Mans Natural Hostility Toward

Why does man reject the God of the Bible and the divine laws that define His standards? God's laws call on us to meet a personally demanding standard that few are willing to consider. Man rejects God primarily because God's laws embody a morality that Is outwardly focused and shows concern for others rather than oneself. We, however, are primarily motivated by selfish concerns—what Is best for us, what we can get, how we can be viewed as better than others.

Why do we have such a selfish nature? How did it originate? The Bible tells us the origin of the hostile and suspicious nature Inherent in human beings. Genesis 3 explains that the devil, In the guise of the serpent In the Garden of Eden, first planted this suspicion and rebellion toward God In the mind of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. He told them God was not acting in their best interest and convinced them they could do just as well, If not better, without God.

When Eve was taken In by Satan's seductive reasoning and Adam then rebelled with her, God did not force Himself on them. He allowed them to live without the benefit of His revealed knowledge. Adam quickly blamed his wife, and his wife blamed the serpent. Man has been blaming everyone else for his troubles ever since.

Things quickly degenerated. In a fit of jealousy, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve killed his younger brother (Genesis 4). Envy, jealousy and greed became entrenched human motivations just as violence became a common way of dealing with conflict.

The descendants of Adam have seldom freely returned to God and willingly trusted In Him. Notice the apostle Paul's description of mankind's motivation: "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires" (Romans 8:5, NIV). Their selfish desires prejudice their minds against God and the morality of His laws. Therefore, Paul continues, "the mind-set of the flesh Is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for It is unable to do so" (verse 7, Holman Christian Standard Bible).

It's little wonder that most people reject anything that doesn't reflect their own point of view (Jeremiah 10:23). They think they have a better, more enlightened way, one far superior to the presumed crude and oppressive morality of the Bible. Nevertheless, God's law far excels alternative moral values of man. As the apostle Paul wrote, "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19).

Historically no nations or peoples have wanted to be governed by all of the Ten Commandments, because they go against the grain of human nature. Some can see benefits in keeping several of the commandments, such as not lying to, stealing from or killing one's fellow man. But, at best, people generally pick and choose among God's laws or embrace them only superficially.

Even when people keep the letter of those laws, they often miss their spirit and intent, which Jesus Christ defined as love toward God and love toward our fellow man (Matthew 22:37-40).

In rejecting God's revealed way of life, people unknowingly cut themselves off from blessings and sentence themselves to suffering. As His Word tell us, "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you" (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).

It Is sad that most people choose not to accept God's offer of a way that will lead to an abundant and fulfilled life. There Is much more to learn about this vital subject, and we have only scratched the surface here. Please request your free copies of our booklets The Ten Commandments and The Road to Eternal Life, wh ich discuss these topics In much greater depth.

Life's Purpose and the Consequence of Ideas 59

Life's Purpose and the Consequence of Ideas 59

Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers" (The Doctor and the Soul: Introduction to Logotherapy, 1982, p. xxi).

The words of Hitler, posted in Auschwitz in hope that the human race would never again descend to such savagery, are a sobering reminder of what happens when we reject God's moral absolutes: "I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality... We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence— imperious, relentless and cruel" (quoted by Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? 1994, p. 23).

Survival of the fittest

Looking back on recent history, we can understand how the ideas of a godless universe, of the human species emerging and persisting by running the gauntlet of the survival of the fittest—evolving and rising to exalted levels of power—led inevitably to the shameful fact that in the first half of the 20th century more people were killed by other people than in all history until that time. The justification for a greater part of this carnage was the idea of natural selection inherent in Darwin's theory of evolution.

The application of the survival-of-the-fittest principle to human affairs came to be known as social Darwinism. Although Darwin apparently did not condone the extrapolation of his natural-selection theory into social relationships, he did argue that human evolution proceeded through warfare and struggle.

One observer noted: "There are few evolutionists who have been embarrassed by the social implications of evolution and who have stressed cooperation (instead of struggle) as a factor in evolution. Others have said that it has been improperly applied when it is used to defend militarism and social abuses.

"Of course the application of Darwinian survival of the fittest to human affairs by unscrupulous men has no direct bearing on the question of whether human beings and other creatures evolved from simple forms of life. But these abuses have been sanctioned and abetted with evolution as an excuse, and if evolution is not true it seems all the more tragic" (Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith, 1969, p. 354).

The future of evolution

The evolutionary principle, having produced its deadly fruit throughout much of the 20th century, will no doubt continue to flourish in the 21st. The emphasis now is on improving mankind genetically. Researchers speak of extending lifespans and eradicating diseases with gene therapy and genetic implants. There is common talk of improving physical and mental abilities and bestowing individual natural talents through genetic manipulation. At the moment, we struggle with the ethical, emotional and legal issues involved with such practices.

In short, many think man is able to direct his own evolution. Maybe that's not such a strange thought. It is the natural outcome of man trying to find his own way to a superior life without God—perhaps even including the notion that through artificial evolution humanity can overcome death and at last attain immortality.

It would be much simpler and surer to believe God in the first place. Man can achieve everything that is good for him now—a happy and fulfilled life—and, in the future, immortality in the divine family of God. But man tries to achieve it on his own tenns, without acknowledging or obeying his Creator. His selfish nature leads him to satisfy his cravings, thus bringing on himself the physical, mental and emotional penalties that result from breaking God's laws—but he turns around and uses the intellect God gave him to try to circumvent paying the price.

It's ironic how fkmly man holds to belief in absolute physical and nat ural laws but vigorously objects to the very idea that the spiritual laws of God are just as immutable and absolute. When it comes to human behavior, somehow humanity finds a way to explain that God doesn't exist, thinking that will remove the consequences. Make no mistake: When mankind breaks any of God's law, denying that God exists in no way removes the price that must be paid.

Priceless privilege or cheap substitute?

Of all His earthly creation, God gave human beings alone the ability to choose whether we will live by His laws or by whatever values we assign to ourselves for our own satisfaction. God's laws are not mere duties, but He designed us so we will be most happy, satisfied and fulfilled by doing what He says. Since God made us, He knows what is best for us. He gives us instructions that will benefit us.

Man is not a mere puppet in God's hands. We have the choice of whether or not to do what He says (Deuteronomy 30:19). We can either recognize Him as the Creator and Lawgiver of the cosmos, or we can deny that He exists. We can choose to live a meaningless life or we can choose a life with purpose.

If we exalt ourselves by imagining that we are the highest form of life in the evolutionary process, we in reality are robbing ourselves of the priceless value God places on us. Our existence and future are devalued from being sons and daughters of God to being only one of many species of animals. It is tragic that man has substituted the cheap feeling of self-importance for the priceless privilege of becoming God's own children, of sharing the awesome universe with Him in glory and immortality.

The anti-God movement that took root in the 19th century bore its bitter fruit in the 20th with two world wars, the rise of atheistic communism and gruesome savagery against other human beings.

Meet God 61

Meet God 61

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