Humans has had thousands of years to build societies and civilizations and experiment with governments, administrations and lifestyles. So why haven't we been able to solve our problems? Why does suffering still exist?
We have not succeeded in finding solutions to our pervasive problems because, in the final analysis, humanity simply does not know how to live. Solomon, king of ancient Israel, put it bluntly: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:12There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version×; 16:25).
Sadly, mankind has proved the truth of those words for generations. Under the rule of man the world has never seen a time that was free of war, strife, turmoil and suffering. Conditions are so grave that we have the ability to erase human life from earth many times over.
Why should this be?
Our world is threatened by overwhelming problems because we have rejected God. God Himself made this clear over the centuries through his prophets. Under God's inspiration, King David wrote of mankind: "They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one" (Psalms 14:1-3 Psalms 14:1-3 1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.
2 The LORD looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.
American King James Version×).
The prophet Jeremiah also noted that people are largely blinded by the deceit of their own evil motives and intents. "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
American King James Version×, New International Version).
Left to ourselves, we would eventually annihilate life from earth. Does this sound shocking? It is. But Jesus Christ Himself said it is true. Describing the time immediately before His return to earth, He said: "It will be a time of great distress, such as there has never been before since the beginning of the world, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God's chosen it will be cut short" (Matthew 24:21-212 Matthew 24:21-212 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Why if they shall say to you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near:
33 So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.
43 But know this, that if the manager of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.
47 Truly I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
American King James Version×, Revised English Bible).
Jesus Christ tells us He must intervene to save us from ourselves. The danger from the dark side of human thoughts and actions is real indeed.
None of us is immune to this dark side of human nature. Even the apostle Paul, years after his conversion to Christianity, struggled against such downward pulls. Notice how he describes this battle within himself:
"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate ... It is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me ... I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do ... Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:15-24 Romans 7:15-24 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
American King James Version×, New Revised Standard Version).
For most of the world, deliverance from the dark side of human nature will come only when Jesus Christ returns to save us from ourselves. But there is a way for you to overcome those dark downward pulls now. Be sure to read "May the Force—God's Power—Be With You". GN