Why I Believe – The Mirror to the Soul

Man looking in the mirror

This post is part of a series: Why I Believe

When I was a teenager, I took a world history course.  It was very eye-opening.  A lot of things that happen today made a lot more sense.  I also found out how true the Bible is when it says that the human heart is “desperately wicked“, and “the most deceitful of all things“.  This 2000-year-old book explains and predicts human behavior better than many of the most popular philosophies today.

I found that time and again, kings and countries steal land whenever they get the chance.  And their people very often applaud the crime.  I found that slavery is normal, and racism is normal.  Ironically, the people who are deepest in sin are among the most sure that they are in the right.

You never hear a racist say, “I’m evil, so I hate the Jews or the Arabs, or Whites or Blacks”.  Instead, they say, “race X is evil, so they deserve all the evil things I want to do to them”.  The evil that they see in others is actually the darkness in their own hearts.

Despite these obvious facts, many today believe that people are basically good.  To defend this willful delusion, they must find scapegoats to explain why “good” people do evil things.

They’ll blame anything:

  • Society makes them do it
    Society is made of people, so if people are basically good, society will influence people to do good
  • Capitalism/greed/wealth makes them do it
    Communists – who claim that Capitalist greed is the root of all evil – rely largely on greed to gain followers.  One of their main sales pitches is “join us and we’ll give you a share of the spoils”.
    Every time that they’ve succeeded in abolishing Capitalism, people still do evil, and they’re even still greedy.
  • Genes make them do it
    The Nazis believe the Jews are evil, and they killed almost all the Jews who lived in Europe.  Afterward, there were still lots of people who did evil in Europe
  • The other political party/ideology makes them do it
    Let me know when voting for any political party permanently eliminates evil
  • Religion makes them do it
    Communism and Nazism are both Atheistic ideologies with little tolerance for any religion, and their followers tend to commit mass murder
  • Guns make them do it
    Before guns were invented, people still did every kind of evil that they could

But the Bible cuts through all excuses.  It lays out very clearly the absolute moral laws, and makes no excuses for our inability to obey them.  The moral absolutes of God can be best summarized as:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself

This is the common thread running through all that is good.  It’s what links feeding the poor, worshiping God, judging a thief, and telling the truth.  You can read textbook after textbook on ethics, or you can read and apply these 2 simple laws.  If you choose the latter, you’ll be better off.  Unfortunately, as the Bible also says,”whoever keeps the whole law, but stumbles at 1 point, is guilty of breaking all of it“.  I fail by this standard, too.  But it’s still true.

It’s very obviously true when someone commits murder, but thinks he’s a good person because of some good things that he does.  But it’s also true for those who tell lies.  As the Word of God says, “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us“.

Furthermore, the same god who understands human nature so well is no pushover.  He’s so holy that he will one day raise the dead to ensure justice – by his very high moral standards, not yours.  Those who he declares guilty will be thrown alive into hell – the second death.

Who can stand before a holy god?  Nobody can – not me, not you.  The only hope on judgement day is that he will forgive you of your sins – and he has provided a way.

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out

For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in him will not die, but have eternal life

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’

But lest anyone think that there is another way to God, be warned that:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Do not be one of those who hardens their heart to the Gospel – the good news that Jesus has paid the just penalty for your sin.  Instead, turn from your sin, and turn to him.  “For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved“.

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