The Greatest Issues of Our Time
What are the greatest issues of our time? With election season upon us, questions such as this are common to hear and think about. Polls show typical answers to be healthcare, safety, personal freedoms and liberties, breakdown of the family unit, hunger, job security and extremism - to name a few. We see inequality in our communities and disparities in how we are treated based on our socioeconomic status, the color of our skin, our gender, and where we were raised. For many of us, these issues bring us down at best and divide us at worst. They bring feelings of despair, angst and even anger.
As Christians, though, the greatest framework for how we view and approach these issues should not be our political affiliation, state of residence, level of education or even our upbringing. The lens with which we view all of the world is the Word of God – and Scripture has quite a bit to say about topics such as these.
For starters, Matthew 24 says that things are going to get worse. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. This passage talks about the days after Christ’s ascension into heaven before His final return. Christ says that lawlessness will increase, and the love of many will grow cold. Nations will rise against nations and there will be famines. Hatred and betrayal will be common. We know even from the first few pages of Scripture that the inclination of the human heart is towards evil (Genesis 6).
How do we engage this world, then? James 1 encourages us to be not just hearers of the Word, but also doers. We must hear first, and then be moved to action. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the words of the Bible, we must apply the truths of Scripture to how we live our lives. This means that we understand that there is an enemy prowling around. We lament brokenness. Like the words of Ephesians 6, though, we see that our battle is not against political opponents, extremists, institutions, estranged family members or our neighbor who belittles our beliefs. Our battle is against the spiritual forces at work behind the scenes in their lives and behind the scenes in our own life.
The enemy, which is not man but the father of lies, the satan, continues to prowl around looking to steal, kill and destroy. That’s the bad news. Trouble and strife will continue and even increase. But the good news is that while his lies are powerful, Christ is victorious. The Gospel is the greatest good, triumphing over evil and brokenness. If we live in a state of constant outrage, despair, discouragement, or panic, then we haven’t come to grips with the Bible’s description of the world. More so than that, we aren’t fully trusting in our coming, conquering, reigning King (see Revelation 21).
We have faith that the work of Jesus Christ to die on the cross and defeat death in resurrection is the ultimate victory! We see in his victory unity. His blood unites tongues, tribes and nations in the greatest bond we will ever know – radical, unyielding, sacrificial love. I am learning there is a difference in lamenting a situation and despairing over a situation. Jesus lamented over the state of Jerusalem in Matthew 23, but then He did something amazing. He went to work saving it, and His salvation - then, now and forevermore - is love. That should change both how we view and how we engage the greatest issues of our time. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students