What’s wrong with the world? It may well be likened to a ship at sea, without captain, compass, helm, or chart, with all radio contact lost, at the mercy of a mutinous crew. Our world is in desperate straits and headed for disaster.
And it is all so needless! God has given his Son to be Captain and his Spirit as the helm to guide through the perils of life. He has given the Holy Scriptures as man’s chart and compass. And he has even set up a two-way means of communication with himself—prayer.
To reject the authority of the Holy Scriptures is to be tossed hither and yon by the conflicting opinions of men. To reject Jesus Christ as Saviour of the soul and Lord of life is to choose the course of folly. To refuse the guidance of the Holy Spirit is to go on in darkness. To neglect prayer is to lose the channel to and from God’s infinite love and wisdom.
It would be the height of folly to try to steer a ship without the necessary means of navigation; and with a mutinous crew aboard, nothing less than disaster could be expected. How then can we look for anything better for a world that is run by men who ignore the Captain and Owner and trust in their own wisdom even while they live in rebellion?
What’s wrong with the world?
Is it not drifting helplessly toward the rocks of destruction because it is no longer anchored in God’s holy truth, the only foundation for time and for eternity? Is it not blind to the solution of its problems because it has rejected God’s answer and his way in favor of its own?
The wisdom of this world inevitably produces a faulty compass and manmade chart. It offers “guidance” that steers in the wrong direction. It communicates with men but not with God. And it readily accepts the leadership of Satan, the ancient enemy of souls. Most deplorable of all, perhaps, is the fact that one hears in the cacophony of voices those of other mutineers—false prophets who should be leaders but who now deny the authority of the Captain and the accuracy of his chart and compass.
And so, like dumb animals being led to slaughter, men and nations rush on in their folly until judgment falls. Like a ship helpless in the storm, they are caught in the waves of judgment, to perish on the rocks of futility.
“Crisis,” “revolution,” “change”—these are the words of today. No one would deny that the world is in crisis. There are seemingly insoluble problems. There is a cry for revolution and change. But the crisis is not found at the point where men place it, nor can it be met by the revolutionary changes many advocate.
Man fails to see that the “crisis” stems from his rejection or ignoring of God. Revolution and change is needed in the hearts of men, not primarily in their environment. The solution of the world’s problems is far removed from any organization. It rests in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
But the mutinous crew of earth-bound strategists reject God’s solution in favor of something they hope to concoct. Philosophers rise no higher than the acme of human wisdom and understanding. Scientists discover no more than what God has created. False prophets deny the verities of the faith while they deify man and humanize God. Little wonder that the rebellion grows, even as danger looms nearer.
Men and nations need to heed God’s warning:
“What fools the nations are to rage against the Lord! How strange that men should try to outwit God!
“For a summit conference of the nations has been called to plot against the Lord and His Messiah, Christ the King.
“ ‘Come, let us break His chains,’ they say, ‘and free ourselves from all this slavery to God.’
“But God in heaven merely laughs! He is amused by all their puny plans.
“And then in fierce fury He rebukes them and fills them with fear.
“For the Lord declares, ‘This is the King of My choice, and I have enthroned Him in Jerusalem, My holy city.’
“His chosen One replies, ‘I will reveal the everlasting purposes of God, for the Lord has said to Me, “You are My Son. This is Your Coronation Day. Today I am giving You Your glory.” ’
“ ‘Only ask and I will give You all the nations of the world.
“ ‘Rule them with a rod of iron; smash them like pots!’ ”
“O kings and rulers of the earth, listen while there is time.
“Serve the Lord with reverent fear; rejoice with trembling.
“Fall down before His Son and kiss His feet before His anger is roused and you perish. I am warning you—His wrath will soon begin. But, oh, the joys of those who put their trust in Him!” (Psalm 2, from Living Psalms, paraphrased by Kenneth Taylor; copyright Tyndale House Foundation, 1967; used by permission).
What’s wrong with the world?
Nothing that cannot be solved by God’s love and grace! Why, then, is man determined to go his way and solve his own problems without reference to God, thus making shipwreck of his world?
If there is nothing wrong with men and nations for which God has not made full provision, the difficulty, then, obviously lies with man’s own pride, unbelief, and disobedience, which have culminated in a situation in many ways analogous to that of the ship described above.
And this is where the Church comes into the picture. To the Church has been entrusted the Gospel of redemption. It exists to witness to its Lord. Its chart and compass are the Holy Scriptures. Its contact is with the throne of grace, and its message is directed to the mutineers.
God forbid that the church should fail to evaluate the situation rightly; that it should bypass the message of salvation in favor of social action or anything else; that it should sin against the Lord by playing down his person and work; that it should find fault with the Bible, its sole chart and compass; that it should overlook the duty and privilege of prayer; and, worst of all, that it should join itself with the mutineers!
The siren call for revolution and reformation is heard on every hand. This appeals to man’s pride of accomplishment.
But the call of God is for men to be reconciled to him through the blood of his Son shed on the Cross of Calvary.
Man continues today as always to find this an “offense” because of its demand for humility, faith, and obedience.
We know of the danger of continued refusal to heed God’s call.
How do we respond?
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