Union Chapel Baptist Church

Jun

13

Depraved Hearts on Display

By Stephen Mitchell

Yazidhi girlTragedy, heartache, immense suffering, and death. Sometimes the things we hear about is more than we can process. As we are told about fifty people murdered along with some fifty more wounded in Orlando, we also hear of nineteen girls murdered in a most horrific way in the Middle East. In every case, suffering and death came at the hand of those who have yielded themselves completely to the depravity of their own hearts. It does not matter what excuse mankind uses to justify such acts, they are expressions of the evil that lies in their souls.

Jesus told us of the ultimate source of this murderous, hateful behavior. Speaking to some religious leaders who also had hatred in their souls, Jesus said,

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

This demonic attitude of murderous hate has been clearly seen in the events of this past weekend. Jesus also noted that, “… out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man …” Every one of these men who killed, along with every one who approved of these deaths, show clearly the depraved nature of their hearts. They have shown the world the defiled nature of their souls. In spite of the claims of most of them, they have shown themselves to be, truly, children of the devil.

But they are not alone. All mankind lives under the same influence. The Apostle John wrote that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” This can be seen in all the acts of hatred in this world towards God and His Son Jesus, all the acts of rebellion against Their righteous standards of behavior given in Their instructions to mankind recorded in the Scriptures. All mankind is equally depraved since all mankind lies equally under the influence of the wicked one, the devil, and all are equally under God’s judgment.

In spite of this, there is a message of hope in the midst of all this suffering. Though all the world lies under the influence of the wicked one, and all the world is justly condemned because of this, yet God sent His Son Jesus to willingly suffer the penalty due every person for their rebellion against God’s righteous standard of behavior. And Jesus did this in order to offer freely to every person forgiveness, freedom from the power of the wicked one, and a restored relationship with God Himself.

This is the real message of those who actually do represent God. As Jesus Himself told His followers,

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

God Himself “is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”. Though He could simply destroy everyone who is in rebellion against Him, yet He does them kindness by supplying them with the necessary things for life, giving them good things, family to enjoy, rain and food, and time to repent of their evil and place their trust in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. And those who are His true followers do the same.

So we say to this world, do not be surprised by the evil that men do. They are only expressing from their hearts the influence of the wicked one. They do not and cannot represent God Himself Who is kind to men. Look, instead, for these who show love in the midst of suffering, who pray for those who mistreat them, who are kind towards those who seek to destroy them. It is only from these that you will hear the truth that you need to escape the power of the wicked one whose influence rests in your heart as well.

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