Presentation on theme: "The BIGGEST Problem in the World? by Wes Woodell."— Presentation transcript:
The BIGGEST Problem in the World? by Wes Woodell
The top ten issues secular society sees as the world’s biggest problem:
Secular Society’s Top Ten 10.Species Extinction Today, human activities are causing a massive extinction of species, the full implications of which are barely understood. Rising ocean temperatures reduce the ability of plankton to reproduce, thereby undermining the entire oceanic ecosystem. Commercial fishing’s increasing size and scope threaten to empty of the ocean of fish within several decades.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 10.Species Extinction Modern agricultural practices strip the Earth of its thin layer of topsoil through water and wind erosion, destroying this precious micro ecosystem that takes centuries to form and supports all life on land. Furthermore, bee populations are plummeting, and over 70% of our food is pollinated by bees; if bee populations fall too far, our food supplies will be seriously threatened...
Secular Society’s Top Ten 9.Radical Islam/Terrorism The destabilization of modern civilization by terroristic attacks carried out upon civilian populations. This modern day problem is an assault upon the ideals and expression of freedom, and has the potential to convert free societies into police states.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 8.War Civil wars in small, poor countries cause untold suffering, and half of them are renewed flare-ups of recent conflicts. A single conflict can cost $250 billion or more, takes many years to recover from and can block all other humanitarian interventions. A large scale war in current times has the potential to destroy modern civilization as we know it.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 7.Nuclear Proliferation The acquisition or development of nuclear weapons by governments or groups intent on using them has the potential to lead to all out nuclear war thereby threatening the existence of all living things.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 6.Malnutrition and Hunger Despite significant reductions in income poverty in recent years, undernutrition remains widespread. Recent estimates from UNICEF (2006) are that “one out of every four children under five – or 146 million children in the developing world – is underweight for his or her age”, and that “each year, …undernutrition contributes to the deaths of about 5.6 million children under the age of five”.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 5.Global Water Crisis Water - the essential ingredient for life on this planet – is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. According to the World Bank and World Health Organization, 2 billion people lack access to clean water and 1 billion people do not have enough to even meet their daily needs. Every day an increasing amount of pollution seeps into rivers and lakes making them toxic to humans, and underground aquifers – our most significant sources of water – are being depleted at an alarming rate. If current trends continue more and more useable water will be lost while the world population continues to grow larger and larger.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 4.Global Population Growth The world is currently growing at a rate of 79,000,000 people per year – more than ever before – and as more time passes that number will rapidly increase. The world population is predicted to be over 10 billion in 40 years, and will rapidly increase as the ever-growing human species continues to breed.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 4.Global Population Growth Some believe the earth’s resources will be depleted to the point that mass starvation and disease epidemics will plague mankind.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 3.Peak Oil/Energy Consumption Petroleum powers 96% of the transportation on the planet and is the key ingredient in plastics and fertilizers. Its integral role in human civilization cannot be overestimated - without it modern life would be impossible. Over the last century, the global petroleum supply could be counted on to meet demand; today however, the situation appears to be changing. The developing world - led by China and India - is modernizing at a blistering pace, and their appetite for oil is driving up demand all over the globe. At the same time, production is declining in all but a few countries.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 3.Peak Oil/Energy Consumption For decades, scientists, government officials, and business leaders have warned of Peak Oil, the point at which global petroleum production reaches its maximum level and begins to drop.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 2.Global Economic Collapse The global economy binds together the fate of the international community and all its member nations. It precludes the possibility of a third World War, and exposes individuals all over the world to new ideas, products, and information. Today, the world economy is facing two looming crises. The U.S., by far the world’s largest and most powerful economy, is completely in debt at the individual, institutional, and governmental levels. The Dollar is at its lowest rate in years, and the fundamental driver of the US economy – the housing market – appears to be coming undone.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 2.Global Economic Collapse Many experts believe we’re on the brink of global economic depression, and if the markets fail the infrastructure of modern civilization will collapse causing modern ways of living to drastically change.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 1.Global Warming Due to the steady stream of attention this issue has gotten in the last few years, many believe g lobal warming is the preeminent danger to human civilization today. It is believed that the rising global temperature threatens to create catastrophic weather systems, crop failures, disease outbreaks, and water shortages worldwide.
