A man who was apprehended recently before he could commit a mass shooting made the statement that the world doesn’t work. In the context that he said that he was right, society doesn’t work. Politicians act on expediency rather than on what’s best for the country. Famous people who many others look up to cheat on getting their children into preferred universities and racial hatred abounds. The shooter in Texas was targeting Mexicans and he repeated President Trump’s discriminatory rhetoric. Bullying of others on the Internet and in-person is common, and it has caused numerous suicides. Women rally for the right to kill their own children by aborting them. Some jr. high and high schools are thinking about letting boys who think they’re girls use the girl’s restrooms and locker rooms to show that the school is not biased against the boy’s misguided sense of gender. So yes, society isn’t working the way it should. But that doesn’t justify violence in any form.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, has had a murder or serious shooting almost every day this year, and many other cities have similar statistics. Human life has become devalued to the point that assault and murder are commonplace. That is because the concept of self has become devalued. If someone doesn’t value and respect themselves they can’t have respect for and value others.
God loves and values all people. He created humans as His highest creation, and said it was good. John wrote that God loves everyone so much that He gave His only begotten Son to a horrific death so that those who accept Him as their Savior will live with God forever (John 3:16). No greater love has one for another than to give his or her life for the other. God did that for you so that if you accept Christ as your Savior you will be saved. So, God values your life to the point that He gave Jesus’ life for you. And, if God values your life and all other peoples’ lives, then you and everyone else is of high value. You are important to God. Therefore, violence against others isn’t justified.
How then do we cope with a society that’s broken? How do we deal with others who don’t respect and value themselves, much less others? The first answer to that question is very carefully! Treat others decently, and excuse yourself from situations that may become dangerous. Be careful about responding to online and in-person offers that seem to be too good, because they are most likely scams. Check out businesses with the Better Business Bureau and on Google and other reviewers before doing business with them.
The second and most important way to deal with the world is to follow God’s plan for dealing with others. The Bible tells us to treat others as you would have them treat you. But people with low self-esteem often feel that they shouldn’t be treated well. The Bible also tells us to treat others as Christ has treated you, and to follow His example in dealings with others. God made the universe and He made you. Society works as it should work only as he has designed it to work. The secular world doesn’t function well because it follows human desires rather than God’s commandments. And ultimately, human desires are founded on pride, the original sin committed by Adam and Eve.
Psalm 1 gives us the plan for overcoming the world: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1,2). If you do follow Christ’s commands for life then your life will become much better than you could have dreamed of it becoming: “But the God of grace, who has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1Peter 5:10).
Sin does not have dominion over those who “have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back”, as the song lyrics go: “For sin has no dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). But that does not mean that you can continue on in your old ways. See all of Romans 6.
The Christian life isn’t an easy one. Jesus said that in the world we will have troubles, but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Peter tells us that “for as much as Christ has suffered for you in the flesh, to arm yourself likewise with the same mind, for if you have suffered in the flesh it is because you have ceased from sin. (1 Peter 4:2). Biblical Greek had both active and passive verbs. Ceased here means not that you have done something, but that something was done to you. In other words, you didn’t stop committing sins, but they are no longer attributed to your account in God’s book, and that you should no longer “live the rest of time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” Compare the example of the leper being healed in Leviticus14:1-8. The leper does nothing in and of himself to be healed. Nor does the priest heal him. It is the intervention of God in his life that heals him.
We cannot tempt God. Tempt in the New Testament is the word bowkhan, meaning to test, as in testing a metal, or to examine, or investigate. When Satan told Jesus to throw Himself down from a high place because God would save Him, Jesus replied that it is written that we should not tempt God ( Matthew 4:7; Deuteronomy 6:16). In other words, don’t deliberately walk out into traffic expecting God to keep cars from hitting you. You are Christ’s ambassador here on earth. God acts in society today through His ambassadors, His people who are Christians, including Messianic Jews.
Society is a collection of individuals, so correcting society starts with you as an individual. And, that includes me and all other Christians. Society needs to return to God. Our elected leaders, like King David, need to follow God rather than what will get them re-elected based on secular popularity. If we do that then the United States will prosper. If we don’t follow Him, then our society will diminish, and may even fail. The Old Testament’s historical books give account after account of Israel failing when it turned from God and followed worldly ways. The Jews prospered only when they followed God’s direction. Likewise, this country will prosper only if it returns to following God’s direction even if we don’t like the way He guides us. A popular bumper sticker several decades back said, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it”. The error in that remark is that what God says is settled regardless of whether or not we like or believe it. It borders on blasphemy to imply that God’s sovereignty depends on His creation’s sanction.
This country is experiencing an unprecedented amount of natural disasters, and it will continue to do so until this country which was founded “under God” returns to His direction. Sodom, Gomorrah, and several other cities were completely wiped off the face of the world because they followed their lusts rather than God. We are getting our warnings. God said that if there were just 10 righteous people in Sodom, He would spare the city. The United States certainly has more than 10 true Christians. I’m convinced that this country exists today because of that fact. If we as a nation humble ourselves, repent of our secular, prideful ways and return to God’s leadership then-and only then- will this country truly prosper.
It is up to the true Christians to be proactive ambassadors for Christ. We need to write or email or representatives in local government and in Washington urging them to bring this country back to be once again a nation under God. All of us individual Christians need to band together and let this country know what is in store for us if we don’t return to God, and the time to start is now.