Summary: The true and full extent of the evil that resides in the human heart
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 48 – THE FULL EXTENT OF EVIL]
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
We have been looking at the question as to why this period between Jesus’ resurrection and His second return is also the prophesied millennium.
• The first principle we looked at as to why this is the case is we need to view events from the spiritual perspective of Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished.
• The course of humanity has been set on a whole trajectory as a result of Jesus life, death and resurrection.
• It is the age of the new creation; a human has crossed from mortality to immortality. There is no going back to the old, decaying structure of the fallen creation.
• To try as we did in the past to view the 1000-year earthly reign of Christ within the old decaying structure of chronos time fails to recognize what transpired when Jesus rose from the dead.
• When Jesus returns it will be in the glory and honor of the new kingdom.
• So if we want to understand the workings of the kingdom of God we need to look at it from the perspective of Jesus Christ and what He achieved.
The second point we looked at is, the kingdom of God is a kingdom that grows over time.
• We saw this principle explained in Jesus’ parables of the mustard seed and the parable of the yeast.
• The element of time is involved.
A third principle we looked at addresses the question of evil.
• We saw how from the very beginning, the devil has been allowed to exert his evil influence on mankind.
• Although the devil was comprehensibly defeated at the cross and delivered a fatal blow, he, along with the other difficulties of life in this old corrupt world are there to serve God’s purpose of developing a holy people who reflect the righteousness of their elder brother, Jesus Christ.
There is another reason the devil has been allowed to exert his evil influence on mankind and that is, humanity needs to realise the true and full extent of the evil that resides in the human heart.
• Up to this point we have identified three stages humanity has experienced throughout its history.
• We witnessed the age of anarchy which resulted in God having to destroy all mankind with a flood except for the eight in Noah’s ark.
• Such was the depravity of mankind God had to step in and wipe out this evil before they annihilated themselves.
• We get a taste of what this world might have looked like with what we see happening in Iraq and Syria today with the likes of ISIS.
• The second age occurred with the introduction of a written code of law.
• The first written code we are aware of can be traced back to Mesopotamia and was introduced by Hammurabi, a Babylonian king about 1760BC.
• Much of the common law we use today can be traced back to the code of Hammurabi.
• The Law of Moses followed this at the time of the exodus about 1446BC.
• What is unique about the Law of Moses is it included offenses against a deity as well as against society.
• The age of the Law was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it put a restraint on human behavior so that the world did not fall back into anarchy, but on the other hand it pointed to the failure of humans to live up to its ideals.
• There is this vast gap between the “is” and the “ought.”
• This of course is why it was necessary for Jesus to come and live up to the requirements of the law on mankind’s behalf so His righteousness could be attributed to us.
• This introduced the third age, the age of grace that began with Jesus’ death and resurrection and the start of the new creation.