Hope for the Hopeless

Four years ago I attended an ACES training for public school teachers. ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) surveyed school aged children and came to the not surprising conclusion that childhood abuse and trauma can impact a child’s ability to learn. The training also made this statement: The number one issue facing teenagers in school today is that they have no hope.  Fast forward to the aftermath of the March 27th, 2023 shooting in Nashville. A 28 year old woman who believed the lie that she was a boy murdered six. Both sides of the aisle fill the airways with talks of the epidemic of mental illness and depression among teens and young adults. With so much noise we may never fully know all the facts in this case. As Christians, how are we to process these events, and what should we do moving forward?

God Opposes the Proud: During a recent evangelistic outreach on a college campus, I held a sign that said Pride Destroys Love Warns. A man walked by and asked me what my sign meant. I quoted Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall.” I clarified that all pride is a sin, and in answering his questions, helped him to see the biblical application of this verse to the LGBTQ PRIDE movement today.  

Simply put, all pride leads to destruction. Pride puffs up. Pride assaults the very throne of God, removing Him from the throne of our hearts and boldly proclaims there is no God. Psalms 14:1 gives clarity by saying the fool believes in his heart there is no God. The glory of our great God is unmistakable in His creation, but the pride of life makes the fool believe there is no God. As we reject the God who is I AM, the God who is the Self-Existing Eternal One, we reject reality itself. By rejecting Jesus who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, we exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator, Who is worthy to be blessed (Rom 1:25). Romans 1:18-32 vividly describes this prideful descent into the unnatural.  

Romans 1 and the Handing Over: As a result of humans believing in their heart there is no God (though they truly know He exists), and worshiping the creation rather than the Creator, God hands them over to the lusts and pride of their heart. In their futility, they become darkened in their heart (v21), delusional (v22-23), dishonoring to their bodies (v24), filled with degrading passions (v26), and given over to a depraved mind (v28). Look at Romans 1 for yourself and take a moment to meditate on this graphic description of our society today.  No wonder the LGBTQ movement just so happens to define itself with PRIDE. 

A word that can be used to describe a generation being handed over to dishonoring delusion is hopeless. Yes, ACES, while unable to process this data with biblical wisdom, was correct in that they rightly recognized that youth today are without hope. Ephesians 2:12 describes this condition as being separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth, strangers to the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. They are without hope because they are without God, they are dead in their sins and trespasses, by nature children of wrath (Eph 2:3)

You Must Be Born Again: As ambassadors of Christ, we have no need to argue why people are the way they are. I will quickly agree with the young zealot screaming I WAS BORN THIS WAY!  Yes, you were born with a sinful nature. That is why you must be born again. The gospel message that saved me is the gospel message that will save them. I needed to be born again, and so do they.  

Born Again to a Living Hope: When we preach you must be born again, we often go to John 3, and rightly so.  But 1 Peter 1:3 has something to say on the subject.  1 Peter describes the reality for Christians as a result of being born again. We are born again to a living hope.  A Living Hope!  Not a dead hope that can not save.  Not a dead hope that will fix our eyes upon the creation rather than the Creator. Not a dead hope that lies by encouraging LGBTQ PRIDE.  Not a dead hope that tells the young teenage girl who is filled with a hopeless despair that she can make herself whole by mutilating her body. No, for all those who believe, Christ is our Hope.  He gives us a Living Hope because He lives and reigns.  Death has no power over Him, and in Christ we have the hope of eternal life, nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:39).

We must speak the truth in love. All sin leaves us condemend. And as with all other sins, those consumed with the degrading LGBTQ passions need to repent and call out to Christ to be saved. To all who are lost and dead in sin we say come to Christ and live. 

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But how will they hear without a preacher (Rom 10:14).  We must take the gospel of Christ and His kingdom, His righteousness, and His hope into this world that is dead in hopeless depravity.  The short lived pleasure of sin consumes and defiles. As our society is handed over to degrading passions, we see the fruit of darkened hearts. We saw the results this week in Nashville. The only solution is Christ. For those suffering today over the tragic loss of life, for those struggling to process such horror, for those consumed by hopless PRIDE, come to Christ and find rest. The only hope for the hopeless is Christ.