The Only Hope for a Sick and Dying World
The emotions came upon me quite suddenly and totally out of the blue. I had been reading an article about the assassination of President Kennedy, and this prompted me to watch some of the TV coverage of that tragic moment in our history.
Kennedy’s death was one of the most traumatizing events of the 1960s, a decade that I have often taught about when explaining to ministry students how we, as a nation, arrived at where we are today.
For these students, most of whom grew up in the cell phone, instant news era, it’s hard for them to imagine what things were like back in the ’60s, just as it’s hard for people in my generation to imagine what things were like back in the 1800s.
That’s why I take time to underscore to these students how unnerving it was to see some of these events unfold on TV, in front of our eyes, for the very first time. This included the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for Kennedy’s assassination.
All that to say that I was quite familiar with the TV footage of those events, along with the coverage of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy just 5 years later. And that’s why I say the emotions came upon me quite suddenly and totally out of the blue.
But the moment I saw the coverage about JFK, including some graphic photos and the quoting of Jackie Kennedy’s words (“Oh no!”), I began to sob uncontrollably.
Why Do We Humans Do Such Wicked Things?
Why do we do such wicked things? Why do we shoot and kill each other in cold blood? Why?
We know that Kennedy was a flawed man, just like every other human being. And we know that he made political mistakes (I’m sure I would have made endlessly more mistakes if put in his shoes).
So it wasn’t as if I had some glossy, wide-eyed, adoration of “Camelot.”
It was simply that I was hit with the horrific evil of the murder of our president, leaving behind a widow, two fatherless children, and a stunned and grieving nation. Why do we do this?
I then had the exact same reaction when watching the coverage of the other assassinations, weeping uncontrollably each time.
Once again, it wasn’t as if I saw Dr. King as a perfect saint. I’ve read the womanizing reports about him as well.
As for RFK, my father, who was very active in the New York City Democratic Club, had nothing good to say about him.
But to murder them? To slaughter them like sheep? To cut down a fellow human being, also a husband and father, without cause? Why do we do such horrible things?
The tragedy in all this is that in the time that it has taken me to write this article, countless horrors have taken place around the world.
People Have Committed Countless Evil Acts While I Have Been Writing This Article
Children have been sexually abused. Other children have been kidnapped or sold into sexual slavery. Others still were terminated before leaving their mother’s womb.
People have been murdered. Others have been robbed or beaten. Others still are being tortured. More than 100 will have committed suicide (I mean in less than one hour’s time). Many others will have died of an unintended fentanyl overdose.
Yes, all this taking place right now, as I write these words.
And shall I mention all those suffering from grinding poverty, hunger, and disease as a result of human greed or simply because of a lack of compassion? Or those who are victims of extreme injustice? Or those cowering in fear in their own homes because of a drunken parent or spouse?
Shall I mention the billions of ugly, evil, destructive words that are spoken or written or posted every day, often leaving deep, life-long, sometimes even fatal scars? Or the billions of other sinful deeds, from sins of the body to sins of the heart, every one of them seen and known by God?
I’m aware, of course, that there is a beautiful stream of good, incalculable good, that also flows from this same human race. I do not mean to paint an “only evil” picture. There is much that is wonderful in our world.
But the reality is that we live in a very fallen world because we are a very fallen race.
God Became Like Us so We Could Become Like Him
That’s why the moment the first human beings, created in perfection by a beautifully good God, chose to do evil, they opened the door to death and shame and guilt. And that’s why the first child born to the human race, Cain, murdered his very own brother. Yes, our oldest brother, the first one to proceed out of the womb, committed fratricide.
And that is why God sent His own Son into this broken, dying world: to save us from our sins and to make us into what He intended us to be.
Outside of Him — Jesus-Yeshua, the Messiah, Savior, and Lord — there is no hope.
We will never improve ourselves sufficiently, and no religious teacher or guru or enlightened one will be able to change our hearts. Nor is there any act of penance we can ever perform that will sufficiently atone for our misdeeds.
That’s why it had to be Jesus, the Son of God in human flesh, becoming like us (in humanity, not sin) so we could become like Him (part of His family, with transformed hearts). Only He could pay the price of our redemption. Only He could liberate and transform us.
It’s Only Through Jesus-Yeshua That We Can Be Free From Guilt and Transformed
That means that even now, through Him, you can experience the complete and full pardon of your sins and removal of all guilt.
Even now, you can receive a new heart and start to a brand-new life.
Even now, you can make a positive difference in this world in which we live.
And even now, together we can help hasten His return.
Until then, we look forward to the day when these words will become a reality: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Revelation 21:3–4)
All of this is because of Jesus — God’s hope for a sick and dying world.
Spread the word!
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.