Global warming advocates say emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are trapping heat within the Earths’ atmosphere, slowly increasing the overall temperature. These emissions are the byproduct of our modern way of life, and to halt them would require a voluntary shift in the very structure of our society, a move unprecedented in human history.
Secular Society’s Top Ten 1.Global Warming Advocates also believe to take no action against global warming would be to alter the very chemical composition of our planet. They believe life on Earth evolved over hundreds of millions of years to survive within very specific conditions, and any change in those conditions will breed a myriad of disasters. “Global warming is the most dangerous crisis we have ever faced by far …” - Al Gore
Are these valid problems? … but are any of those the biggest problem in the world?
What does the Bible say?
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Genesis – serves as the basis for the rest of the Bible; gives an account of God’s creation of the world, the introduction of Satan and the division between man and God caused by the fall, God’s fierce opposition to sin and His wish to cleanse the world of it, and God’s promise to bless the world through His chosen people – Abraham’s seed. Exodus – chronicles God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and His journey with them to the promised land; God’s character is revealed, His law is shared, the priesthood, tabernacle, and worship ceremonies are established, and the institution of the Passover Feast points to the Savior’s future sacrifice. Leviticus – gives an account of the laws and regulations given by God at Sinai; the primary theme is the holiness of God and His requirement of perfect sacrifice points to Jesus. Numbers – a history of Israel’s journey from Mount Sinai toward the promised land of Canaan, their rebellion against God, His wrath against them as carried out in the desert wandering; ends with Israel on the plains of Moab having yet to cross the Jordan into the promised land. Deuteronomy – gives an account of events leading up to Israel’s entry into the promised land; emphasizes the love relationship God has for His people, His expectation of total commitment, obedience, and the blessings that accompany it, and His promise to curse those who are non- committed or disobedient. Joshua – main theme centers around the establishment of God’s people in the promised land; Canaanites serve as symbols of sin, and God’s servant Joshua (whose name means “the Lord saves” and is same name in Greek form that Jesus was given) cleansing the land of sin is symbolic of Christ’s future victory. Judges – gives an account of period between Joshua’s leadership and the establishment of the Jewish monarchy; chronicles Israel’s frequent descent into sin, accompanying punishment, their crying out to God for deliverance, and His covenant faithfulness.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Ruth – the main theme of the book is redemption, and is played out through Naomi whose life is moved from emptiness to fullness and from destitution to security and hope by the selfless, loving acts of Boaz and Ruth; parallels the work of Jesus in the world. 1 & 2 Samuel – a historical account of the rise of the Israelite monarchy including the stories of the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David; God’s promise to establish David’s throne forever points toward the coming reign of Jesus. 1 & 2 Kings – possibly written during the Jewish exile, these books provide a sequel to the history found in 1 & 2 Samuel and the guiding principle in the book is Israel’s success or failure as a people is dependent on their submission to God’s sovereign rule and law. 1 & 2 Chronicles – written to post-exilic Israel to answer the burning question, “Is God still interested in us?” The dissolution of the Davidic monarchy had caused the nation to question God’s relationship with them, and the writer of Chronicles highlights various aspects of history, God’s promises, and things like temple worship, the priesthood, prophets, etc., to emphasize the continuity of God’s role in the life of Israel. Ezra – highlights God’s work to bring Israel out of exile back into the land of promise; the temple was rebuilt and the people were rededicated to God even though they remained under Gentile rule. Nehemiah – meant to go along with the book of Ezra, this book gives an account of Nehemiah’s ministry in rebuilding Jerusalem’s outer wall, the opposition that arose, and the resulting triumph of Israel. Esther – a historical account of the deliverance of God’s chosen people from annihilation and the institution of the annual Jewish festival of Purim. Job – written to teach mankind to stop blaming the suffering of godly people on their own wickedness and to realize Satan is at work in the world driven by an all-consuming desire to separate men from God, and to view suffering as an opportunity to show what true godliness is; highlights the value God places on righteousness above all else, and the highest wisdom is found in truly loving God for God despite the circumstance – not simply loving God’s blessings.