God’s Answer for What’s Happening

As we look around at what’s happening in the world, we might question whether society will ever change. Have we gone too far? Is there hope?

We must never forget that God did say, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). All things are possible as we turn to God.

We must also remember that God did warn us about what it would be like in the last days. — “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves . . .” (2 Tim. 3:1-2)

Keep in mind that God doesn’t force His way on people. He gives opportunity upon opportunity for people to turn to Him but at some point when they keep rejecting Him, He gives them over to their own ways. — “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Rom. 1:28)

Should we then just throw up our hands as though there is nothing that can be done about it? Should we just give in and accept the world’s standards?

God’s Answer Can be Found in Three Truths:

1) Personal Accountability

God’s answer is that His people should continue living according to His Word. We are personally accountable for holding on to God’s truth regardless of what is happening around us. Be sure to notice the capitalized words in the verses below.

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. BUT AS FOR YOU, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of . . . All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful . . . (2 Tim. 3:12-17)

2) Individuals Matter

As we see in the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin, every individual person matters to God. Do not minimize the value of helping those you can.

There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Lk. 15:10)

3) God Himself Needs to be the Focus

God’s answer, then, is that it does matter how we personally live and that He can and will use His Church to affect change but we need to have the right focus. If the core problem, according to Romans 1, is that people’s hearts became darkened because they “exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” then we have to focus on “the truth about God” more than the problems in the world.

Yes, we do need to stand for truth about the various issues, but first and foremost we need to promote the truth about who God is. Until people see Him as the Sovereign One who not only has the right to set the standard for right and wrong but whose very character defines it, they have no reason to change. Until people see that while He is a holy God, He is also a gracious and forgiving God whose Almighty power is sufficient to affect change for their good, they have no hope for transformation.

Where are you putting the focus? What are you presenting as the answer?

What in the World is Happening?

As Bible-believing Christians we might talk a lot about how we don’t like what is happening in the world. Too often, however, we focus on the symptoms and fail to address the core problem. We zero in on specific behaviors and forget that they are merely symptomatic. The reality is that we aren’t going to be able to affect change if all we do is express how unhappy we are about this issue or that issue.

We need to start by understanding God’s viewpoint of why we are in this current state. Then we are ready to look at answers, the topic of the next post. (Subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts.)

At the Core of What’s Happening in the World:

What we are seeing is the result of a belief system that does not view God as supreme, whose holy character guides us and whose power enables us. As a result, hearts are not turning to Him, trusting that His ways are right and best, trusting that change in aligning with Him is possible. Instead, what we see are hearts that are self-absorbed and self-determining of right from wrong.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. (Rom. 1:21-22)

To think that we know better than God is foolish. As we read in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” When we become gods unto ourselves the result soon becomes evident in all sorts of dysfunctional and destructive behavior.

Addressing the Symptoms Doesn’t Work

Until God has His rightful place, merely addressing the symptoms seems like little more than putting a band-aid on a life-threatening, cancerous tumor. The solution seems ridiculous because the basis for it isn’t there. Many people don’t even believe there is a problem, which happens when God isn’t the standard, so why would the answers we have to offer make sense or affect change?

Let’s get beyond the symptoms and address the core of the matter. Let’s peel off the bandage and deal with the cancer.

Thankful for You, MinTools.com Site Visitors

When the idea came to me to write a post expressing thanks for those who visit the MinTools.com site, I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s expressions of gratitude for those he was able to serve. He thanked God because of:

  • their faith that was being reported all over the world (Rom. 1:8)
  • God’s grace given to them in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:4-5)
  • reports about their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all the saints (Eph. 1:15-16; Col. 1:3-4)
  • their partnership in the gospel and knowing that God would complete the work He began (Phil. 1:3-5)
  • their work produced by faith and their labor prompted by love and their endurance inspired by hope in Christ (1 Thess. 1:2)
  • their faith growing and their love increasing (2 Thess. 1:3)

I must admit that of the many people who visit this site, I know very little about you.  But I do know that . . .

You come from all over the world.  So, I thank God for each one’s faith and love and how He uses you where you are.  Together we are a light for Him in this world (Matt. 5:16).  May God be glorified as a result. 

