Despite mankind’s best efforts, world conditions keep deteriorating. God’s Word shows why.
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Everyone loves positive news stories. A recent one involved a man who got caught in a dramatic car wreck over a bridge on Assawoman Bay in Maryland. “The accident sent eight people to the hospital and left a pickup truck dangling precariously over the guardrail,” the Good News Network reported.
Leaving his car to check if he could help, the article states that he was “alerted…to a heart-wrenching sight—a toddler, ejected from the passenger side, was floating in the bay, her pink dress billowing in the waves.”
Realizing there was zero time to wait, he jumped into the water about 30 feet below and swam to the drowning toddler, saving her life.
Another feel-good story happened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and was shown in a viral internet video. A young woman at a grocery store noticed an elderly man with only a few items in his shopping cart. She urged him to get more items and said she would pay for it.
The good deed inspired others to give groceries for which they had already paid. By the end, the old man’s grin said it all.
We all gravitate to uplifting stories of heroism, videos of kind-hearted gestures, summaries of grand-scale efforts to clean the environment and provide food to the hungry, and statistics of philanthropy. Some websites are totally devoted to data of this nature.
Why do we yearn so much to hear this restore-your-faith-in-humanity kind of news? Why do we need to find reminders that there is still good in this world and people who do still care about others?
A look at the world today shows why.
Despite the best efforts by some of the planet’s greatest, well-intentioned thinkers, we cannot seem to stop the same, ever-worsening problems. Reports and stories of poverty, severe hunger, disease, illiteracy, injustice, unsanitary conditions, corruption, confusion, war, murder and violent crimes fill our ears and eyes every day.
We all want to hear tales of happiness and assume the best of mankind. Yet situations almost always turn out to be worse than expected. Whatever good we witness, it always comes in between ripples of evil.
For most, this is a confusing picture. Why is the world the way it is—why is so much wrong?
It does not have to remain confusing. The Bible long ago outlined the way the world would turn out in our modern times. Five plain verses explain the why behind the ever-worsening trends that we see. But it is not all bad news—by understanding these passages, you will also be prepared to learn the best good news possible.
Genesis 2:17 – Good and Evil
Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that Genesis recorded a monumental choice made by the first couple who walked the Earth. In chapter 2, verse 17, God told them that “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it…”
The instruction was plain: Stick to what God says—avoid deciding for yourself how you should live.
Adam and Eve were pioneers for mankind. Their choice would have lasting implications on how societies would function for the millennia to come.
Yet the first humans ultimately did not believe God. They found “knowledge,” even though it would come mixed with good and evil, more alluring than simply obeying their Creator.
In this infamous account, the serpent exploited Adam and Eve’s temptation. But it was them who made the choice to pick from the tree and eat. They chose on all mankind’s behalf to figure out for themselves how to live based on a hybrid system of good and evil.
The underlying outcome is man—not God—is now deciding for himself what is good and evil.
This single choice set the world on a faulty foundation for millennia to come. All understanding ever acquired from that point on was doomed to be a fuzzy blur between truth and error.
It is for this reason mankind cannot rid itself of its problems. To this day, though the fruit of knowledge has increased, it has brought an abundance of both good and bad. Yet evil always eventually kills—even if mixed with good.
The trends seen in today’s world stem from the decision made millennia ago. Current conditions prove the Genesis account, and why you should base your choices on what the Bible—not society—says is right and wrong.
Isaiah 59:2 – Cut Off from Its Creator
Most people would agree that sin is evil. Due to the good-evil mix in the world, however, few agree on what qualifies as sin. What you may consider evil may not seem as bad to another person.
This presents a huge problem. If we cannot agree on the standards for right and wrong, how can we ensure our decisions will not inconvenience, harm or offend anyone else—or even ourselves?
The only way to solve this is to allow the Supreme Being who created us to precisely define sin. He does in I John 3:4, which says that “sin is the transgression of the law.”
To which law does this refer? God’s Law—all of the instructions contained within His Word. In simple terms, sin is not doing what God says. Adam and Eve sinned. Everyone ever after who has done anything contrary to what the Creator commanded (which is everyone) has “sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
This is what keeps us cut off from Him. Isaiah 59:2 explains sin cuts off mankind from its Maker: “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
With that understanding, it should not be a surprise that Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden after they sinned. Our Creator, the only one capable of pointing us away from sin, cannot have any part with sin. He is perfect and pure.
Since the world runs on a platform that is not based on what God says, sin abounds.
No wonder the world cannot solve its problems!
Anyone who has ever broken any of man’s laws and gotten caught understands there are consequences. Breaking God’s spiritual Law—which includes the Ten Commandments—works the same way.
Separation from God is one of the consequences of sin. Without access to Him, one is stuck in a rut of disobedience, which continues to make it impossible to solve one’s problems. Multiply that by the billions of people alive today, and you get why the world is in such a mess.
Repentance from sin is the only way to turn it around. Any approach that does not begin from the premise of a complete change of heart does not work. If the world would stop sinning, as the Bible defines it, human beings would regain access to the only Being who has the real solutions.
Yet the world cannot see that because of another issue.
Back in the Garden of Eden, the serpent deceived Eve by twisting the truth. “You shall not surely die,” the snake told the woman (Gen. 2:17).
This statement was a direct counter to God’s clear instruction, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die” (3:3). Yet Adam and Eve preferred to believe the lie.
