Millions spend their days adrift, seeing no meaning or purpose in their lives. The Bible explains why you were created, what your future can be, and how you can live a meaningful, happy life today. It holds the answers to all of life's most vexing questions.
For several weeks last fall, millions of Americans near the nation's capital lived in fear that a sniper's bullet might take their lives without warning. The United States has become a dangerous place, where it is often unsafe even to take a walk! It is definitely not safe to take an evening stroll in most big American cities. For instead of smelling the flowers, you may end up "pushing up the daisies" from your grave. You have a very good chance of being mugged, raped or murdered.
I remember fondly a trip I took to Brussels, Belgium, where one can take a walk almost anywhere, night or day, in relative safety. As a tourist, getting lost was my greatest danger. The same goes for Germany, Denmark, the other Scandinavian countries and most of Western Europe. The city parks at twilight are filled with flowers, young parents with children and old ladies feeding pigeons—in safety.
We used to call the U.S. "the land of the free and the home of the brave." So why are its streets unsafe? What has happened to the U.S.—and why? Can its problems be solved by more police? Homeland security? Tougher gun laws? Better hospitals? Better schools? Can any or all of these help? And are any of these truly "the answer"?
Shortsighted leaders often try to pacify citizens with social "painkillers" or "political aspirin" that temporarily mask the immediate pain of social problems. But these ultimately fail, just as exploitive medical practices often fail to treat the underlying causes of degenerative disease (e.g. stress, pollution, poor diet and lack of exercise).
Gun control may do a certain amount of good—but what about the countless weapons already in criminals' hands? Prisons may keep offenders from committing new crimes—for a short while—but often simply teach inmates to become more clever and hardened criminals.
An article in the San Gabriel Tribune described the sad prospects of a 12-year-old California boy who had committed a serious offense. Journalist Keith Sharon described the boy's probable situation in prison. "His age will not earn him any special treatment other than the placement of his bed. His odds of coming out of the program reformed are the same as the other boys: Fifty-five percent are back in jail within two years."
And, of course, we all know that society's "answer" to the AIDS epidemic is to pass out condoms to 10- and 12-year-old boys and girls—children who are totally unprepared for a sexual relationship. Awful! The genuine answer to these and similar problems facing the U.S. and most other nations is not merely to treat the "effect" but to get at the cause.
We must recognize that the U.S. is truly coming apart at the seams! When you consider the national debt—the worst in recorded human history—and the drug problems, criminality, broken families, racial tensions, AIDS and other venereal diseases—you can see that the U.S. truly does not have many more years to go before some kind of major breakdown occurs.
Before long, it will be obvious that the U.S. is under some kind of national curse. Why? And what can be done about it?
Whether we realize it or not, we are suffering because of the breaking and smashing of certain fundamental laws of the universe. Are we breaking the laws of science or physics? No. It is far more serious than that. Many have been deceived into thinking that the Creator God is "far away." Billions have been taught that His great spiritual law, the Ten Commandments, is not binding for people today.
Because of a confused, do-your-own-thing "value system," Americans are no longer sure about what is right and what is wrong. So American cities are increasingly unsafe. More and more American high school co-eds get pregnant; about one and a half million little human beings are murdered each year while still in the womb, and their murders are paid for with money on which is printed: "In God We Trust." What a hypocritical nation!
We must realize that humanity does not have the authority to decide what is right and what is wrong. Only our Creator has the authority to decide that—and He has given us this basic information in the "Ultimate Manual for Survival"—the Holy Bible.
When Jesus Christ was asked the way to ultimate survival, He gave an unambiguous answer. A young man asked: "Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" Jesus answered: "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:16–17). Then Jesus began to name some of the Ten Commandments so there would be no confusion as to which law He was talking about.
If our entire human society, from top to bottom, would believe in and live by the Ten Commandments, we would have a virtual utopia! There would be no need for prisons, for there would be no crime. No need for large defense expenditures, for there would be no more war. No need for hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with drug-related problems, for people would be at peace with themselves and their family. No expenditures for AIDS and all the other venereal diseases, for married men and women would learn to be faithful, before marriage and in marriage, to one dearly loved.
The Apostle James was inspired to write: "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:10–12).
Notice that "the law" James writes about is the Ten Commandments. He states that Christians will be "judged" by the law (v. 12), and the Ten Commandments are specifically called "the law of liberty."
If obeyed, the Ten Commandments would truly liberate mankind from war, crime, divorce, drunkenness, drugs, venereal disease and most of the mental and emotional tensions and guilt feelings that haunt so many people.
Contrary to the vain reasonings of so many religionists, Jesus Christ's message had much to do with God's law. In a prophecy about the coming Messiah, Isaiah was inspired to write: "The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake: He will magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21).