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Psalms – a collection of songs, poems, prayers, and worship literature emphasizing the fact that God is at the center of all, King over all, the ultimate arbiter of truth and justice, and has established the throne of David (i.e. Jesus Christ) over all. Proverbs – written to pass on timeless wisdom and to remind readers that true wisdom is rooted in reverence for the Lord. Ecclesiastes – the main theme is to truly live meaningfully, purposefully, and joyfully one must place God at the center of their life. Song of Solomon – teaches readers the type of love God expects to be a normal part of marital relationships (a lesson that has largely been lost in modern times). Isaiah – prophecy unveils the full dimensions of God’s judgment and salvation through Christ. Jeremiah – highlights the consequences of sin and individual responsibility, God’s wrath against the Jews for their apostasy, their subsequent punishment through enslavement and exile, and the promise of redemption through God’s covenant promise. Lamentations – laments inspired by the fall of Jerusalem; show that the people understood their punishment was divine even though it was carried out by earthly kings, were willing to acknowledge their sin, ask for forgiveness, repent, and be restored. Ezekiel – main themes include God’s sovereign control over all creation, Israel’s fall, God’s subsequent punishment, and Israel’s restoration as the people through which God would bless the world. Daniel – a historical narrative that highlights God’s rule over the entire world (seen in God’s ultimate triumph in each of Daniel’s visions). Hosea – Hosea’s marriage to a prostitute is used to symbolize God’s relationship with Israel; disloyalty and idolatry are seen as spiritual adultery, and while judgment is announced against Israel the major purpose of the book is to proclaim God’s covenant love and loyalty to Israel as His chosen people.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Joel – teaches that a horrible locust plague Israel is afflicted with is a harbinger of God’s judgment; calls Israel to turn from unfaithfulness and notes that restoration will come only after repentance. Amos – Israel allowed their faith to become lackadaisical yet continued to carry out worship rituals (believing that after they carried out the rituals they could do whatever they wanted), but they were uncommitted to God’s law and uncaring toward the poor. God was so fed up He was ready to destroy them while preserving a remnant by which to later bless the world through establishing David’s throne (i.e. Jesus). Repentance was called for by Amos and taught to be expressed through social justice and personal piety. Obadiah – the shortest book in the OT; condemns Edom’s gloating over Israel’s misfortune and predicts that God will destroy Edom while glorifying Israel. Jonah – depicts the large scope of God’s purpose for Israel and Israel’s jealous view of her favored role in God’s plan. Micah – alternates between oracles of doom and oracles of hope while stressing what God hates (idolatry, injustice, rebellion, empty ritualism) along with what He loves (pardoning those who repent); Micah points to the future by proclaiming the future glory of Zion through the restoration of the Davidic throne (i.e. Jesus). Nahum – main theme is God’s judgment on the Assyrian city of Nineveh for extreme wickedness ending with the destruction of the city. Habakkuk – highlights the prophet’s struggle with the ways of God. He sees wickedness in Judah and God doing nothing about it. When he inquires of God and finds out He will mete out punishment via Babylonian attack, he’s perplexed how God could work through such a wicked people. In the end, the prophet learns to trust in the higher ways of God that transcend finite understanding.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Zephaniah – pronounces judgment against wicked nations (including Judah) and ends with a promise of Judah’s restoration. Haggai – the second shortest book in the OT; contrasts the blessings of obedience vs. the curses of disobedience. Zechariah – main theme centers around calling the Jews to repentance, encouraging them to rebuild God’s temple, and reminding them of the glorious future that awaits them through the Messiah. Malachi – the main theme centers around the Messiah coming to judge His people as well as blessing and restoring them.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Establishes the role of God as Creator of the world and the supreme, sovereign power in the universe He created. Gives an account of sin’s introduction into creation by Adam & Eve, the fall of humanity, and the subsequent barrier that developed between God and man. Tells of God’s covenant promise to the descendents of Abraham, and the divine selection of the Jews as the people through whom God will bless the world. Gives a historical account of God’s moral law (revealing His righteous character) being passed down to the chosen Jews with the understanding that obeying God will bring blessings while unfaithfulness will bring curses.