That same dynamic continues today. Millions who read their Bibles take it with a grain of salt. They pick certain principles that work for them, but do not take everything God says at face value!
The reason this continues is the being who spoke through the serpent—Satan the devil (Rev. 12:9)—is still around continuing to deceive people the same way he did the first humans thousands of years ago. In today’s world, his methods are so effective that the world does not even know it is being deceived. The devil is so powerful that II Corinthians 4:4 states, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
What a shocking statement! Did you ever notice that Satan is called a “god” in the Bible? Not just any god, but “the god of this world.”
This is not a mistranslation. The Greek word for “god” is theos, which refers to a “deity” or “supreme divinity.” The devil holds sway over Earth’s inhabitants!
Countless people believe in “God.” But rarely do any stop to think whether they are worshipping the right one. They rarely ever ask themselves, Does the being I worship teach a mixture of good and evil? Neither do they ask themselves, Does the being I worship teach it is okay to sin (break God’s commandments)?
Most do not ask these questions because they do not see anything wrong. More accurately, they cannot see what is wrong, because “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not.”
Satan the devil blinds people’s minds. That is why they cannot see they serve the wrong god! Many professing Christians, for example, sincerely thinking they are following the true God, go about engaging in activism and try to make this world a better place. Yet—exactly as the god of this world would have it—they do not tell people to repent, which would end the cause to their problems. They may tell people to “accept Jesus,” but not to do everything that He commands.
In Luke 6:46, Jesus Christ said, “Why call you Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” How often have you heard that verse quoted in this world’s religious institutions?
The devil has done an astonishing job of deceiving the masses into many false religions, including a totally counterfeit version of true Christianity.
As the “prince of the power of the air”—another of Satan’s biblical names in Ephesians 2:2—he can broadcast certain attitudes into people’s minds to blind them. That sobering reality, in addition to having a mixture of good and evil and being cut off from the true God, makes this world’s problems more insoluble.
Even if mankind was suddenly infused with proper knowledge and reestablished relations with God, it would continue to struggle against evil.
Recall that Adam and Eve had access to the Tree of Life. They were not cut off from the true God—in fact they likely could see Him in person! They had not been blinded to the truth—God told them the truth of what would happen if they made the wrong choice. Yet the devil was still able to trick them.
Human beings have a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary. We want to choose for ourselves, even when told what to do. It was no different for the first two human beings. All Satan had to do was offer them a choice.
Romans 8:7 gives the reason: “Because the carnal [natural] mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
This verse should give you some serious pause.
The God of the Bible created all things, visible and invisible, to be regulated by laws. Everything He made is subject to these “natural” forces. Such a law is gravity. No physical object can defy this force. If a person tries to defy it—he will almost certainly get hurt.
The Bible outlines spiritual laws that regulate spiritual matters. Obedience to those laws bring blessings. Disobedience to any of those laws brings curses. Breaking God’s commandments blocks God’s ability to bless us.
Yet Romans 8:7 plainly states that our minds are not subject—unable to submit—to the Law of God. Deep inside, we really do not want God to tell us what to do.
Truly, we are our own worst enemy!
Think of all the people who saw Jesus Christ in person perform miracles throughout His three-and-a-half-year ministry on Earth. Despite these acts being beneficial and a clear sign of the true God, many still disbelieved, hated and killed Him.
Christ’s prayer to God the Father before going into His final trial was, “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). It takes a different mind to want God to rule our minds.
Never underestimate your mind’s tendency to convince itself that you do not have to obey God. The world at large is oblivious to this fact, but your Bible plainly shows it is true.
All the scriptures mentioned previously prove it is utterly impossible for mankind to solve its own problems. The world is stuck in a self-destructive cycle.
Yet even if it did address all the issues previously described, there is another Bible truth that deals a deathblow to any hope of mankind figuring it out by itself: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
Simply put, God did not design man to exist without His direction. Picture a self-driving car without a sensor or a radar. It is a wreck waiting to happen.
So is mankind ruling itself without God’s guidance. It is an ongoing wreck!
The record of history shows civilization after civilization of different forms of governments. You would think that at least one would have lasted. Yet all fail at some point.
Then there are global problems no one seems able to tame. For example, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere,” the UN’s website states.
The first three SDGs are No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being. These are all-encompassing, generally noble objectives!
Yet despite all good intentions, these goals—embraced in 2015—stray further and further from reach.
Unless God is in the picture and in charge, with global obedience to Him, there will always be another pitfall—another new, unprecedented problem to compound the situation to no avail.
These five verses summarize why the world is so woeful today.
Yet there is good news! There are many more Bible passages that show the world will not stay hopeless. God has crucial reasons why He is allowing the world to worsen until mankind will finally be ready for Him to intervene.
Human beings were created for well doing. That is why the kind gesture at the grocery store catches on. That is why stories of caring people warm our hearts. That is why we so desperately yearn to witness and hear about good deeds. They represent attributes that come from God, who is the author of good.
But mankind is confused between good and evil, cut off from its Creator, blinded to truth, resistant to God’s Law and unable to self-govern. In its current state, mankind is utterly unable to properly frame that innate desire to do well. Its efforts are tainted.
If these scriptures are ignored and misapplied, all the well-intentioned efforts to fix this world will continue to fail in the long run.
But there is real hope for this world to change. One day soon, those little good deeds will become the norm. To better understand the inspiring picture of this awesome new environment, read Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View!