I don’t understand.
I don’t understand how people can hate each other. I don’t understand how people can be racist. I don’t understand how people can be violent. I don’t understand people’s bigotry toward others.
Maybe I don’t understand because I’ve tried so hard never to be any of those things: racist, bigot, violent, hater, intolerant. And I mean those terms in their true senses, not the perverted senses that have become so popular. Maintaining a Christian worldview in this country is becoming more and more difficult.
I hope you realize that those five words don’t describe Christians; they describe the liberals and their agenda. The liberal leftist totalitarians are the most racist, bigoted, violent, intolerant haters in this country. Just turn on the news; people are actually rioting in the streets because Trump won the presidency, fair and square. Did you see Republicans rioting in 2008 and 2012 when Obama won? No! Of course not. We all had jobs to go to and families to feed and communities to help and more important things than wasting time blocking roads with signs, calling for violence against Obama supporters. Sheer insanity.
Stop the world, I want to get off.
I suppose the problem, of course, goes all the way back to the Garden. See, before the Fall, God and the human race (that is, Adam and Eve) were on good terms. In fact, Adam and Eve loved God and God loved them. It was paradise. Well, when the human race became a bunch of sinners because of a couple in a garden eating some forbidden fruit, you can imagine that our once-perfect relationship with God was pretty messed up. Thanks, über-grandma Eve and über-grandpa Adam. (Disclaimer: though they got us into this mess, all the blame for our own sin falls on us.) We all inherited a sin nature from Adam because of that. This sin nature thing that we all have? Yeah, it tends to distort our thinking in rather frightening ways. We start calling evil good and good evil. We refuse to honor God as God, and suppress the truth, so becoming vain in our speculations and dark in our foolish hearts. We do evil things continuously without regard to God.
Thank goodness God didn’t stop history after the Garden. He’s always had a plan (which I personally think is really really awesome). From eternity past, way before the beginning of time, God made a plan to save sinners from two things: his wrath and their sin. You see, God can’t stand sin. It’s repulsive to him. Think, for a moment, about how much you despise Trump (or how much you despise Hillary); now magnify that times infinity plus infinity squared plus another infinity. That still doesn’t even come close to God’s dislike of sin. He abhors it.
So what does he do? God becomes a HUMAN BEING. Like, what in the heck. God the Son, the eternal second person of the Trinity, God of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten before all worlds; this perfectly holy, divine person humbled himself and became incarnate. That is, he became human. He took on human flesh. Oh, but by the way, he didn’t have a sin nature. He couldn’t sin. Totally human, yet never once did he sin. And you know what he did when he was on earth? He healed people. He loved people. He preached to people. He commanded repentance. And he died on a cross, bearing the full wrath of God against sin on behalf of whoever comes to him in faith and repentance. And guess what? Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose again. He defeated death. “That’s not possible!” you might say. Well of course it isn’t possible! That’s the point! God can do that which is impossible for man to do.
What’s repentance? Repentance is saying no to sin, basically. It’s a change of mind away from sin and towards righteousness. Repentance is recognizing one’s sinful status before God (you know, the guy that abhors sin) and turning away from those sins for good.
What’s faith? Well, it’s a deep and abiding trust in Jesus Christ that he is who he says he is (that is, Lord of all creation, the Savior, God, etc.) and that God raised him from the dead. You trust in him for salvation. After you’ve turned away from your sins, you cling to the man who became sin on your behalf so that you could be in right standing with God.
So. Here’s the skinny: God is completely holy and absolutely hates sin. Guess what: you’re really really sinful. So, you and God are enemies. How can we fix this? Well, you can’t, but the good news is, that’s what Jesus came to do. For all who turn from their sin, and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, there is complete forgiveness of sins, turning away of wrath, and reconciliation between them and God. So what are you waiting for? God has literally shown you the way to a right relationship with him, and you haven’t taken him up on his offer yet?
This is the answer to all of our problems. God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice and the Holy Spirit within me are the reasons I cannot be bigoted, or hateful, or violent. I can call sin what it is; I can exhort you to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. That’s not bigotry; that’s love.
We’ll only ever truly love one another if we first love God. And we’ll only ever love God because he loved us first, and sent his Son to die. That’s true love.