Have you ever heard either one of the following sayings?
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
“You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.”
Over the years there has been the pervasive belief that various forms of (civil or religious) legislation can create a sort of utopia; a society possessing a strong economy, healthy morality, and most of all---peace from crime and the threat of war.
History has clearly demonstrated that lasting peace cannot be legislated or enforced by humanity. Numerous governments across the globe, over millennia, have proven this. Dictatorships, monarchies, democracies and various mixtures of these three approaches, have all failed. Kingdoms have come and gone. Presidents have come and gone. Dictators have come and gone. Majority and minority governments within Canada have come and gone. To some extent or another, all rulers have promised peace and improved conditions to their supporters. But where are we at today? According to reputable historians, the 20th century was the bloodiest century to date. This, despite education, technological advances, access to clean water, etc. being at their highest growth rates in known history.
So what is the underlying issue?
The Bible, God’s written word to men and women, clearly demonstrates that humanity has a “heart condition”. This is a condition that heart surgery at your local hospital cannot fix! This heart condition is spiritual in nature and the Bible clearly teaches that all men and women suffer from the same ailment.
Consider this excerpt from God’s word: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
What is the solution then to our heart problem? Consider this teaching, also from the book of Jeremiah:
“Blessed is the man (or woman) who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
The solution? We are to trust in the Lord! Trusting the Lord includes obeying Him and submitting to His ways, which ultimately always turn out for our best. We cannot say that we trust the Lord if we refuse to heed His instruction. The Lord’s ways are primarily found by spending time with Him---by reading His word and by fellowshipping with other people who want to honour Him. This is the only way our “heart” can be changed. As we spend time in the Bible our mind is transformed and, subsequently, our attitudes and thought processes are changed to be more aligned with the Lord’s heart.
Consider this portion from the Bible:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
If we have placed our faith solely in Jesus alone, we can enjoy the hope given by the following scripture:
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)
This renewed and restored earth will occur when Jesus Christ returns to this earth at some point in the future. Although the year remains unknown, we can be assured that when Jesus returns, death will be defeated and righteousness will reign in an unprecedented way! This is the expectation of every believer.