The answer isn’t gun control. The answer isn’t mental illness awareness. Education will not solve it either. We can’t simply evolve beyond this issue. We live in a confused culture pursuing dead-end answers.
An awful tragedy took place last Wednesday. A young man (who I will not name) shot and killed nine people during a church prayer meeting and Bible study. He killed them because of their skin color. While it is right that this should cause an outcry of injustice, the proposed solutions are not solutions at all and only further highlight our country’s utter confusion at how to deal with our racial problems.
Many people who want to see racism end and hate crimes stop will seek to legislate morality, to educate an issue or another false solution that only further perpetuates our cultural confusion.
We are confused and God has the answers.
I will say it again – The answer is not gun control or a new law. The answer is not mental illness awareness. The answer is not education. The answer is not tolerance. The answer is the gospel.
The Gospel Breaks Down Racial Issues
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were called “the uncircumcised ones” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from God’s people, Israel, and you did not know the promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. Ephesians 2:11-14 NLT
As a Gentile, I am very thankful that when Jesus came to die He did not just come to die for Jews. He also did not just come to die for the people who look, think and act like you. He came to die for the world (John 3:16). The gospel is good news for all people.
The Gospel Answers Our Identity Issues
Each of us is uniquely made. Each of us has distinct gifts and abilities. However, we are far more than what we do and our identity is about even more than what we are capable of doing. It is a core issue that when you surrender to the gospel of Jesus Christ you are utterly and completely changed. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ then through the gospel your identity has been changed.
- You are royalty (1 Peter 2:9).
- You are a priest (Tell that to the next priest you sit next to on a plane. Then read 1 Peter 2:9 to him).
- Because of your belief you are a child of God (John 1:12).
- You are the salt of the world (Matthew 5:14).
- You are loved (Ephesians 1:3).
- You are blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
- You are chosen (Ephesians 1:4).
- You are holy and blameless before God (Ephesians 1:4).
- You are adopted (Ephesians 1:5).
- You have been redeemed if you are a believer in Jesus Christ because of the gospel (Ephesians 1:7).
The Gospel Deals With the Heart
The root problems we try to address in our well-intentioned zeal for justice are actually heart problems. Racism is a heart problem. Human trafficking is a heart problem. Hate crimes are heart issues. Terrorism is a heart problem. Education does not change the heart. Gun control does not remove the hatred that is in the heart of a murderer. Only the gospel changes a human heart. Jesus spoke directly about this throughout the gospels.
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. Mark 7:21-22
Jesus came to address the heart and left His followers with a message that addresses the heart. We have mistakenly made it about rules and behavior. However, the gospel is a heart message.
What Is the Gospel?
The gospel is the good news of God. The gospel is for all people everywhere because it is the only real solution to the problems of this world. What exactly does the Bible say the gospel is?
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Sin separates us from God. Why did Jesus die for our sins?
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
Jesus died for sins because sin is a universal problem. It is at the heart of why hate crimes are committed. It is at the heart of why we lie, steal, cheat, and kill. Everyone throughout all of history has sinned.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Sin is a major problem because what we earn (wages) for sin is separation from God (death). But God offers us a gift through His Son Jesus Christ and that gift is life because He rose from the dead and has authority over sin and death. That is good news.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Jesus did not die for us because we simply needed a little help. He loved us so much that while we were fighting against him and rebelling against God, He died for us. So what should we do in response?
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8-10
You should call upon Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Then tell everyone you know this good news called the gospel because it’s God’s solution to the race, hate, and all other sin issues in our confused culture.
Do you think that the gospel solves our sin problems? Have you called on Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?