Thursday, December 19, 2013

He Came Looking for Us

Remember in the old westerns (or similar stories) where the heroine has been captured by villains or the fort is under attack or some other catastrophe has happened. Then the hero grabs his hat, straps on his six-gun, mounts his horse, and rides to the rescue. The story of Christmas and the story of Christianity is similar. When we were helpless sinners and unable to save ourselves, God took on flesh and came to our rescue (Romans 5:6-8; 3:21-26; John 3:13-21). This is a message that is different from that of all the other faiths in the world.

We, as human beings, have come up with all sorts of world views to try to explain the universe. While some try to leave Him out totally, many types of belief consist in our searching for God. And while we have looked many different places and tried many different approaches, they have all ended in question marks (Acts 17:24-29; 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). There have been numerous systems built, a multitude of ideas proposed, but no solid basis for deciding which is right. But it is hard to avoid the impression that there is something wrong with the world we live in. There are wars, crime, hatred, and disasters, and again there are all sorts of theories and no real answers. We can try to say that what we see is normal, that it is the way it is supposed to be. But then we are left with the question, why do our minds revolt against it? As C. S. Lewis points out, one of the problems with the problem of evil is that if there is no God, where do we get the standard to judge this world as evil? In the end, the only thing that makes sense of the world that is, is the Christian idea that we live in a world under sin and a curse (Romans 8:19-23; 5:12-21; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4). The standard we hold is true, for it is the original standard, but we have departed far from it. And all our attempts to find the answer and solve the problem fall short. And we can hope that, with a little more trying or a little more education, we can find the answer. But we are left with the nagging feeling it is beyond our capacity to solve.

Then when all seems lost and the cause seems hopeless, the hero comes riding to our rescue. God Himself comes down from His throne and comes looking for us (John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:9-18). He dies to pay the price for our sin (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and proves it by rising from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-20; Romans 1:4; 4:25). And He rescues those from sin and death and hell who put their faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). However, though this has taken place, there are still many who are looking for God in all the wrong places. But they should let themselves be found by Him.

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