Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Good Invasion

How can we explain this world we live in? There is so much good in it. There is so much wrong with it. We can see it as wonderful world and try to relegate the bad things to something superficial. (We need to be positive and everything will be well.) But confronted with the real facts of the world or even our own lives, this viewpoint seems to crumble. Outside of Scripture I know of only two arguments against the world being basically good. All of human history and all of human experience. Or we can take the view that the world is a nasty place and that is just the way it is. (We must be strong and endure the world with its absurdities.) But if this is really how the world should be, why do we criticize it? Where do we get the standard to do so? And why, in the midst of the chaos, do we find things that reflect that kind of goodness and rightness that we seek but are not consistently able to find in reality as a whole? Is there another answer?

I would submit that the answer that best makes sense of our situation is the Christian one. The world as it was originally created by the hand of God was good (Genesis 1:31; 1 Timothy 4:4,5; James 1:17). But human beings rebelled against God, and as a result evil has come into the world (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 8:19-23; 5:12-21) and we are sinners in rebellion against God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9). We are also told there are evil spiritual forces in control of this world as a result of mankind's rebellion, who are instigating evil in this world (Ephesians 2:1-3; Hebrews 2:14,15; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4).  But we still see in that world the remnants of the original goodness (Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:15-17; Romans 2:14,15). This fits with what we see in the world, a good world that has gone bad.

But because of this we have a basis for a solution. If the present world is basically good, we must ignore the depths of the problem. If the evil of the world is how it is supposed to be, the situation is hopeless. But if this world is a good world created by God, and it was corrupted by sin, then He can set it right again. To do this, God became a man (John 1:1-14; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:9,10) and paid the price we needed to pay for our rebellion against the true King (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and opened the way for us to be reconciled to God through faith in Him (Romans 4:4,5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Philippians 3:9). And ultimately He will return the world to its original state of perfection at His Second Coming (Revelation 21:1-4; Philippians 3:20-21; 2 Peter 3:8-13). Christmas therefore is the beachhead for the good invasion, which God has begun. The question is, which side do we want to be on?

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