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Allison Brown

I have sometimes wondered why Jesus didn't just destroy all poverty, and banish all illness, and neutralize all violence, forever, from the earth when he was here.  He could have, couldn't he? Or even now?  I mean, get rid of those evil abstracts and still keep our free will intact; like when you’re a kid and you ask for a do-over; a restart.

If I were God puzzling my way through for viable solutions, I could come up with a few but they are quite destructive.  See, evil abstracts are one thing, but the agents that concretize their existence are you and me - mankind, in a broken place inside ourselves.

          You want to hear my ideas?   Well, ok...

I got 4.  This first one I can't take credit for since God already used and discarded it, but here goes: wipe mankind from the earth.  Obviously, judge and condemn was considered an unsatisfactory result afterwards and is not gonna happen again because God rainbow-promised. 

My second idea is negligent, but not destructive:  Abandonment.  Just walk away, leave us to our own destruction -- who could blame Him?

Third, strong-arming.  Yeah, you know, forced submission to His will.  And the kill on this idea is two words: free will.  It just won't happen; the gift of His likeness includes the freedom to make choices. 

So this last one has to be so much better than the other three to even be considered, right...  Don't worry, it is, but it doesn't radiate overt power and authority.  It's this: 

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.
— John 3:7

And that is why Jesus' direct target of intervention is our heart.  Concepts of love, peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace.  *Aha*, so that is why Jesus spent so much time preaching to straighten our bent character.

It’s like this: Some things can not be undone.  There are so many examples on earth of irreversible changes and we just need to know that sin is like that.  It produced an irreversible change on the earth.  And that makes it difficult to navigate our lives in harmony with the will of God.  Yeah, that’s the weird part in the Bible about principalities and powers.  The isolation that separation from God elicits can overwhelm any one person, family, community, or country.

So you are born into an imperfect world without the option of choosing to go back, to be un-born, to un-exist.  You’re here, whether you want to be or not (and Nicodemus scratched his head on this one too…) but, you can be re-born, if you so choose.  

And here's the thing I really want to talk about:  Every person on earth gets to choose, but not everyone knows what their choices are.

How can they call on the One whom they have not heard?
— Romans 10:14


And if you don’t know what your choices are, it’s practically the same thing as not having any.  That paralysis is a recipe for hopelessness, a vacuum of spiritual and social poverty.  We, as a Christian development organization, invest in relationships to bring awareness and access to choices that individuals can seize to re-form their lives, thru Jesus invitation to rebirth as well as ways to live better lives now.  Jesus was right; it really is a battle for the heart of man.