What God thinks about mankind
We might get a shock
already we have found that we have a much lower opinion of God
today we may find that we have a much higher opinion about ourselves
We already discovered that God love for righteousness is greater than His love for people.
And this was evident when He destroyed mankind in the flood.
Jesus held a low view of human nature.
He said, for example, ‘If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children….’
He is acknowledging that human nature is basically evil, even if we manage to do some good things in our lifetime.
It is also said that he would never trust anybody because he knew what was in man.
That is an extraordinary statement. Jesus would not trust people, could not trust them,
because he knew them inside out, and therefore knew what they were really like.
We recall that when the man said to him, ‘Good master, what must I do?’
‘Why do you call me good?
There is no-one good but God’ —so really we should never use that word of anybody else.
Now this is the very opposite of the humanist viewpoint.
Humanists believe that human nature is basically good, even if we do bad things,
and humanism often goes on to believe that evil comes to us from outside, that the environment we are in makes us behave badly,
but basically we are good.
But evil comes from the inside out.
The environment can be good, and still people can be bad.
Poverty may exacerbate this situation, poverty and bad environment in the family may encourage us to behave badly, but it is only releasing something that is already in there.
You know, I had six children,
and in fact they learned the word ‘no’ before they learned the word ‘yes’.
- We never had to teach them how to be cruel to each other,
- only how to be kind.
- We never had to teach them how to be rude, only how to be polite.
Were our three children worse than anybody else’s? No.
They were typical.
As one mother said to me about her little baby boy: ‘It’s not his willpower that’s the problem, it’s his won’t power.’
She was saying something that every parent knows.
Children are not innocent.
That is why there is so much bullying in school.
That is why we have such problems in the playground.
What I am saying is that the Bible has a much higher view of God than we have,
and a much lower view of ourselves than we usually have.
And that leads to some very interesting conclusions in the word of God.
How bad are we? I am not talking about real criminals.
Everybody thinks some people are wicked:
Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein.
If I said they are going to hell, I think I would be cheered.
but we all think the wickedness is in someone else, not in us.
As I have mentioned, when sometimes people say to me,
‘Why doesn’t God take all the bad people out of the world and leave the rest of us to enjoy life in peace and safety?’ there is a false assumption behind that statement.
If God removed everybody who is bad from this world, there would be nobody here at all.
You would not be here, and I would not be here, if God had dealt with us in strict justice.