Have you ever just stopped and asked yourself “what in the world is wrong?” When we look around at this world, it seems that our boat is breaking up, and those around us are using their pry bars to speed up the process. Aside from all of the natural diseases in the world that affect our bodies, the greater illnesses that abound have to do with our behavior.
Our country has a President that despises it. Our legislative chambers are filled with people that are mentally and spiritually lysdexic. (Everything they see is backwards.) Our leaders are doing everything they can to make sure that success is punished, laziness is polished, and individual freedom will perish. I have come to the conclusion that if our leaders were in charge of the NFL, every time your team scored a touchdown, they’d give their opponent 4 of your teams points. Our leaders hate the people that God loves, and love the things that God hates. The prevailing sentiment is that Christians are bad, muslims are good, and America ought to apologize to the world for being successful. The gospel of the Bible is that God will forgive sinners. The gospel of today is that God accepts sin.
And that’s not even the tip of the iceburg in the “secular” world.
Within professed Christendom, sheep are turning on shepherds at every opporunity they can find, and some shepherds seem to be biting sheep. Bloggers are blundering all over themselves to see to it conflict and convtroversies abound. (Some justified, some not justified.) Not only can “Christians” not get along, Baptists can’t seem to agree, and furthermore, even Baptists within Baptists, can’t seem to come together on many fundamental issues.
What in the world is wrong?
Well don’t get the idea that the world has a lot of problems. Even in the face of everything that I have listed, it doesn’t really have very many problems. In fact I will go as far as to say that the world only has one real problem.
Every single problem that exists in any life anywhere can find its foundation and its fuel in sin. All crime is a symptom of sin. All conflicts, all poverty, all diseases, all difficulties, find their source planted deep and wide in this fallen nature, and there is no natural cure. Just for a minute, I want to take this opportunity to address the Doctrine of Natural Depravity, what it is, and why I believe it. Until man sees himself as a sinner, he’ll never believe he needs a Savior.
There are five reasons to believe that all men are naturally depraved, and will not completely be different until they are fully and ultimately saved.
1.) Nature Has Been Corrupted -The first piece of evidence that we are going to look at is the corruption of nature. Nature itself testifies to the Doctrine of Natural Depravity. It testifies first in the Bible that it is dirty and depraved. Not only can we read this, we can see it in our visual experience. Nature is dirty, it is dying, and it stands to declare that all of creation is naturally depraved.
Genesis 3:17-19— “cursed is the ground”
Romans 8:20-22— “the whole creation groaneth.”
Romans 5:12— “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world.”
We are to believe in the doctrine of natural depravity because the Bible teaches it. The Bible tells us that the natural world bears the marks of the corruption of sin. Fruit trees must be tended and gardens must be weeded because of sin. They do not do well naturally. Left alone they won’t flourish, they’ll fail. From earthquakes to hurricanes, sin has made that which is natural a natural disaster. Sin has affected all of nature.
2.) Mankind Has Been Contaminated – Romans 5:19— “For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners . . .”Men sin because they are sinners. They are not sinners because they sin. We do what we do, because we are what we are. When Adam sinned, three things happened to him and his wife.
1.)Their Eyes were Opened— Instead of seeing divine wisdom, they saw depraved wretchedness. After reading Genesis 3:6-7, it is important to note that “they” didn’t see, until after “he” sinned. Since Adam was first, and Eve was part of him, whatever would happen to him, would happen to her.
2.) Their Garden was Closed— God drove man out from His presence, because He cannot be in the presence of sinners. Man was not driven out because of what he had done, he was driven out because of what he had become, – a sinner.
3.) Their Nature had Changed— Three things happened to the nature of man as a result of sin. Most people say we have a human nature, but the reality is that it is a sin nature. Ephesians 2:1-3 address this . . . “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” What changed in Human Nature? – #1—It became Lifeless— vs. 1 – “dead in trespasses and sins” #2— It became Careless— vs. 2— a nature that is bent according to the world, the devil, and the disobedient. #3 — It became Shameless—vs. 3— It’s desire is now to satisfy our own cravings in the flesh and in our mind. Human nature is normal, but it didn’t use to be. Human nature is the fundamental reason men sin. Men have become what God did not intend for them to become; rebels. We now naturally do that which once was unnatural. Without the perfection of innocence, we are left perverted by guilt.
3.) Wickedness Has Been Cultivated – In Genesis chapter 1 we find a recurring statement that underscores a permanent principle. Very simply stated it is this: Like produces Like. Ten times in 5 different verses we are told that God created things to produce “after their kind”. This means one simple truth that is repeated in many ways all throughout the scripture. Rotten men cannot produce Righteous offspring. Dead men produce dead men, sinners produce sinners. Job 14:4— “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, not one.” We became what we are when they became what they were. God did not create sinners. He created men in His image with a free moral agency, in order to have free moral fellowship. When Adam disobeyed God, He did that which He was not created to do, but that he had the freedom to do. God had instructed Adam to fill the earth, but by his disobedience he began to kill the earth.
4.) Humanity Has Been Convicted – Before Adam took his first bite, he made his worst choice. He chose not to believe God. God had expressly explained to Adam what would happen if he ate of that fruit. However, Satan had told Adam that which was contrary to God’s Word. Adam then had a choice as to who to believe. When he chose the fruit, he declared his faith. By choosing the fruit of the wrong tree, Adam was declaring to God by his actions, “I don’t believe you.” Adam’s actions illustrate the foundation of all sin. Romans 14:23— “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” The first sin didn’t begin in disobedience; it began in faithlessness. Wrong behaving is a result of wrong believing, and Adam believed the wrong person, Satan. We see in the world what we see in Adam, and it is the sin of unbelief. Humanity hasn’t been convicted of behaving wrong, it has been convicted of believing wrong. Romans 11:32— “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief . . .”
5.) Depravity Has Been Confirmed . . . The final piece of proof of the doctrine of natural depravity rests squarely in the evidence of our own hearts. Jeremiah 17:9— “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” Men who do not believe that they are born with a sin nature are in plain simple denial.” We know that man is a natural born sinner because of what’s inside him. Our hearts are rotten from the moment of our conception. Left alone, we do not have to learn to disobey. We naturally do that which is wrong. Rather we have to be taught to do that which is right. Proverbs 22:15— “ Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child . . .”
All of that being said we must realize that it is a Natural Problem that only has a Supernatural Cure . . . Jesus. That is why I maintain that He really is the only change worth making. Changing everything else and not turning to Him isn’t changing anything at all. Until the Lord changes the nature of a skunk, regardless of whatever that skunk does, he will always stink. Look to Christ and Him alone. Governments are broken. Pastors and preachers are still sinners, but the gospel of Jesus Christ never changes. Looking to the ONE thing that doesn’t change is the only real change worth making.