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  • Writer's picturePastor John L. Weeks

The World's Greatest Problem

The world's greatest problem... ...what is it? Great question, wouldn't we say? With all the catastrophes, complexities, brokenness, division, and chaos around us, it shouldn't surprise us that contemplative humans aren't groping for answers. Living on planet earth is anything but utopian. Which one of us desires to live in a constant state of turmoil, anxiety, and fear? Which of us doesn't care about the future of our families, children, grandchildren, neighbors, coworkers, etc.? Many thoughtful, caring, loving people ponder, "the world's greatest problem". But just, what is it? Is it overpopulation? There are an awful lot of us, aren't there? - 7,888,000,000 by last count, expected to grow to 9.8 billion by 2050. How about disease and pandemics? Boy, COVID sure threw a monkey wrench into our lives, didn't it? Then there's cancer, heart disease, strokes, etc, we and our loved ones have endured. Is it nuclear warfare? 13,000 nuclear weapons are at the disposal of 9 countries who don't get along. How about economic crises? Is our global economy strong enough to sustain all of us? And, what of poverty, artificial intelligence, asteroids, deforestation, seismic activity, or pollution? As if those problems aren't formidable enough, some are even suggesting presumed extraterrestrial life as the world's great foe. Sheesh! Certainly these are all great problems. Integrate them and they're humanly insurmountable. What about climate change? Some have "credited" such to be the problem of problems. Recent tornadic activity, hurricanes, temperature fluctuations, floods, droughts, fires, etc, have been blamed on prolonged man-induced activities. While human enterprise, (industry, carbon emissions, etc) certainly impacts our micro climatological living spaces, to what degree? Is it possible that our greenhouse "solutions" inflict more damage than climate change itself? If catastrophic weather is induced by man, then how do we explain the summer of 1816 which brought snow to New England every month of that year? Know anyone who flew out of Logan International in 1816? What about the great Peshtigo conflagration which claimed some 1200 lives in northeast Wisconsin the same day as the great Chicago fire in 1871? Can carbon emissions explain the midwest drought and pre cold frontal blustery winds that triggered the tornadic firestorms alleged to have traversed the countryside that 8 October? Then there's America's number one natural disaster in Galveston, Texas in 1900. How many Yukons, Tahoe's, and Expeditions initiated that category 5 monster which claimed some 8,000 precious souls? And, what of the great dust bowl of the 1930s? Was anyone talking about climate change then? Weather extremes have occurred for millennia and will continue to occur. The planet's increased population density only magnifies the impact of an angry atmosphere. No, climate change is not the world's biggest problem. So what then is the world's greatest problem? Is it sin? To sin means to miss the mark of perfection. After all, evidence of destructive pride, covetousness, envy, ignorance, implacableness, anger, lust, greed, disharmony, theft, murder, sexual immorality, disloyalty, bitterness, rebellion, and disobedience abounds on planet earth. Each of us have made our contribution to the corporate evil of the world - "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". No, sin as evil as it is, is not the world's greatest problem. Why's that? Because our Creator has provided it's remedy - His perfect, sinless Son - "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world". Yeah buddy, our perfect, loving, benevolent, merciful, powerful, gracious Creator has provided the world, sin's solution! So then, what's the world's greatest problem? UNBELIEF... ...It's the rejection of the person and work of our Creator. It's stubborn refusal of His remedy for sin and it's consequences. "We got this just fine without You", some of us claim. Truth is, we don't. Only He can truly solve the world's problems. While He loves us, He doesn't need us. We need Him. Many human "solutions" to world woe are contributing to our demise. So what's super positive about this? Faith is attainable. All of us can choose to embrace our Creator and His redemptive plan for us. Belief in Him is a personal powerful game changer. Corporate faith in all it's beautiful manifestations positively impacts our worlds around us. Are we willing to look to our Creator in faith knowing?... ..."whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - even our faith".
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