Why the world is like it is

warThe age-old question that has for hundreds of years vexed philosophers, theorists, social-scientists, and all thinking people, is this: why is the world like it is?

Think about all the greed, the road rage, the human trafficking, the extra-marital affairs, the exploitation of women in pornography, the bullying in primary schools, the rape and murder of the 15 year old in Masiphumelele this last week, the rich directors of mining houses who exploit their workers, the greedy FIFA executives charged with corruption, and the list never ends.

Why is the world like it is, that is the question that no one can answer.

Human atrocities

In World War II, which lasted 6 years, 1939-1945, most historians estimate that 75 million people died, including military personnel and civilians.

Many of the civilians died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombing and starvation.  Human beings died directly and indirectly at the hands of other human beings.  In 1945 the United Nations was established to be a gathering of nations so that there would be no more wars. There has been more war since the establishment of the UN that before.

Why is the world like it is?  Why is there so much sin and evil and exploitation in the world and, if we are honest, in our own hearts?

Alternative theories

Secular humanists would say it’s because of a lack of education.  Buddhists would say it’s because of a failure to find oneself.  Behaviourists would say it’s because of lack of nurture by parents.  Evolutionists would say that it’s the inevitable outcome of our inbuilt instinct for the survival of the fittest.  Typically religious people would say it’s because we’re not trying hard enough to be nice.  Many people growing up in our post-modern world, where there is no absolute truth, would not even know where to start to answer the question.

Why is world like it is today?

Suppressors and exchangers

The Bible gives us the answer, particularly in Romans 1:18-32.  The answer is not what most people want to hear; it’s not very politically correct.  You see, the Bible is the only book in our world that is able to tell us why the world is like it is.   The Bible is fundamentally a realistic book: it calls a spade a spade; it tells it like it is

According to the Bible, and particularly Romans 1, the world is like it is because human beings have suppressed the truth about God (v18) and have exchanged the worship of the one True God for created things (v21-23).  God has handed us over to our own desires (v24, 28-31) and we are now under God’s wrath (v18). This is not the politically correct answer, but this is reality.

The gospel, however, provides a way for us to be declared righteous and escape God’s wrath.  If we don’t understand the bad news of the human predicament and God’s wrath, we won’t appreciate the good news of the gospel.

The full exposition of Romans 1:18-32 is here.

 

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