Why in the World Does the World Not Understand What’s Going on in the World?
War, hyper-inflation, the slaughter of children, drug overdose deaths, pandemics, disinformation, food shortages, and the promises of politicians to make it all better again. Nothing really changes for the better despite temporary fixes. At the same time, with every malignant incident, people seem confused or disoriented. Is there anything new in all of this? No, there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9), but the tried and failed solutions to problems inevitably return for another episode.
Listening to people, who are trying to understand why so much is broken, and one realizes they do not even understand the world in which they live. People are hurting because of their circumstances, which invariably includes other people, and so they find preferred ways to cope. Coping mechanisms notoriously introduce new problems. It is a vicious cycle of futility.
A survey of world history produces a general conclusion that empires rise and fall. The decline of a civilization is observably rooted in moral rot. Base animal instincts and behaviors are never remedied by progressive intellectualism provided by education. Has civilization ever had such easy access to so much information? Even the accumulated knowledge of our universities does not seem to impact the aforementioned list of woes. It’s as if we are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7).
Logically, the only One who knows and understands all things is the Creator of it all (Gen 1–2; Col 1:18). Therefore, to have some semblance for understanding the world in which we live, we must have divine revelation from the architect and builder of all things (Heb 3:4; 11:10). God the Creator has revealed what is actually going on in the world.
It would be tragic for this exclusive revelation to exist but not be known by the people of the world. This is exactly the scenario the world faces every day. The divine revelation is the Holy Bible and people are not reading it. Therefore, they remain oblivious to their own environments. Here are a few reasons why the people of the world refuse to open the Bible, in order to gain understanding.
First, it is the devil’s priority to keep the Bible away from people and people away from the Bible. The rationale is that in order to deceive people, it is better to keep the Word of truth in abeyance. Less access is the adversary’s preference.
Second, if access to the Bible is a reality, then the enemy’s strategy is to distract the people with other pressing matters. Every discipline of education offers an alternative to the study of the Bible. The philosophy of men, which includes their contrived religions and superstitions, is equally effective in keeping people blind to the Gospel light. This, too, is the devil’s work (2 Cor 4:4).
Third, when people are deceived by charlatans, they are not convinced nor compelled to search the Scriptures for themselves. In other words, the world will never argue for people to read God’s Word, revealed and accessible to them. The legions of deceivers represent principalities and powers who declare the Gospel of God is foolishness (1 Cor 1:18; Eph 6:12).
Fourth, a preacher of God’s Word may be sent into this scenario of neglect. He vies for the attention of the people. He shines the light of truth for all to see (Mt 5:16; 24:14; Mk 16:15). He warns the distracted to repent of their negligence (Acts 17:30). He tells the truth to the deceived (Eph 4:15). The preacher is a necessary agent for Gospel dissemination (Rom 10:14).
From the world’s perspective, the Gospel preacher is an intruder, an unwanted guest. The devil wants this man silenced. The children of the devil do their part to cancel, that is, to exclude this nuisance from their gatherings. The reason is that the Word of God preached is like a sword that cuts deeply into the conscience of hearers (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12). It offends them by exposing them as evil, guilty, sinners on the wide path leading to destruction (Mt 7:13–14; Eph 5:11) in the eternal punishment of fiery hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
A day has been appointed for the fiery destruction of the present heavens and earth (2 Pet 3:7, 10–12). This judgment by God renders each person’s existence to be futile, meaningless (Eccl 1:9). Nobody wants to hear such a solemn assessment. It is far more pleasant to imagine one’s life has meaning and purpose. The truth is that our vaporous lives are occupied with sin and strife and then we die (Gen 6:5; Rom 6:23; Jas 4:14). The natural man, faced with his own vanity, certainly cannot conceive of himself being judged and sentenced to torment for eternity. This is exactly what the Bible warns sinners about…if only people would read it for themselves.
Agitated by the Bible preacher and his message, the listener is actually in a very good place. Like a cultivated farmer's field, the hearer of the bad news is ready for good news. Like seed implanted into cultivated soil, the Word of God’s promise is now in the mind and heart of the hearer (Mt 13:23; Jas 1:21). But will it take root and grow? It will grow if God’s Spirit and grace visit the hearer of the Word, whose heart is opened to receive and respond in faith (Acts 16:14; Rom 10:17; Eph 2:8–9). God is the giver of life, both physically and spiritually (Jn 6:63; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).
Finally, for the natural man of the world to know and understand the world, he must be transformed in heart and mind (Ezek 36:26; Rom 12:2). He must be the recipient of the Spirit of Christ (Mt 3:11; Jn 1:12; Acts 2:38; 10:45), for it is the Spirit who changes the heart and provides the new mind, in the one to whom He gives new life (Rom 6:4; 1 Cor 2:16; 2 Cor 5:17).
Evidence for this renewing is a desire for the spiritual things that can only be provided by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:15), including a desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). Knowing Christ (Jn 17:3; Phil 3:10), who is the prime revelation of the Bible (Jn 5:39), gives the necessary and right perspective on the world. The Spirit of Christ is the primary teacher of the Bible (Jn 14:26; Gal 2:20), although secondary agents are also a common means (1 Cor 2:4; 1 Cor 9:15).
The world is a war zone (Eph 6:10–20). Death is everywhere but so is delusion. The Christian preacher does not war against men (Eph 6:12), but he is called to engage the enemies of every man’s soul. His weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph 6:17; Heb4:12). The God-ordained method is to preach the Word of God for all to hear (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15; 2 Tim 2:15; 4:2). The Gospel is Genesis to Revelation. All of Holy Scripture points people to Jesus Christ.
The simple solution, for one’s lack of understanding the world we all live in, is for you to take up and read your Bible, to attend a local church gathering to hear the Scriptures read, taught, sung, and preached in the Spirit. Unless you do this, you will not have a clue about what is going on in the world. Ignorance is not bliss. It is the precursor to hell.
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 27, 2022