This is the 2nd part of a mini-series where I am answering some questions that are commonly asked when people view different injustice taking place in the world.
This question is deep down in the heart of all people because deep down inside we know that we are to be the image bearers of God and that what our heart desires is to see Eden, the way life was meant to be. But a common and quite normal follow up question that is asked to this one is simply, Why? Why has life become this way?
The question posed to me ignores our (man's) role in death and decay, which also ignores the "why," in their questions. The reason that life is full of death and decay and the reason life has become this way is because of what is commonly referred to as the fall. As it is worded in Ecclesiastes 7:29, God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
In Genesis 3 we see the man and the woman, knowingly rebel against God, which broke the perfect harmony and fellowship that had been as sinned entered the world. As a result of the fall, original sin has affected all mankind in that we are all sinners from birth and the way that life was meant to be was no more. Of this, D.A. Carson says, "Consumed by our own self-focus, we desire to dominate or manipulate others: here is the beginning of fences, of rape, of malice, or nurtured bitterness, of war."
As a result of this rebellion by Adam and Eve, sin, sufferig, and pain have been passed down from generation to generation as all of creation has become distorted from its original design. In other words all of this death and decay that we are experiencing around us is essentially a result of us, a result of sin.
If that were the end of the story then I too would continue to ask this same question of how are we to worship God in the midst of all that is going on around us. But truth be told that is not the end of the story as God made a promise of a Savior. A Savior that "came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
The promised Savior, simply, was God and came as the man Jesus Christ. He came, fulfilling all predictions in the Old Testament, never sinning, living a perfect life, and ultimately dying a sacrificial death in order to rescue us from sin. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice in his death on the cross, but then conquered death and the grave as he emerged from the tomb three days later as was promised.
So while it is true that all men are totally depraved, as a result we experience the death and decay, God has not just left us in this state; but ultimately provided a way of salvation from our sin and the death and decay. God is sovereign, powerful, and good, but the evil that exists in the world is on our backs not his.
It is also important to remember that we only see in part that which is in front of us, but God sees the whole picture. And yes, while there are many injustices taken place all over the world, we must trust in God's providential control that he is as work for the good of his purposes even in the midst of evil.
So we are to worship God because of who God is and because of what God has provided in the Savior Jesus. Yes, there is a lot going on in the world that seems like hell to us, but to those that follow Jesus this will be the closest to hell that they will get. Do the injustices going on in the world sometimes make us question God and struggle in glorifying him? For most we all have these moments, but it is important to remember that without Jesus things would only get worse for us for all of eternity, but in Jesus this too shall pass.