“The kingdom of God has never been for the well-meaning. It has always been for the desperate. And it is sin and the spiraling consequences of sin that, more than anything else, make men and women desperate to acquire a righteousness that they neither have nor can obtain by their own efforts.
Why is the world so dark in so many ways? Why does human life so consistently fail to reach its potential? Why are the hopes and dreams that surface unbidden in every human heart so regularly disappointed? Why is there such perversity in human affairs: dishonesty, strife, pride, and malice; so much grasping without regard for others? And why is it impossible for human beings to serve themselves, to be self-centered, without inevitably hurting others? Why does the social life of mankind, whenever reborn and able to begin again on some new footing – for example, after a political or social or religious revolution of some kind – I say why does it always decay?
In the 19th century, after one of those revolutions and new beginnings, when perhaps there was more excuse for investing hope in “change” as Americans have been encouraged to do again lately, Tennyson wrote:
'Let the great world spin forever
Down the ringing grooves of change.'
Now we know the operative word is down. But why is it always down? Why is it down, down, down that the world goes? Why is there also a second law of thermodynamics for the moral, not just the cosmological life of mankind? Why are disintegration and the loss of moral energy always the end result?
It is because sin is itself a principle of death and it is because God will not allow man to thrive and prosper and be happy in rebellion against him. We have his justice to thank for that – his giving men over to their sins is certainly an act of his just judgment; giving men what they asked for as the rightful consequence of their choices – but we have also to thank his mercy and love. It is to force upon us the nature of unbelief and rebellion that he holds our noses to the effects of it in hopes that we will finally turn away in disgust and search for another life and be willing to face again the truth about God and ourselves we suppressed in our rebellion.
It is a terrible thing to watch the life of mankind in this world with a sympathetic eye and to consider it with a feeling heart. The ugliness and selfishness and disregard for others, the bestiality of so much human desire, the unworthiness of so much of what people say and do, the cruelty to others they so glibly justify, the disgusting pettiness of life they satisfy themselves with when they have the power and the calling to be and do so much more. That is genuinely appalling and depressing.
But there is something beautiful here as well: the evidence everywhere one looks that what is wrong is also ugly, that what is evil is also unworthy, that what is done in disobedience to God’s will is also destructive and lethal. This is one of the grandest demonstrations of all demonstrations that God made the world, that he made us, and that he cares for us and for our lives. The world will never work without him and our lives will never come into their own until we are with him and he with us. The misery that eventuates when God is disobeyed is his summons to mankind to come to him and to be saved.”
Excerpt from a sermon from Romans 1:24-32, July 5, 2009, by Rev. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn
“Salvation is not first rectitude, but repentance; and even then the only hope of the righteous life is in faith in the Redeemer. Yet that may fluctuate, and moral life shudder and tremble to the point of collapse (we know who is behind that!). Nevertheless, true-hearted faith that dares with Christ to hate the wrong it would still incline to do (Rom. 7:15-21) will press on believing until the happy day of holiness has come, and, despite evil powers grown fiercer, will love the good and true and pure and lovely too much to be enticed even temporarily by sin.”
Still, William (2006) “Through The Year With William Still” ‘’An excerpt from June 5, The Day Of Reckoning, The Banner of Truth Trust and Rutherford House,pg.173-174.
Thoughts from Holy Scripture: “The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil. For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved. But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him]” (John 3:19-21).