Politicians, social scientists, and every man on the street argue about what’s wrong with the world. “It’s the government,” they say. “If we would just adopt this form of government,” (the one they agree with), “everything would be right.” There are as many ideas as there are people.
But we are wasting time. God has already clarified this, of course, as He has about any subject that matters.
There is only one primary thing wrong with the world. Paul identifies it in Galatians 5 as “the flesh.” It’s a term that means man in his humanity without God. Man on his own.
This can be man in an expensive suit or man in a ghetto. It makes no difference. Humanity is humanity, shot through with sinful depravity ever since the fall. And here is the inevitable result to society:
The deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NASB).
Read that list slowly. You will find the source of everything wrong in the world contained there. The only other factor conflicting this world is the force of darkness—Satan and his minions egging man on to be independent of God. He knows this will bring all the destruction needed.
The right and good in this world are equally from a single source, which Paul calls walking “by the Spirit.” He reminds us that if we walk by the Spirit, we will not (simply cannot) walk by the flesh.
You cannot walk in two directions at once—it’s physically impossible. If you have been born of the Spirit (a true Christian) and then daily follow His leadership, it will produce amazing fruit. In reality, divine fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
In fact, if you have a group of people who are fully following the Spirit, you do not even need law, for the Spirit of God, leading and flowing through them, will naturally fulfill all the law.
Our unwillingness to embrace this truth is dangerous. It causes us to take our eyes off of the real problem and look for different solutions.
It is why some preachers become political activists instead of biblical prophets. God may call some pastors to the political arena, but they must make sure it is God calling them there. And, if they lose the message of the simple, profound, world-changing gospel as the only answer, their results will be minimal at best.
This is not to say we should divorce ourselves from the political arena. But when we find ourselves there, we must maintain right thinking.
The real problem with man is our divorce from God. This is why our pursuit of revival and spiritual awakening is so critical. It is a cry to bring this understanding back to the church and set her on mission to do the only task that matters and lasts.
So, the next time some pundit with a big title weighs in on the world’s condition, remind them that any twelve-year-old who knows Christ can answer the great world question:
The reason the world is in a miserable condition is because we are not following Jesus. Our greatest quest should be to follow Him and lead people to Him.
Simple as that.