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Centuries, Cultures, and Christ

When I read about yet another official in a place of public trust being found guilty of wrongdoing, my first inclination is to despair. I think, “People are worse than ever before.” Then I get it all back in perspective. It’s not that people are worse—the news coverage is just better.

One writer said about youth, “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their household. They no longer rise when the elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” So what’s new? That was said by Socrates in 400 B.C.

People are basically the same in all ages. No better, no worse. We do have better coverage today. That means that almost all evil is immediately known by everyone. The cumulative effect of this can be overwhelming.

The thing that makes a difference in people is not the centuries nor even our cultures. It is Christ. He alone is able to break through all the pressures and patterns and make us new people.

The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When people commit their lives to Christ, they are changed. When enough people are changed, our world will be changed.

Apart from him, the coverage may get better, but the character will stay the same.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

The Trustworthiness of Christ

Some startling claims have been made for Jesus Christ. He is acclaimed as the Son of God and the universal Savior of all men. But how do we know that these claims are true and not fairytales or nursery rhymes? How can we be sure Jesus is trustworthy? There are at least three reasons:

1. His universal appeal and magnetism. Jesus is the most fascinating person who ever lived. He has had a unique appeal to people of all classes, cultures, and ages. By common consent, the character of Jesus surpasses that found in any other person. No other character has caught and held the attention of people like he has. Such an unusual and magnetic appeal merits an unusual explanation. The claims must be true.

2. His effects on history. He has energized history as no other person. The test of pragmatism says of the Christian faith: “It works.” Wherever his message has gone, great changes have occurred. Marriages have become more sacred, women have been elevated, education has been stressed, children have been loved more, slaves have been freed, and hospitals have been built. There is more than a chance that reality is behind any person who can hold such positive qualities or religious character that bless our world.

3. Reliable historical records. What we have in the New Testament is a reliable historical witness on par with other historical events. The apostle Paul, who wrote so much about Christ, was an outstanding intellect and intensely educated. His mind could not have been easily captured by hallucination.

The combined evidence is weighty indeed. Jesus is trustworthy. You can believe in him.

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