Life Without God – Without Hope
“In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.” Ephesian 2:12
Hope – 1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety. 2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense. Noah Webster’s dictionary
God is the source of life, joy, peace, order, logic, linear thinking, cause and effect, kindness, love, morality, gentleness, goodness, meekness, power, wealth, prestige and recognition.
In the USA we live in a culture heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian values and ideas of freedom and linear reasoning. It is easy to think that the rest of the world’s people think like we do, have access to the same information, reason like we do and come to similar conclusions. This is not so.
What is life like where people have less knowledge about God?
The Bible has some very good descriptions of the chaos of life where God’s values are not respected. The context of these descriptions contrast the life which God wants all of us to live. Even though these words were penned long ago, they aptly describe village life where God is not known.
“Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Titus 3:3 “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.”
1Peter 4:3 “… evil things that godless people enjoy — their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.”
Romans 13:13 “… the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.“
Where there is no restraint, no law enforcement, people are trapped by their own desires and oppressed by the unrestrained desires of others. Steeped in the beliefs of things that simply are not true and motivated by the bondage of fear, lust and selfish ambition, people destroy other people while they self-destruct.
The Gospel is about setting captives free. Jesus provides reliable hope for the hopeless. Through hearing and believing the truth of God’s Word people are set free from their own vices and the bondage put on them by other people. Jesus sets them free through believing and obeying the truth which is delivered to them by messengers sent by those who have already been set free.
“Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV)