society today is we have removed God from everything. We no longer allow our children to pray in school. We no longer stand up for Godly, moral behavior. We no longer promote civility. We no longer promote family values. What we do promote are things that take God out of the equation:
- Evolution: God is removed when we believe we evolved from primordial slime.
- Sex: God is removed when we allow ourselves to be led by emotions rather than His Word.
- Music: God is removed when our lyricists promote drug use and violent behavior.
- Family: God is removed when we spend more time at our jobs than with our spouse and children.
- Church: God is removed when we forget our mission to lead others to the cross of Jesus Christ and make decisions based on our own desires.
We have removed God in all aspects of our lives and these are the results that we see today:
- Increased violent crimes
- Increased disease
- Increased natural disasters
- Increased drug abuse
- Increased hatred
- Increased feelings of hopelessness
God said, “Whatever a person sows, they also reap.” We are reaping the fruit of removing God from our lives. But we don’t have to stay there either. We can change but we also can’t make this change alone.
The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” When we call on Jesus Christ and acknowledge His sovereignty, His sacrifice and His love, our old ways get changed. They become new. It is Jesus Christ who can change us, make us into a people He desires us to be. Only He can make an old life into a new life. Only He can change the hearts of people, like you and I, and make us into a new creation, giving us a new heart and a new mind. It is only by the power of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit can we change.
We can debate all we want. We can discuss any topic you wish. We can encourage and we can discourage. We can build up or we can destroy. None of these matters if we do not have the love of Jesus Christ in us.
1 John 5:1-2 says, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.”
If we love God, then we will love others. If we love others, we will not go out of our way to destroy them. We will not feed off of the divisive media. We will not allow our children to continue down a destructive road of pornography, abuse and violence. If we love God, we will bury our misery of bigotry and cling to the double-edged sword, which is the Word of God. If we love God, we show that by our actions.
We must stop this bickering, this divisive spirit and embrace the only One who can save us, the Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, we will continue to go down a road leading to the very pit of hell. Instead, let us show how much we love God by showing love toward others. Praying for those who persecute us. Feeding those who are slaves to drug addiction. Caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Helping others become who God sees them as, a person made in His image for His purpose to exclaim His glory.
For those of us who claim to be Christians, we must follow Christ. This means giving up our dreams for His. This means no longer doing what we used to do. This means spending time with Him daily, learning more about Him. But this also means our actions have to match our faith.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – I Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV)
Without the love of Jesus Christ, all we do is like a loud obnoxious sound. Like the nail scrape of a chalkboard, so is our actions without the love of Jesus Christ in us. We need to love. We need Jesus Christ in order to love. Without Jesus Christ, our society is hopeless.
Jesus Christ changed the world using 12 men who were thought to be nothing in their society. First He had to change each of them before they could help change the world. The same holds true for us. If each of us were to allow Jesus Christ to change us, then in turn we can point others toward the cross of change, the Cross of Christ. Our country, this world can be changed, if we first allow God to change us.
The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with one step. Make that first step and allow Jesus Christ to change you. Once we move toward Jesus and away from our ideals, we will learn that nothing can change our society better than the love of Jesus Christ. It starts with us first. Then it flows out to others. Pray, right now, for God to change you through the power of His Son, Jesus Christ. Then He will give you His Holy Spirit and He will change you from the inside out.
God bless and encourage someone today.