Summary: Are people basically good?
In this message, we will deal with the question, "Isn’t There Some Good In Everyone?"
Is it really true that there is a little good in everyone? I mean, let’s think about it. Do you really think that there was a little good in Joseph Stalin, or Adolph Hitler, or Charles Manson? I mean, we could think of different people of whom we would have to admit that we would be hard pressed to find any good in whatsoever.
This brings us to something we have to admit about the human race. There’s much about us that is not good at all. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in ethics to realize that our world has become a dangerous and messed up place in which to live. In his 1999 book, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: America at the end of the Twentieth Century, William Bennett tells us that in America, in the last forty years of the 20th century, violent crime increased 280%; and that every year, 20,000 people in our nation were murdered, half by people they knew.
And it’s not just violence that’s tearing our culture apart. Families are falling apart all around us. Out of wedlock births have increased by 511% since 1960, with one out of four children born today being born out of wedlock. While the marriage rate continues to drop, couples who live together with no marriage commitment continues to rise. One out of every six children has a step-parent, which makes for incredibly complicated family relations. And these problems are by no means unique to us. When you look at places like the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Mexico, you find the same type of statistics. The twentieth century went down as one of the most violent centuries in human history, with two world wars, detonation of a nuclear bomb, and entire races of people almost obliterated through genocide. More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than all the previous 19 centuries of Christian history combined.
Yes, as the old saying goes, "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist" to figure out that something is desperately wrong with the human race. Recognizing this to be true, various solutions have been offered through-out mankind’s history.
There are various solutions offered by man to solve our problem:
1. The Communist’s Solution - State
All we have to do is look around to see how many communist states are still surviving to conclude that mankind has rejected this as a solution to its ills.
2. The Humanist’s Solution - Science
Despite the advances of science and technology, mankind still remains essentially as corrupt as ever.
3. The Religionist’s Solution - Self
The message of religion can be summed up in this phrase: "Man through his efforts must reach up to God." Whether the religion sees God as being above us, around us, or within us; whether it be Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, or Wicca, the message is essentially the same. Some insist on self-improvement, while others insist on self-abasement. Either way, the emphasis and focus is on one’s self.
More and more people are embracing "religion" and turning to "spirituality." But has this religious frenzy done anything to improve our society? The statistics I shared at the beginning of this lesson prove otherwise.
Now the religionist is partly right in that they recognize that mankind needs to connect with God. But because the religionist will not come to Him in the way He has prescribed, they are still separated from God, despite their efforts to connect with Him.
Paul spoke of these kind of folks when he said, "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness," (Romans 10:2-3).
4. The Realist’s Solution - Savior
Unlike the other solutions mentioned, the solution of the realist takes into account the diagnosis of the problem. You see, you cannot prescribe a solution if you have not diagnosed the problem!
The Apostle Paul was a realist. He plainly declared what is truly obvious to anyone who will be honest about humanity. The problem, Paul said, was that mankind has sought to live life going their own way rather than God’s way. Mankind is sinful.
The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
A. The reality of sin -
The Bible teaches us that we are all guilty of sin in two ways:
1) We are guilty inherently -
The Bible teaches that, as the posterity of Adam, every child is born with a sinful nature inherited from his parents. Many passages of Scripture refer to this principle. According to Ephesians 2:1-3, all are dead in sin and are "by nature the children of wrath." Psalm 51:5 says, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."