Out of one hundred and ninety-six countries only nine are without major conflict of some sort. Most are faced with problems that may involve either social unrest, armed opposition, or economical instability, which has left people pessimistic about future peace and fearing even greater global chaos. As disparaging as life-on-earth can be, a greater menace looms at our doorstep, even now it devises ways to dupe us into thinking we are safe in our private homes secluded from what is out there. It cloaks itself and stays hidden, as much as it can, but for our welfare this foe must be unmasked and ways to fight it brought to light. A clue as to where it lives is found in Paul’s incriminating assessment “What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death” (Rom. 7:24). It turns out that this irreconcilable adversary is found in each of us. The prophet Jeremiah provides a spiritual Xray of our inner-self “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jer. 17:9). The hostility between man and God is inbred runs very deep. How bad we really are may surprise you.
The nature of our “badness” springs from our core being, our hearts. Our sinfulness has been ingrained in mankind since the fall of Adam and Eve. Two real people that were in paradise, everything you can imagine that was good was at their fingertips, and to think, all they had to do was to obey God, but instead, they fell for the con, and followed Satan’s advice to take of the tree and when they did all of the human race fell into sin. Sin continues to work, urging and compelling us to do evil. Sin stares us down and makes us its patsy, carrying out the devil’s work, sometimes double duty. Though God calls every man to repent of their sins, and trust in His Son for forgiveness, many choose to reject the gospel, but do so at their own peril! Mankind remains at enmity with God which means that this state of hostility that exists between man and God is going to end in an eternity spent in hell. We may wish to side with ignorance but our personal nemesis will not stop. We see signs of sin all around us. Our hatred for God is in a freefall with rebellion taking on many forms such as abortion, euthanasia, sexual debauchery, homosexuality and transgenderism and is visible proof of “hostilities” toward heaven. But hope is real and the God we oppose is the same Holy God who provides us with a way out of this turmoil. Sin may abound but His grace is more than enough to reconcile us to Himself that we may have peace with God. But exactly how?
The catharsis to our hopelessness and the solution to our sin problem is found in Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Try another way and you will fail. Making positive changes to our behavior cannot appease God’s wrath since we are powerless to change our own hearts that enslave us. We may attempt to modify things in our lives but the core of our being has been corrupted and that is something that no human being can fix. That being the case, it did seem like we were indentured to a life of sin and doomed to eternal separation from God in hell at our death. Yet, the conflict becomes a thing of the past once we place faith in Christ alone and admit our sinfulness to Him. He has conquered the law of sin at the cross. He has defeated the enemy in our hearts and reconciled the irreconcilable sinner to a Holy God through His own death. By no means is this like a negotiated peace accord, not close to it, since that would mean that the sinner remains as a passive adversary, not for or against. Rather Christ conquered our internal sin-laden heart and turned it from stone to flesh, to love God and resist sin so that we are no longer are at odds with God but instead are His loyal subjects. Just think of it as having your heart reprogrammed to the setting it was before the fall. Though we still sin, we no longer serve it nor do we desire to continue in it. Now the unbelieving heart will wish to convince you that you have no need for the gospel or Christ. But listen to the Holy Spirit. He wants you to think hard about your sins and their consequences and receive his gift of forgiveness and the offer of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, “but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7)