What is the greatest problem in the world today?
What do you believe? What do you think?
I did a little research and found the following things on the list of worst world problems.
- Climate Change
- Gender Equality
- Unemployment and Poverty
- Racial Equality
- Religious Conflict
- Political Instability
- Terrorism and War
- Russian Expansionism
- Nuclear Proliferation
- Conflict in the Middle East
- Rights of the Unborn
- Animal Rights
- Inequality in Education
It’s a long list that may or may not include the things concerning you.
Sometimes it seems like our today’s problems are worse than they’ve ever been before but the truth is we live in a world marred by sin and evil has had a problematic impact on people since the first bite into forbidden fruit.
That still doesn’t keep us from wondering…
What is the greatest problem facing the world today?
I have an answer. One you may not expect and not on the list above.
I believe the greatest problem in the world today is…
You see, there is nothing on the list above that surprises God. He’s known the beginning from the end since long before there was a beginning.
Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. Psalm 90:2
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End Revelation 22:13
And because God is eternal, it’s possible for you and me to have an eternal perspective.
It’s easy to obsess about things in the news. It’s easier to obsess over things that touch us personally.
But I have a challenge for you…
Of course, I would never challenge you without taking that challenge myself.
To be long-sighted, living each moment in light of eternity.
Friends, if this life is all there is . . . then you and I are perfectly right to let things like climate change and personal rights dominate our thoughts.
But if the heaven and hell Jesus talked about are real, you and I need to prepare and view our current problems in light of our eternal future.
“These will go to the place where they will be punished forever. But those right with God will have life that lasts forever.” Matthew 25:46
Not something most of us like to think about. Hell. Eternal punishment. It’s unsettling.
(Oh, how I love those words)
God made a plan for us. The One who knows the beginning from the end provided a way for people to escape eternal punishment.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. ” John 3:16–18
He said to them, “You are to go to all the world and preach the Good News to every person. He who puts his trust in Me and is baptized will be saved from the punishment of sin. But he who does not put his trust in Me is guilty and will be punished forever. Mark 16:15–16
God sacrificed His Son, a precious part of Himself to save sinful punishment deserving people like you and me.
What do we know about heaven?
God (Father, Jesus, and Spirit) is there.
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62
That’s all we need to know.
It’s true, this world is full of problems . . . terrible problems, but we currently have God’s presence, peace, and protection as we live with them.
Friends, I know your problems are big. The world’s problems are big but with a long-sighted perspective, they become less upsetting.
I like the Message version of the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:
We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. v. 8–9, 16–18
Long-sightedness looks to Jesus in the midst of problems.
Remembering that because of God’s love, grace, and mercy we have a gift that not only spares us from punishment but gives us an eternity in His presence surrounded by His protection, peace, and too many other blessings to count . . . well, it changes us.
It changes everything.
No problem is big enough to take our relationship with God through Jesus.
I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38–39
And no relationship is more important.
Jesus said, “This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life.” John 6:39-40a
How’s your long-sighted perspective?
It’s important to know I’m not suggesting we all sit around with a fatalistic passivity. I am saying that a long-sighted perspective will help us handle those problems in ways that will make more wise and loving citizens today . . . stewards of all God has entrusted to us.
So, my friend, look beyond the problems to your relationship with Jesus . . . a long-sighted eternal perspective changes everything today and forever.
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