“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”” (1 Corinthians 1:18–19, NIV84)
The words “Hurry Obi-wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope” still make me chuckle. I don’t know why, they just sound silly to me. I wonder sometimes if in our earnestness to express the value the Christian gospel in our lives if we don’t come across as sounding kind of silly too. We probably do to some people.
In my post Monday I expressed – as I usually do – that the gospel is our ultimate hope. It is our only hope. But what did I mean by this? On the surface, it might sound as if I am saying that if we could just make everyone Christians we wouldn’t have these sort of tragedies. The implication is that Christians are inherently more moral than those who are not.
Of course, some Christians have done and will continue to do all sorts of horrific things. Christians are just as capable of murder as anyone else. You and I, given the right set of circumstances, can do the stuff of nightmares.
That said, I am convinced that Christianity offers the big picture story of God, Creation, Fall, and Redemption that makes the most sense of the world we see around us. Ours is a worldview that not only gives us explanation for the world’s brokenness, but gives us real reasoning for why we must struggle against it. In this sense, I do think that those who live consistently as followers Christ and become more like him will in fact be more consistently moral than those who do not. A society made up of such people will be better for it. In a sense, the gospel does offer the hope for better society right now.
Yet, there is that darkness, that unresolved sin which hounds us until that time when we see Christ again. Christians will kill. Christians will steal. Christians will live immorally and destructively. Until Christ returns, this is the way it will be, and any dream that we can create some sort of Utopia devoid of this kind of suffering before that time is utter foolishness. But here is where the greater hope of the gospel comes to bear upon us.
THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS, NOR IS IT ALL THERE WILL EVER BE.
This is the hope of the gospel. This is what I mean when I say he offers real courage beyond death’s grasp, real peace in the place of fear, and that our only hope is the gospel. It will sound like foolishness to some, maybe most, but to those of us who have caught a vision of Jesus and His Kingdom, it is the power of God that leads to redemption.
Live in that reality.