Why you need this Gospel

Date: 13 Mar 2022

Sermon Text: Luke 3:1-20

Speaker: Pastor Luwin Wong

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It appears to me, that there are two self-evident realities regarding the world.

  1. The world is not as it should be. This world is broken, it’s fractured, it’s messy. It’s not all as it should be. Which is why songs written, calling us to “heal the world”, which is why we have campaigns urging us to “save the planet”. But try as we might, chaos and destruction are woven into the very fabric of our reality. There is pain and evil, suffering in this world. This seems to be one self-evident, incontrovertible, truth about our world.

  2. Human beings are responsible for much of the evil and suffering in this world. Children don’t starve to death by accident, or by natural causes. The economic world that human beings created, ensures that food, of which we have sufficient to fill every belly in the world, only goes to those who can afford it. Human beings are responsible for this state of affairs. The same goes for the children who die in wars. Wars are a not product of natural causes, but of human ambition, greed and ego. You get eliminate human hatred, ego and greed, and you eliminate wars. Not just wars on a national level, but wars on a personal level, the ones we wage each day with the people around us. They contribute to the brokenness of the world as well.

So I’m submitting two propositions:

  1. There is evil and suffering in this world.

  2. Human beings are responsible for much of the evil and suffering in this world.

Assuming you agree with these two statements, this question follows: “Are you responsible?”

When a magazine posed a question: “What is wrong with the world?”, and called for reader submissions.

GK Chesterton wrote in to say,

Dear Sir:

Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’

I am.

Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton

I am. Are you? Are you part of what is wrong with the world?

Are you a better person than GK Chesterton? You know, you’re not part of the problem. Your existence elevates the world, you are one of the good ones, you bring healing to the brokenness, light to the darkness. You’re not responsible for what is wrong with the world.

I have no doubt that some of us are tempted to think that way, and I believe the reason we think that way is because are morally competent. By that I mean we are well-behaved. We conform to the social morality of our society. We do not break the law, we follow the rules, we do what is expected of us, we are principled, we are diligent. We wear the right clothes, we use the right language, we believe the right things, we mix with the right people, our children behave the right way, we do the right things. You are morally competent; you are socially respectable, you are well-behaved. Like many of us listening to this, are. Does that mean you are good? You know, on the side of good. If there is a line dividing heroes and villains, you are on the good side, the right side.