What’s the purpose of the Old Testament? Much of the OT is a historical account of God’s reaction to Jewish unfaithfulness including disciplinary action taken against them (often through other nations), calls to repentance, and God’s restorative work among them when sin is turned away from. Ultimately, the entire Old Testament is a story about redemption – God taking the initiative through the Jews to bridge the gap sin created between Himself and all of mankind. The Jews weren’t chosen simply to be blessed themselves, rather, they were chosen as a vessel through which the rest of the world would be blessed. Almost everything in the OT points back to God’s promises to the Israelites, or forward to the coming glorious establishment of the Davidic throne (i.e. the Messiah). Overarching Theme of the Old Testament: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” -God Genesis 12:3
What’s the purpose of the New Testament? Matthew – written to Greek speaking Jews to show them Jesus fulfilled OT prophesy to prove He was the Son of God. Mark – written to Romans and emphasizes the actions of Jesus to prove he was the Son of God. Luke – to reaffirm the beliefs of Gentiles, and to help them more fully understand who the authentic Jesus was. John – written so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) Acts – written as a historical record of the birth and spread of the church thereby strengthening the faith of early Christians; possibly compiled in preparation for Paul’s trial in Rome to give a defense for following Jesus. Romans – written to Jews and Gentiles in Rome; emphasizes how true righteousness comes from the life of Jesus (not our own), and justification before God comes by faith in Christ 1 & 2 Corinthians – written to the Corinthian church calling for unity in Christ and for the holy lifestyle that goes along with following Jesus; rebukes false teachers who were distorting the real gospel of Jesus Galatians – written to the Galatian church to rebuke Judaizers who were distorting the real gospel of Jesus. Ephesians – written to believers at large to explain God’s purpose for the church (i.e. to glorify the Father by revealing Christ to the world). Philippians – written to thank the Philippian church for their help in advancing the gospel of Christ and to encourage them in to continuing maturing in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus. Colossians – written to the church in Colossae to emphasize the supremacy of Christ over the human wisdom behind false teachings that had cropped up in the church.
What’s the purpose of the New Testament? 1 & 2 Thessalonians – written to the Thessalonian church to encourage their faith in Christ, urge them to live holy lives, and to proclaim Christ’s return. 1 & 2 Timothy – written to Timothy to encourage vigilant defense of the gospel of Christ against false teachings and to instruct him in caring for the Ephesian church. Titus – written to Titus while he was on the island of Crete instructing him to spur the Cretans on toward holy living in Christ. Philemon – written to Philemon instructing him to welcome back his slave Onesimus (who’d apparently stolen something from him and run away) as a brother in Christ. Hebrews – written to Jewish converts familiar with the OT emphasizing the supremacy of Christ over the prophets, angels, Moses, Aaron, and the priests. James – written to Jewish believers giving practical instruction on living a Christ-centered life. 1 & 2 Peter – written to Christians scattered throughout the land after Pentecost; includes a call to holy living in Christ, submission to authority, and Jesus’ return. 1 John – written to correct false teachings distorting the gospel of Jesus and to emphasize the believer’s assurance of salvation through Christ. 2 John – written to a Christian woman instructing her to no longer open her home to false teachers so that those distorting the gospel of Christ would not receive aid. 3 John – written to the believer Gaius to commend him for welcoming itinerate teachers sent out by John, and to indirectly warn the church leader Diotrephes who was speaking maliciously against other church leaders. Jude – written to early believers warning against false teachers (early Gnostics) who were distorting the gospel of Jesus. Revelation – an apocalyptic writing composed for the church at large; emphasizes the sovereignty of God over the world and the impending return of Christ.