In the Sermon on the Mount and throughout His ministry, Jesus did magnify the Law. He said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). Please realize that "fulfill" does not mean "nullify." Christ fulfilled the Law by keeping it—setting us an example that we should follow in His steps. "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
As Jesus said: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).
So, sincere followers of Jesus of Nazareth must keep even the "least" of the Ten Commandments—including observance of the weekly Sabbath day. Jesus did not give permission to violate God's law. Notice Matthew 5:28: "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." In this verse Jesus is clearly magnifying God's Law—not rescinding it. Jesus made the Law's real meaning even more thorough and binding on His disciples.
Can you realize what a different nation and different world we would have if womanhood were deeply respected so that men would not—even in their minds—regard women in a lustful and pornographic way? Rather, each man would see his wife as his God-given "other half," deserving equal respect—as his true sweetheart and the mother of his children. There would be no adultery or divorce, or broken homes with mixed-up and often criminally inclined children.
What if we followed Jesus' magnification of God's law against murder? There would be no vicious hatreds, beatings, mutilations or taking of human lives. For the living Christ inspired the Apostle John to write: "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15).
Men and women everywhere would learn how to understand and obey the spirit of the Ten Commandments. The spirit of the law in no way does away with the letter of the Ten Commandments! Rather, it applies the principles of God's spiritual law to the spirit or attitude of the person. The spirit of the law demands that this attitude be made right and clean and pure from hatred, lust and selfishness.
Why have many of you never heard this before? Why have most preachers either neglected to even talk about the Ten Commandments, or else have tried to subtly undermine the credibility of God's Law by saying it was "done away" or "nailed to the cross"?
Many misguided preachers try to give the impression that, since we are under the New Covenant, the Ten Command-ments are done away. Nothing could be further from the truth! Notice God's description of the new covenant in His inspired Word: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:31–33).
The "new" covenant clearly involves Jesus Christ putting His laws in our hearts and minds—making them a part of our very nature! In 2 Peter 1:4, Peter states that we are to be "partakers of the divine nature." The New Covenant involves God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ actually coming in and living
in us—imparting to us through the Holy Spirit, the very divine nature of which they are composed!
Jesus said: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" (John 14:23). The Apostle Paul wrote: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
Clearly, the new covenant involves God the Father and Jesus Christ living in us through the power of the Holy Spirit! But what kind of life would Jesus live within a true Christian? Paul was inspired to write: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). So Christ's basic way of life does not change.
Jesus Himself tells us: "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:10). So Jesus kept His Father's commandments and, as the God—the "Rock"—of the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:4), Jesus gave these commandments to Israel! For He was their God—acting for the Father—and He and the Father are "one" (John 10:30). They do not have different laws or different value systems.
The beloved Apostle John was inspired to write: "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4). So any true Christian must necessarily walk in the pathway of the Ten Commandments. A true Christian must study the commandments and all their meaning and sincerely try to live by them, through the help of God's Holy Spirit, as a way of life.
Why have most of you never heard Christianity explained this way before? Why do misguided men seem always to talk about the person of Christ, but not His message of obedience to God, and the good news of His coming Kingdom soon to be set up on this earth?
Unless we repent nationally of breaking God's laws, our future looks grim indeed. For every great nation and empire in history that has descended to the depths of immorality we are now experiencing has come to an end.
So what will happen? Will preachers wake up and begin to teach obedience to the laws of God? Will political leaders turn to the Creator in true godly fear, making God and His ways a vital part of national life? Will educators, psychologists and sociologists begin to build their concepts on the foundation of the Word of God?
The answer seems obvious. The U.S., along with most of the English-speaking nations, is in for a time of national calamity—actually, national punishment—unprecedented in human history. Month by month, year by year, more and more crises will come. The national debt will increase. Immorality and the crime rate will increase. Cities will become even less safe, as they are overcome by lawlessness, gang warfare, race riots—and finally food riots because of the impending drought and famine prophesied to strike our peoples.
But you, personally, can bring yourself to an intense awareness of what is happening. You can begin to diligently study the Bible and see what it really says. You can begin to cry out to God in earnest prayer and ask Him for guidance, for strength and for deliverance for you and your family in the turbulent years ahead. Then, you can turn to Him with all your heart and start obeying His laws. You can accept the true Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and surrender to let Him live His life in you.
As you sincerely seek God and believe in the true Gospel of His Son, learn to do what He says. He will enrich your life with understanding and purpose. He will grant you the gift of eternal life in His soon-coming Kingdom (John 3:16). And He will deliver you from the coming worldwide catastrophe that Jesus predicted so vividly. For Jesus Himself said: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).