You, like me, can do nothing apart from that which He supplies (Jn. 15:5; 2 Pet. 1:3).  So, I thank God for His grace in your life to bring you to Himself in salvation and for His enablement in your life to serve Him effectively.  If God is using Ministry Tools Resource Center to bless you and encourage you in your life and ministry, I praise Him.  But, I also realize that it is really God who enriches you in every way (1 Cor. 1:5).  This site is nothing without Him working through it.

You obviously desire to better serve our wonderful Lord and/or equip others to serve.  So, I thank God for a partnership, of sorts, with each other as we seek to line up with Him and His ways.  As you use the material on this site, passing on what you have learned to others, who in turn help others (2 Tim 2:2), there is a multiplication process that happens which I view as very exciting, blessing my heart beyond measure.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  (Eph. 3:20-21)

Ready for the Second Coming of the Lord?

Second Coming of Jesus ChristThroughout the years people have been convinced that Jesus would return at any moment.

Anyone remember back to the early 1970’s to Hal Lindsey’s best selling book, The Late Great Planet Earth, and also the film, A Thief in the Night? (Maybe I’m dating myself!) We were ready for Christ to come.  But, the 70’s and 80’s went by and still no Jesus.

There was a lot of talk about the world coming to an end at the turn of the millennium.  Remember all the Y2K alarmists?  A decade later and Jesus still hasn’t come!

As Christians, we should always be ready:  “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Be on guard!  Be alert!  You do not know when that time will come” (Mark 13:32-33).

So, let me ask you a couple of questions:

First and foremost, are you ready to meet the Lord?  Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Are you resting solely on the all-sufficiency of the work that Christ did on the cross for your salvation?

Click on the link for a list of resources that can help you better understand salvation:  Becoming a Christian

Second, if you do know Him, are you ready to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ?  This judgment is not a time to determine your eternal destiny.  That was taken care of when you put your trust in Christ alone to save you.  The Judgment Seat of Christ is for those whose destiny is already determined in heaven with Jesus forever.  This judgment is for what you have done with what He has given you  —“his work will be shown for what it is … the fire will test the quality of each man’s work” (1 Cor. 3:13).

Ministry Tools Resource Center exists to help you be ready for that day — to help you use what He has given you effectively and with eternal impact.  At the core is discovering, developing, and using your spiritual gifts.

Sanctity of Human Life – When God is Our Standard

When God is our standard or authority on the sanctity of human life, we find a consistency from conception to old age in how people should be valued.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Ps. 139:13-17)

Gray hair is a crown of splendor. (Prov. 16:31) The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. (Prov. 20:29) Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.  (Ps. 71:18)

When God is our standard or authority on the sanctify of human life, we find a consistency in all stages and conditions of life in how people should be viewed.

Gen. 1:27 – “all” created in the image and likeness of God
2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Pet. 3:18 – Christ died for “all”

When God is our standard or authority on the sanctify of human life, we find a consistency in commands and instruction on how people who are oppressed, needy, or defenseless should be treated.

Sampling of verses:  Ps. 68:5; 82:3, James 1:27, 1 Jn. 3:17

When God is not the standard, we find inconsistency because sanctity of human life is based on personal opinion, scientific interpretation, or circumstances which are individualistic or relative rather than universal or absolute.   Some lives could therefore be considered more valuable than others.  Further, the same life could be valued in some settings or times but not in others.

Sanctity of Human Life – What’s the Real Issue?

At the root of one’s view of the social issues about human life is a moral choice one makes about life.  Even deeper, however, is the choice we make about who determines morality.

The Social Issues:

abortion, human embryo research, human cloning, euthanasia, what to do with people who are disabled, etc.

The Moral Issues:  ethics

Who should be protected and defended and who can be abused or destroyed?

Who should be given value and who can be disregarded and viewed as inferior?

Who should be treated with dignity and respect and who can be mocked or robbed of dignity?

The Deeper Issues:  authority

Do we listen to what the media tells us?  Does a plethora of propaganda make something right?

Do we go with what government allows?  Does legalization make something right?

Do we adhere to scientific theory?  Does someone’s interpretation of science make something right?

Do we hold to what seems expedient?  Do circumstances make something right?

Do we look for a source outside of ourselves?  Does God determine what is right?

How you handle the social issues are mere symptoms of your ethics.  Ethics stem from your basis of authority in making ethical decisions.  So, the real issue is how reliable your authoritative base is for making life and death decisions.