“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Ps 24:1)
Sometimes when I walk around Naperville, I reflect on this verse. Every inch of Naperville belongs to the LORD: every tree, every animal, every person, everything. All of it is His, and rightfully so, for He is God; He created everything and sustains it all. We are not the cosmic accidents of impersonal evolution; we are the beautiful and glorious handiwork of a glorious God (Gen 1; Psalm 19).
Our situation is desperate: we, His image-bearers, who were made to know and love God, have suppressed the glorious and amazing truth of who God is and what reality is like (Rom 1:19-23). The Bible teaches that in this we are rebels against God, our true King. We have been alienated from Him and estranged from Him; our hearts are hard against Him. We are like persons who are utterly lost and don’t know where they are or where they are going (Rom 3).
We have been seduced by sin’s lie and we think we can live as please, ignore God, and have no consequences in this life or the next. We’ve been deceived into thinking God does not care and knowing Him does not matter.
But instead of squashing us, our God has acted in love to save us: “God demonstrates His love toward us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8). Herein is mercy and grace. Here is the wonderful news of the gospel. Jesus saves us from our sins and brings us into the truth of reality; he opens our eyes to behold and enjoy the God who made everything and sustains everything. He leads us to delight in God now and forever more.
The Bible teaches that there is a day when justice will be fully dealt and all wrongs be made right (Rev 21). Until that day, we proclaim the good news of the gospel and encourage all to be reconciled to the Living God who is there.