America’s Heart Problem

We hear a lot lately about “hate speech” and “hate crimes”, and other related terms. It is unfortunate that our world is still filled with far too much hate. I am glad that there is a permanent solution to the hate problem that I will address a bit later.

I was raised in the deep south and was indoctrinated with the all-too-common values, speech and thoughts of the segregated south. Children are not born to be racists, or bigots; it is a learned behavior. We become what we are around. I am grateful that, through God’s amazing grace, that there was a day in my life where all that changed. It was the day that Jesus Christ came into my heart and life and I was born again. My thoughts, views and speech changed. I do not use inflammatory words that offend those of other races. Since my salvation experience, God has not allowed me to view others the same any more. Skin color or race is not a factor.

While I am not perfect, and have not always loved as I should, do not hate anyone on this earth, even the man who shot and killed my father when I was seven years old. I hold no ill-will, grudges, bitterness or hatred. When we disagree with the sins, lifestyles and actions of people, we are to love the person and hate the sin. Also, disagreement should never be misconstrued as hatred, racism or bigotry. In fact the Scripture says in Psalm 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil.” Therein lies the challenge to everyone, particularly the Christian. There is much being said about tolerance today. But I’ve come to discover that tolerance works both ways. People who expect, even demand, you to be tolerant toward them, are usually not tolerant of what you believe. Others expect far more grace than they are willing to give.

This is a difficult lesson to learn and live. Why should we hate sin? Because sin is what put my Savior on the cross of Calvary to die a cruel death. He died there to pay for the sins of mankind that separates us from a Holy God. Jesus did not die for His own sins, because He had no sin. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV). Jesus died for sins, not weakness, flaws, mistakes or blunders, but sins. We are to hate sin because it has a terribly high cost. Our sin cost God his only begotten son. Where do we find some of those things we are to hate and stand against? They are found throughout God’s Word, which is the Holy Bible.

Listen to a small list that came from the very lips of Jesus Christ, found in Mark 7:21-23: For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Someone has said, “the heart of the human problem is the problem with the human heart.” What we believe governs our actions. Our creed controls our conduct; our belief turns into behavior. Simply put, people DO what they do, because they ARE what they are. Why is most every newscast replete with more murders, abductions, rape and robberies? Why do people burn, destroy and kill? Only look to a depraved, unregenerate heart filled and controlled by hate!

Washington has no solutions, and Wall Street is helpless. Another government program that simply throws millions of dollars at a problem is ineffective. As valuable and wonderful as educators are, they cannot fix this nation’s woes. Our hope is not in the White House, but in God’s House where lives are changed one at a time. America will only face more perilous and violent days, until the hearts of people are changed by an experience that Jesus called being “born again”, (see John chapter 3). We must do something we have never done before, in order to have something we have never had before. People must be washed white from the inside out, not merely whitewashed, like painting an old fence. The change must take place in the heart. You cannot purify the water, just by painting the pump!

Finally, as Americans, our collective hearts are broken in the wake of another godless act of violence and murder. We pray especially for those who are without nine precious souls today. Their lives have a void, that can never be filled. But they have hope, because they have not “lost” their loved ones, but are only temporarily separated for a little while. When something or someone is lost, you do not know where it is. But these nine people from Emanuel A.M.E in Charleston, South Carolina are not lost, we know where they are. They are in the eternal presence of their Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven! They are with the One who loved them and gave Himself for them! Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you had been gunned down, would you have been ready for what comes after this life? I read where it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgement (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). Are you ready for the judgment day? If not, why not? God said you must repent of your sins and place personal faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, and whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, (Romans 10:13 KJV).

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