During a recent five-year period, 560 people were killed in the United States by the West Nile Virus. Millions of dollars were spent in spraying mosquitoes and in other preventative measures to contain the spread of the disease. Many different laws and changes have been made to save a few lives here and there. Certainly we can appreciate attempts to make the world safer and to save lives where we can.
On the other hand, in 2002, over 17,000 people were killed in the US in accidents involving alcohol, a legal substance. Thousands die every year from drug abuse. Worldwide AIDS deaths in a recent year totaled an estimated 3 million, with 40 million people still living with the disease. This is a disease spread because people choose an immoral lifestyle.
We are living in a world of mixed-up priorities. Untold worry and fear arise over things that kill only a few people, while thousands, even millions, die of things that can largely be avoided by following God’s way, found in the Bible. Think of the millions of lives saved around the world if people would accept Jesus Christ, who is called the Great Physician and the Prince of Peace.
While you and I cannot force world societies to accept this way that would save untold lives, we are not helpless—we can do something about it. We can begin with ourselves. Are you willing to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life? Following Him will bring untold blessing in your life now and in the future. Even more exciting, by turning your life over to God and living for Him, you can influence many other people to do the same. Your right choice will, first of all, influence your family, co-workers, and other people who are observing you. If these people choose the way of Christ, they will, in turn, influence other people, perhaps people you do not even know. Right choices made today can influence even the generations to come. In this way, you can be instrumental in changing society for good. What are the steps for becoming that kind of influence?
- Recognize that you are a sinner in need of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
- Confess your sins and your needs to God in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Accept Jesus Christ as the Lord (controller and director) and Saviour (your rescuer) of your life.
- Find a Bible-believing church that carefully follows the teachings of Jesus, be baptized, and identify yourself with Jesus Christ and His church.
- Study the Bible and follow the principles and priorities found in its pages.
- Reach out to other people in your own family and in your community and beyond, letting them know what Christ can do for them.
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Then you will find freedom from many things that destroy our society, spiritually and even physically. Again, Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32).
-by Roger Berry