What’s the purpose of the New Testament? The gospels provide an account of, defense of, and affirmation for belief in Jesus Christ as the embodiment of God on earth who died to pay our sin debt. The NT chronicles the activity and spread of the early church – people united in spreading the Good News about Jesus’ sacrifice to permanently reconcile man to God. The NT also chronicles the divine activity of the Holy Spirit who worked to lend credibility to the claims made regarding Jesus. Epistles (letters) written by early church leaders address specific situations and problems surrounding the first century church, and serve to rebuke bad behavior and false doctrines distorting the teachings of Jesus, or to encourage early Christ followers to continue in their faith.
What’s the purpose of the New Testament? The whole of the NT points back to the person of Jesus, or points forward to His return. Overarching Theme of the New Testament: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -Jesus Christ John 14:6
The BIGGEST Problem in the World?
Fate of the Twelve Peter A.D. 67 - Thrown into the infamous Mamertine Prison in Rome. Chained upright to a post for nine months (so that he couldn’t recline), endured brutal torture, and was eventually executed in Nero’s Circus by being crucified upside down. His final moments were spent encouraging the disciples. His wife was also executed by Nero for her faith. Andrew A.D. 69 - In Patras, Greece, Andrew converted the governor’s wife to Christianity causing their estrangement. As a result, the governor had him tortured and tied to an “X’ shaped cross naked and exposed to the elements. This torture went on for two days until Andrew died. Before his death, Andrew is said to have encouraged the onlookers to turn to Christ as their Lord. James, Son of Zebedee, Brother of John Arrested and beheaded by order of Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12:3. Thomas Best known for doubting the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:25), Thomas turned into a committed believer when he encountered the resurrected Christ. Thomas traveled to India around A.D. 52 where he discredited the Brahmins – a Hindu sect – before their king. As a result, the Brahmins eventually found him praying in a cave and killed him by thrusting a spear through his side. He died trying to drag himself up a hill near the cave. Matthew Reports of his martyrdom vary. The Jewish Talmud indicates he was condemned by the Sanhedrin. Some writings indicate he was pinned to the ground and beheaded for his faith around A.D. 60. Philip Executed at the age of 87 in the city of Hierapolis in Phrygia. Pagan priests crucified him upside down by piercing him through the thighs. He was then stoned as he hung upon the cross. Before yielding his spirit, he is said to have prayed for his enemies as Jesus did. Bartholomew (Nathaniel) Traveled with Philip, but escaped crucifixion at the time Philip was crucified. In Albana (now Derbend, Russia), one account indicated Bartholomew angered pagan priests and the king’s brother, Astyages, by speaking out against the local idols (he also miraculously healed the king’s daughter as a display of power). His enemies eventually had him arrested, beaten, and crucified in A.D. 68. Jude (Thaddaeus) Believed to have served with Bartholomew and Thomas for several years. Sources indicate that Jude was martyred by a barrage of arrows on Mount Arrarat. James, Son of Alphaeus (not the brother of Jesus) After traveling to Syria and establishing the Syrian church, returned to Jerusalem where he was stoned to death for preaching the resurrection of Christ to the Jews. Simon the Zealot After working as a missionary in Egypt, North Africa, Carthage, Spain, and Britain, was sawn in two for preaching the resurrection of Jesus in Persia. John Of the 12 disciples, only John died a natural death (but he was exiled to a prison island for his faith in Jesus).