Among THE GREAT COURSES is one entitled, “Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century.” It chronicles attempts to bring about a Utopia, first with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 which promised a worker’s paradise. Instead it produced a reign of terror and an estimated 30 million lives sacrificed to bring about this “paradise.” Following shortly thereafter was the attempt of Nazi Germany to establish the pure Aryan race in the Third Reich. To accomplish this millions were purged by way of concentration camps. After the Second World War, Pol Pot, who ascended power in Cambodia, set about to restart the nation by eliminating all educated in what became known as the “Killing Fields.” Of the seven million in Cambodia at the time, two million lost their lives.
The course, “Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century,” is another reminder that the more people attempt to make a heaven on earth, the more nearly they make a hell. This is true of the pleasure seekers who use drugs and sex to bring about their “paradise.” This will be true of individuals and governments who attempt to establish a utopia in this world.
As long as human beings have their sinful nature there will be no utopia. The nearest one can come to a better life is acknowledge this truth and turn to the One who gives us a clean heart and right spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Sunday service at Peace Lutheran Church is at 10:00 a.m.
The foreign religions which were introduced to the people of God in Israel following the reign of King David were exceedingly attractive because they encouraged people to do what the sinful nature wanted to do anyway. The worship of these false gods included same sex and heterosexual relations (1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46). These religions were so attractive that the faithful prophet Elijah complained, They have “killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (1 Kings 19:10).
Another description of natural man is this: “Their feet are swift to shed blood” (Romans 3:15). The Islamic State appeals to this nature of human beings. What other explanation can be given for their bloody bombs, beheadings, and mass shootings? Because much of the religions of the world, including the USA, encourage people to live as their sinful nature dictates, Christians throughout the world are beginning to feel like Elijah, “I am left alone, and they seek to take my life.”
The hope of sinful man is in Jesus Christ, who came that we may have a “clean heart and right spirit” and has promised, “I will never leave you, or forsake you.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). This is the confession of every true Christian. The “cross” is everything relating to what our Lord Jesus Christ did to reconcile us to a just and holy God. This includes the perfect life He lived in our place, His death upon the cross to bear our curse, His resurrection by which we are assured of our resurrection to eternal life. This even includes the faith to trust Him as our Savior, because this faith is generated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God (Romans 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3). To boast in the “cross” is to publicly acknowledge He alone is the source of our salvation and peace with God. This stands in contrast to any work or goodness on our part. “By grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9f).
It is in vogue for athletes to gloat when they score and for politicians to boast of their accomplishments, but this is not the way of true Christianity. In every facet of life God asks, “What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7). “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.