Lets’ Make The World Less Uncomfortable
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21 :4 NIV)
This is one of God’s last promises to mankind found in the Bible. It talks about a future in which the world has changed. Not like when we humans say that we’ve changed the world, but a truly radical paradigmatic change confirmed by the fact that sin and death no longer exist. Now that’s true change!
We’ve tried, but…
For centuries, men have tried to change the world through science, politics, social initiatives, philanthropy, etc., and to this day no one has been able to succeed. There’s been progress in some areas of life on earth, but in many ways our world is undeniably a dangerous place, and it will continue to be so no matter what we do, because we don't have the power to truly change it. At least, not to the point of being able to say that sin and death no longer exist. Now, what I’m about to say next might be shocking to you, but the reason why we don't have the power to truly change the world is because it’s simply not our role. It is not the role of political leaders, businessmen, or nonprofit executives to change the world. It is not even the Church’s role. And before you object, let me explain:
The book of Genesis tells us about the historic and tragic moment when sin entered the world and how this event completely turned our existence upside down. Since then, humanity has been in survival mode and we all suffer in a multitude of ways (hate, racism, terrorism, rape, theft, deception, corruption, lust, etc.). All these evils we are witnessing are consequences of the presence of a deadly “virus” that makes our world so dangerous: sin. And as long as it will be a part of the human experience, there is nothing we can do humanly to truly change the world, for we do not have the power to destroy sin, even with all our knowledge, science, financial resources and good will.
To Truly Change the World
To truly change the world, we would need to get rid of sin once and for all, but we humans unfortunately do not have the power to do that. The most we can do is make the world (or the human experience) a little less uncomfortable. Imagine a man lying on a bed at a hospital, and for whom death is certain. The doctors have tried everything to cure him, to save him, but nothing worked. So they finally face the reality of death. The only thing that is left for them to do is to transfer the man to palliative care in an effort to make his last days less uncomfortable. They give him the medication that will help ease the pain while waiting for death to take him away. Well, it's the same for our world: when we say we want to “change it”, in reality all we do is try to make the human experience less uncomfortable, and we do it through science, business, education, politics, social initiatives, etc. All these things contribute to ease the pain that characterizes life on earth. All our human initiatives contribute to making the world less uncomfortable, but they don't truly change the world, because whatever we do, the sin that makes our world such a dangerous place is still here.
What Can We Hope For?
If we can't change the world, then what can we hope for? Well, this is where faith takes on its full meaning! When Jesus said, as he was on the cross: "It is all done", he was inaugurating the very change that only God can bring about: he defeated sin and death for all of us, so that through faith in him we can have a part in this historic victory of eternal value. Only God has the power to truly change this world which he created, and he wants to give all of us the opportunity to enter into the great promise I quoted earlier. God wants to give a new world as a gift to all who believe in Jesus. If you haven’t done it yet, will you respond to his invitation? As you're reading this, you may be willing and at the same time wondering how to respond and begin your spiritual journey with Jesus. Well, that's precisely why the Church exists. I said earlier that the role of the Church is not to change the world. The role of the Church is to announce this good news to mankind and to welcome all who believe, in order to prepare them to enter into the promise of God when the time comes. It is within the Church that we come to meet God, that we learn who he is and who we are. It is within this spiritual community that God educates, transforms and purifies us before changing the world to give it to us again. And if you're wondering why it's taking so long, why hasn't God come to change the world once and for all? There is a Bible passage that answers this question:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
Note: This article was first published on Promise Keepers Canada / Impactus website.