这充满邪恶和苦难的世界里还有希望吗?(Is There Any Hope for All This Evil and Suffering in the World?)

每个人都会经历苦难。有许多人现在正在受苦。在这世上,邪恶是真实的,且与每个人都是形影不离的。

好消息是上帝已赐予一条在我们死后从罪恶和苦难中脱离的道路。我们能确信自己死后可以进入天国:「我将这些话写给你们信奉神儿子之名的人,要叫你们知道自己有永生。」(约翰一书5:13)以下是对上帝的「好消息」的摘要:

犯罪的意思就是无法达到上帝圣洁的标准。「因为世人都犯了罪,亏缺了神的荣耀」(罗马书3:23)。罪恶把我们与神的关系隔离了(以赛亚书59:2)。罪有可怕的结果,但神却提供了一个解决办法:「因为罪的工价乃是死,唯有神的恩赐,在我们的主基督耶稣里乃是永生」(罗马书6:23)。

耶稣基督,神的儿子,因爱我们而成为人身来救我们(约翰福音3:16)。耶稣无罪的活了一生(希伯来书2:17-18; 4:15-16)。他的死付清了我们罪的代价(哥林多后书5:21)。在十字架上,他的肉身承受了我们配得的地狱,为的是能替我们取得我们不配的天国。他死的时候,说:「成了!」(约翰福音19:30)用的是希腊文里取消债务的词;意思是「全数付清」。然后,耶稣从死里复活,战胜罪和死亡(哥林多前书15:3-4, 54-57)。

能到天父那的路径有多少条呢?彼得曾证道:「除他 [耶稣] 以外,别无拯救,因为在天下人间,没有赐下别的名我们可以靠着得救。」(使徒行传4:12)
「耶稣说:我就是道路、真理、生命。若不借着我,没有人能到父那里去。」(约翰福音14:6)那是一句相当排外的话,但耶稣却说了。你相信他吗?

神白白地恩赐我们在基督里的宽恕:「他没有按我们的罪过待我们,也没有照我们的罪孽报应我们.... 东离西有多远,他叫我们的过犯离我们也有多远」(诗篇103:10, 12)。要得到宽恕,我们必须悔改:「我们若认自己的罪,神是信实的,是公义的,必要赦免我们的罪,洗净我们一切的不义。」(约翰一书1:9)

「你若口里认耶稣为主,心里信神叫他从死里复活,就必得救。」(罗马书10:9)
行义无法取得进天国的门票(提多书3:5)。我们在救恩上得不到任何的表扬:「你们得救是本乎恩,也因着信。这并不是出于自己,乃是神所赐的;也不是出于行为,免得有人自夸。」(以弗所书2:8-9)

基督为每个人都提供了宽恕和永生:「口渴的人也当来,愿意的都可以白白取生命的水喝。」(启示录22:17)

你若还未接受基督如此大的牺牲所带来的这份礼物,是因为什么理由呢?

如果你已经接受了神的救赎,他将把你从永恒的苦难中释放。即使现在,你也能先尝与他同在的喜乐。

在你最低落的时候,愿你记得你在基督里的真实且永恒的身份: 你的救主已来解救你,为你叹息祷告,巩固了你的复活和永生,是为你而非与你敌对,为你的益处而叫万事互相效力,并且不会允许任何东西把你与他的爱隔绝。尽管我们是在一个充满痛苦和罪孽的世界里,这是我们最真实和永久的盼望的来源。

盼望指向生命尽头的那道光。它不只让人能忍受这段路程,它更让人心充满对尽头另一边的期待:一个有生命力、清新、美丽且又没有苦痛和战争的世界。没有疾病、意外、悲剧,没有独裁者或是疯狂暴君的世界。一个被那唯一配得掌权的王所管理的世界(启示录5:12)。虽然我们不知道时辰,但我们能确信苦难会在我们死后或是基督回来时结束。在太初前,上帝就已经劃清了界限:「到这边为止,之后是无停息的喜乐。」

愿盼望的神,因着信将诸般的喜乐、平安充满你们的心,使你们借着圣灵的能力大有盼望!(罗马书15:13)


Is There Any Hope with All This Evil and Suffering in the World?

Every one of us will experience suffering. Many are experiencing it now. Evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.

The good news is that God has made a way to deliver us from all evil and suffering after we die. We can know for sure we’ll go to Heaven when we die: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Here’s a summary of what God calls “the Good News”:

To sin means to fail to meet God’s holy standards. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from a relationship with God (see Isaiah 59:2). Sin has terrible consequences, but God has provided a solution: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, loved us so much that He became a man to deliver us (see John 3:16). Jesus lived a sinless life (see Hebrews 2:17–18; 4:15–16). He died to pay the penalty for our sins (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). On the cross, He took upon Himself the Hell we deserve, in order to purchase for us the Heaven we don’t deserve. When He died, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), using the Greek word for cancelling certificates of debt; it meant “paid in full.” Jesus then rose from the grave, defeating sin and conquering death (see 1 Corinthians 15:3–4, 54–57).

How many routes can take us to the Father in Heaven? Peter preached, “Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6). That’s an exclusive statement, but Jesus made it. Do you believe Him?

God freely offers us forgiveness in Christ: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.... As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10, 12). To be forgiven, we must repent: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Righteous deeds will not earn us a place in Heaven (see Titus 3:5). We can take no credit for salvation: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Christ offers to everyone the gift of forgiveness and eternal life: “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).

If you have not accepted this gift offered by Christ at such a great price to Him, what’s stopping you?

If you have accepted God’s invitation of salvation, He will deliver you from eternal suffering. And even now He will give you joyful foretastes of living in His presence.

In your darkest moments, may you remember your true, eternal circumstances in Christ: your Savior has come to deliver you, groans as He prays for you, has secured your resurrection and eternal life, is for you and not against you, works all things together for your good, and never under any circumstances allows anything to separate you from His love. That’s the source of true and lasting hope, even in a world of suffering and evil.

Hope points to the light at the end of life’s tunnel. It not only makes the tunnel endurable, it fills the heart with anticipation of what’s at the other end: a world alive, fresh, beautiful, and without pain, suffering, or war. A world without disease, without accident, without tragedy. A world without dictators or madmen. A world ruled by the only One worthy of ruling (see Revelation 5:12). Though we don’t know exactly when, we do know for sure that either by our deaths or by Christ’s return, our suffering will end. From before the beginning, God drew the line in eternity’s sand to say for His children, “This much and no more, then endless joy.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries