Well, it’s here! The last day of August! Perhaps I sound a bit upset that summer is over, but I am actually enjoying the change of seasons. For example, I have noticed a marked increase in my hummingbird activity. I’m wondering if they aren’t moving through to warmer weather. My mother and I were also discussing the same thing regarding Goldfinches. Soon, we’ll start seeing Robins again. It’s all quite fun to watch.
Yesterday, we logically eliminated all world views except the Big Three – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – by establishing non-contradicting, absolute truth through the creation of the world by a supreme being. I’ll refer you to Lee Strobel for a thorough examination of the legitimacy of Christianity. In general, no other faith contains anything remotely close to the fulfilled prophecy, historical integrity of ancient documents, archeological evidence, miracles, radically-changed lives, and even the proven resurrection of the dead. Yes, Judaism is the root faith of Christianity, but this faith ignores their own scripture. Islam started centuries later out of the same history (affirmed) yet subsequently discredits both others by saying the other two scriptures have been corrupted so that neither can be relied on for anything. Islam is based upon a lie.
In the end, if Christianity is true, all the other religions have been established on falsehood and are inherently dishonest. It is not possible to make something good with contaminated ingredients. We see this in the overall condition of man. Yes, there are pockets of good, such as the nation coming together in the rescue of Hurricane Harvey victims. Day-to-day, our news is full of strife. There seems to be an answer but the entire world seems a loss to improve our condition. As I said yesterday, it is self-evident that our man-made religion, including atheism and all of politics, is futile.
Indeed, this is the claim of Christianity. The Apostle Paul is absolutely captivating with his explanation of our faith in letter to Romans. As far as I can see, no other religion addresses the personal responsibility of sin to the depth of Christianity. All other faiths assert one way or another that man is able to work him/herself out of the consequences of individual actions. Not so with Christianity. Let’s not confuse ourself, folks, God is not a menu for us to pick and choose. If God is true, He is true. We’ve established that, like it or not.
The problem for man is this is a fact we deliberately choose to ignore.
Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Is this an accurate representation of the human condition? I think it is, especially considering the seeming countless varieties of faith (including the faith in atheism). Are we futile in our thinking? Yes. Have we become fools? Yes. This isn’t a condition for just today but for all time. We see throughout history an almost endless number of man-made religion – just as we do today. Paul is quite accurate in this. He is also quite accurate as he describes the consequences of this.
Romans 1:24-25 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
He goes on to describe the actual activities man succumbs himself to. This is the world as it has been since the fall. It is just as relevant today as it was at the beginning.
Paul goes in to great length in Chapter 2 and much of Chapter 3 to the fact that NO ONE is exempt from this. No one ever has been nor ever will be able to claim that they have been sinless or been able to correct their sinful condition on their own. No one – as in every single person ever born or to be born, except one.
If this is true, it is true for every single person, always. It’s a fact. We’ll cover the rest of Chapter 3 tomorrow. For a preview, we are going to establish that ultimate consequences of our futile thinking and foolish hearts. We’ll also cover the hope we have. Still, we are a ways away from answering that question.
Father, keep the wheels turning! Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers