Summary: Short exhortation
TheGospel- Key to Global Peace and Development
Romans 1:14-16 (KJV)
14[I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.] 15[So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.] 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Paul says he is not ashamed of the gospel. That it is the power of the God unto salvation. How so? How powerful really is the gospel? What can it save from?
The world has gigantic problems. Preaching looks lame in the face of global poverty caused by corruption and greed in the high places. Billions of dollars and human resource is spent daily to try to rein in global warming and the spread of diseases.
I have a few lightly intellectually friends. They wonder why I'm a preacher. They think I could better serve the world trying to solve more practical problems. I understand them. I do! The church needs to present a relaxant gospel. Most of what we church out is disconnected from the realities of the world we live in.
However, lets look at Christ. Of all Jesus had the power to do, all he did was preach the kingdom of God. Even the disciples who preached with him, casted out devils and healed the sick believed all of that was a prelude to the main thing, which for them was a political agenda. At the end of his life they were still asking him " so when will you restore the kingdom to Israel". Their thinking was, okay, we've done done great so far now lets get to the real thing. Their thinking was very much like many today who believe that the preaching of the gospel is of a lesser importance than more "substantive" issues like economic development, political engineering, social progress and sound education.
Why did Jesus restrict himself to preaching?
He could have tackled head long other issues?
He could have introduced some mind blowing technologies which were seriously needed in those days.
He could have introduced wonderful economic principles and theories and unleashed a period of global prosperity.
He could have created a unique educational system that will revolutionalize the way people learnt.
He was omniscience so could have done any of these things. Why didn't he tackle poverty, slavery, social injustices, all of which were serious problems of his day and ours?
It's because he saw today. He saw the paradoxes of today's life. He diagnosed the problem intelligently.
He understood that in his day and two millennials down the road, the root of the problem of man was and will be the same- corruption of the human soul.
So, he decided to tackle one problem and one problem alone. All those other things are important. I'm grateful for technology, I won't be reaching you today without it. I'm grateful for capitalism. I mean capitalism without greed. Capitalism respects the right of private ownership of property. God does too. That's why the sixth commandment says " thou shalt not covet thy neighbours property" . God has no problem about you owning things.
But why is capitalism destroying the world today- it's the corruption of the human heart. Consider Nigeria, is our problems a lack of resources? Is it a lack of bright and educated people? ? We all know what the problem is. We don't need analysts or the CIA to tell us. The problem is corruption. It's the same problem that's threatening to bring Wall Street down, so they can't stand in judgment over us.
Someone said the solution to the problem of corruption is strong institutions, but I ask, where does strong institutions come from? Are they mined from the ground? Are they not built by people? What kinds of people built the strong institutions in America? What kind of people circumvented and are circumventing those same institutions to perpetuate self serving agendas like colonialism and imperialism? What kind of people manufactured non existent justifications for a very expensive war?Can we think about these things?
We have made incredible advancements in technologies, but the same science that gave us vaccines has given us nerve gasses. The same science that gave us nuclear plants for electricity has given us nuclear weapons. The world is under terror from rogue countries like Iran and North Korea because of the unthinkable consequences of a nuclear world war. Why? It's because of the corruption of the human heart!
Jesus saw all this. He knew that the more development the world sees, the more man puts himself in the danger of self destruction. Isn't this also true about the individual? The more a man advances in life, the more money, fame, knowledge and power he has, the more he is in danger to himself and society if his heart is corrupt. Well before philosophers knew power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, Jesus knew this. So he went for the jugular of the problem of humanity- the corrupt and depraved nature of the human heart.