so far we have found out
1)what God really is like
2)Then what God thinks about mankind
And now I want to look at
Why God thinks of us the way He does
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.
Now let me mention three aspects of our badness in which we all have a share.
First, there is our attitude to God’s creation.
I am sure you realise that we are destroying the environment on which we depend.
We are cutting down the forests that give us oxygen to breathe.
Animals are becoming extinct
– we are not giving them room, and they were all made by God for his pleasure,
and we are cutting them down and down.
So there is our attitude to God’s creation —and we are all involved in this.
He gave it to us to care for it, to look after it, and we are just not doing that. We are all contributing tons of rubbish, and landfills all over the place.
That is just one aspect in which we are all involved.
We are spoiling God’s creation.
Secondly, I want us to look at our attitude to each other.
We kill far more people than any natural disaster does.
A quarter of a million in the tsunami was the worst we have seen in our lifetime,
but in two world wars fifty to sixty million people were slaughtered,
and we are told that in the former USSR eighty million were done to death.
In World War II, six million of God’s chosen people were killed, and they did not even declare war on anybody, but they suffered.
God called the Jews the apple of his eye – which means actually the iris of the eye, the most sensitive part of your body.
When you touch his chosen people, you touch his sensitive spot, the apple of his eye.
Some drink and drive,
regardless of the danger they are bringing to other people.
We break the speed limit.
We are doing things every day that are risking the lives of others.
one third of the world’s population goes to bed hungry,
another third is starving,
and we in the West are eating so much food that we have problems with obesity even in our children.
You know, when Noah came out of the ark,
God promised him that he would always see that the whole human race had enough food,
and there is enough food in the world now for everybody to be fully fed.
Why aren’t they?
Partly because some of us are so greedy that we won’t share our food with those who need it.
It is not God’s fault that anybody starves, it is ours, and we must take the blame for it.
We are all killers in principle.
The Nazis treated Jews as sub-human;
we are guilty of the same error if we treat the Nazis as sub-human.
They were human beings just like you and me.
The soldiers of Auschwitz who were poisoning hundreds of Jews went home to play games with the children and even sing Christmas carols.
They were all human beings,
and when you get to know yourself as you really are, when you see yourself in the Bible, as in the mirror,
you realise that all of us are capable of such things.
Jesus came along and said something quite devastating.
He said that you are a murderer in principle if you have ever wished anybody dead.
If you have called someone an idiot, you are a killer.
There are many people who, when they were children, were told by their own parents, ‘You’re no good’ —and that killed their spirit for the rest of their lives.
So our attitude to our fellow creatures reveals us all as capable of being really bad people.
I have mentioned our attitude to creation
and our attitude to our fellow creatures.
3)What about our attitude to our Creator?
He has given us a book of instructions for life.
He has given us certain rules, which he made for our health and our happiness.
What do we do about them?
We ignore them.
We make up our own rules.
Take the exquisite pleasure of sex.
God said that if you want the most out of sex,
then absolute chastity before marriage,
absolute fidelity after marriage,
and you will enjoy sex better than anyone else.
So what do we do?
We ignore both rules and we do it our way.
I suppose the essence of our rebellion against God is to get to the end of life and say ‘I did it my way.’ That is the theme song of sinners.
But I am not just thinking about the rules that God gave us for our own good, for our own happiness and health.
I am thinking also of how we treat him as a person.
Many people ignore him.
They would rather go to a sale or a football match on Sunday than spend an hour with his people,
thanking him, telling him how much he means to us.
We insult him by turning our adoration and worship to other gods
—not just other religions necessarily,
but other gods such as film stars, pop stars, sporting stars;
and we give them the adoration that belongs to God alone.
God alone is worthy of such worship.