Mankind indeed has a deep spiritual problem—a deadly virus that has infected us and leads us into sin and death. It is our wicked, evil, selfish, self-centered and self-seeking way of thinking that inevitably leads to discord, conflict, hatred, violence and war.
By now we’ve grown used to seeing the world cursed by a deadly virus. We’ve seen chaos around the globe as nations have tried to cope with this enemy—one that’s unseen but all too painfully real. It has wreaked a great deal of havoc in people’s lives and continues its work of destruction and death. Governments desperately search for a cure, but none has yet been found. So we continue to hope desperately for a solution.
You probably assume I’m talking about the coronavirus, Covid-19. But I’m not. I’m talking about something far worse, far more widespread, and far deadlier.
I’m talking about the evil of the human heart. And as the destructive effects of Covid-19 and responses to it have been clear in recent months, so have the destructive effects of the evil of the human heart. We’ve seen it in the burnt-out hulks of buildings, the destroyed and looted businesses, the piles of shattered storefront glass, the spray-painted profanities, and most of all in the anguished cries of families grieving for lost loved ones whose lives were taken far too soon.
Where does this spirit and attitude come from? And when and how will it end?
The subtitle of Beyond Today is “A Magazine of Understanding.” We call it that because we write from a unique perspective—the perspective of God’s Word, the Holy Bible. We believe this Book is the priceless revelation of God to mankind.
And through it we recognize that the underlying causes of humanity’s problems are spiritual in nature. They are rooted in our spiritual flaws and shortcomings. And because of this, our human-caused plagues such as crime, violence, hatred, racism, oppression, injustice and war have been with us for as long as human beings have existed on the earth. And they will remain with us until the spiritual solution is implemented.
What is humankind’s deep spiritual flaw? Most people tend to think that people are basically good. But the Bible—the inspired revelation of our Creator to mankind—shows something very different. Notice what God’s Word says we are really like. Speaking of humankind, it tells us:
• “The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths” (Isaiah 59:8, English Standard Version, emphasis added throughout).
• “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9, New Living Translation).
• “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one . . . Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18).
I could cite many more passages, but you get the picture. We deceive ourselves if we think human beings are basically good. We deceive ourselves if we think we personally are basically good. God’s Word spells it out for us very clearly—reread these passages above!
Yes, mankind indeed has a deep spiritual problem—a deadly virus that has infected us and leads us into sin and death. It is our wicked, evil, selfish, self-centered and self-seeking way of thinking that inevitably leads to discord, conflict, hatred, violence and war. The pattern has been with us since Cain killed his brother Abel in a fit of jealousy and rage. And today we continue to kill our brother, only on a vastly larger scale and with ever-increasing efficiency.
So what’s the solution? God has a plan. He doesn’t leave us without hope. His solution is a spiritual heart transplant.
Let’s read about this astounding promise in Ezekiel 36:26: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them . . . you shall be My people, and I will be your God.”
That new heart comes through the transformative power of God’s Holy Spirit. It’s not something we can accomplish on our own. This spiritual transformation is something only God can provide. And as seen in the prophecy above, this is what He will offer to the entire world after Jesus Christ returns.
But you and I don’t have to wait until then! He wants to do this for us now. However, it’s up to us to take the first steps. What does that involve? He tells us plainly:
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
This is a process the Bible calls repentance—turning from our own human ways of thinking and living to instead thinking and living as God wants us to. It means abandoning our selfish, sin-sick ways that have brought so much suffering and sorrow on our world and becoming loving sons and daughters of God.
Are you willing to seek the cure for the deadliest virus?