Summary: Anarchy descends on humanity
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 14 – A LIVING HELL]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
After our diversion into the subject of evil we now pick up the story again.
• Adam and Eve have been driven out of the Garden and have embarked on a journey through life without God’s direction.
• By choosing to be their own gods, mankind has been left to learn for himself what was depicted by the tree from which they had eaten, what was “good” and what was “evil” through hard experience.
• God, because of His decision to grant humanity freewill, honoured their choice and basically said, “Okay, if you want to live your life without the involvement of your Creator and Father then I will reluctantly remove myself from your lives and allow you to discover for yourselves through experimentation what is good and what is evil. But I warn you, you won’t like the consequences.”
• This did not mean however that God was not involved behind the scenes.
• They might have been wayward children, but they were still His children and although they had rejected Him, not once in all that was about to unfold did God stop loving his children.
• And as God’s actions demonstrated in “clothing” Adam and Eve after their sin, He had already planned the redemption of mankind through the shedding of blood.
This might seem an unusual place to talk about this subject as it is usually associated with “The Judgment,” but we now return to the subject of “hell.”
• Scripture identifies four types of hell, but at this stage we are only going to talk about two of them
• Most are familiar with the term “hell” used to identify the grave or the place of the dead - “Sheol”(Hebrew) or “Hades”(Greek).
• It’s the hole in the ground into which dead bodies are placed.
• The second hell is the one we alluded to earlier.
• This is the forbidding place mankind found himself when he was ejected from the garden after rejecting God’s offer of living in a faithful relationship with Him.
• Remember we talked about the parable of the prodigal son, how the difficulties and trials of the lifestyle he chose were used to reconcile him with his father.
• The story of the prodigal is really the story of mankind.
• All of us have rejected and turned away from our heavenly Father in the same way as the prodigal did with his father.
• But as discussed earlier, our heavenly Father has engineered an environment whereby there are consequences to the choices we make.
• God then uses negative consequences to bring his wayward children back to their senses with the goal of reconciling the two parties.
• It is through this prism that we should now view the human experience.
• When we sit back and contemplate the normal course of human existence one has to conclude this life is a type of “hell.”
• We have to contend with moral evil, the evil we bring on ourselves through our own flawed choices.
• Then there is natural evil, events like the aging process, sickness, disease, famines, disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, mudslides etc.
• When news crews ask victims what it was like after the latest natural disaster, they use phrases like, “It was like a war zone!” or “It was a living hell!”
• It would be foolhardy to think the majority of mankind who has ever lived enjoyed the quality of life we take for granted in our modern western societies.
• The reality of daily life for the vast majority of mankind has been one of “quiet desperation” – “Where does my next meal come from? How do I provide for my family?”
• It was only two centuries ago that 90 per cent of the global population lived in extreme poverty.