“Many reject Christ because they don’t believe evil is real. If there is no evil, there is no such thing as ‘sin.’ If there is no ‘sin’ there is no eternal punishment for that sin. If there is no eternal punishment for sin then who needs grace to escape that punishment” ( quote from bible scholar Hal Lindsey). It is rather obvious, however, that there is evil in the world. What else would one call all the atrocities we hear about every day?
So, if evil is real, which is sin, and there is eternal punishment for sin, then grace is needed to escape the punishment. What is sin? The sin talked about here is a condition of the human heart. All the things we see that the world calls sin or evil are only symptoms of a sin problem. It is part of human nature. Combined with the free will which everyone was created with, people choose to do wrong or evil things.
If a person does not recognize that there is a sin nature in need of redemption, they see no need for grace. Out of pride, which is a symptom of sin, people often don’t want to admit that they have a sin nature. Blame is put on upbringing or other factors out of their control. They don’t see that people choose to think wrong thoughts and make wrong or destructive actions.
It is popular today to believe that people are basically good by nature. While the average person is basically good from the standpoint that he or she lives a law-abiding life, is a decent person, and never commits any crimes, there are those who choose to do bad or evil things instead of doing what is right and good. Doesn’t that say something about human nature. In most cases, no person or situation makes another think or act in sinful ways.
Even good people must realize that they are sinners to be recipients of God’s grace. Besides sin being what the culture deems as doing bad or evil things, sin is also things like speaking wrongfully to a person, selfishness, pride, greed, etc. These are simply less obvious or more passive sins. So, you see, everyone is a sinner.
Sin, in a spiritual sense, is falling short of God’s righteousness. God’s righteousness is a higher standard than any human being can attain. And only God can declare a person righteous. That is where grace comes in.
When a person admits they are a sinner and calls upon God’s grace they have a transformed character which results in more of a tendency to want to do right and good things. Having God’s righteousness, and not our own, is the condition for going to heaven. People who never come to the realization that they are sinners by nature and thus, see no need for God’ grace, will continue in their old ways. Even though recovery and social programs will work, to a point, the transformed character given by God from the inside out will still be absent.
So, the real answer to evil in the world is a transformed heart resulting in a person’s free will choosing to want to do right and good things, made possible by admitting that there is a sin nature in each individual and calling upon God’s grace.