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There is a spirit of dissatisfaction in the world today - particularly among young people. There is a desire to overthrow the existing order and to seek for something better. Revolution is a popular word in our day. Revolution means change. We live in a day when there are social changes, economic changes and political changes. Fashions too change so rapidly. What is in fashion one year is not in fashion in the next. Even in the business world there is revolution. 65% of all products that are available in the world market today did not exist 5 years ago.
There is change all around us. People are seeking for something better. There is armed revolution in many countries. Yet, in spite of all this, things are only going from bad to worse. The newspapers are filled with news of famines and starvation-deaths, unemployment and violence, war and destruction.
To be dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs is not bad, if we are seeking the best for our community. Certainly we want better living conditions for our people. We want the people of our country and the people of the world to be free from want, each having a place to live in, clothes to wear and food to eat. We want the people of our country and of the world to enjoy greater liberty and freedom. In fact, being content with the state of affairs and being silent about it is often a mark of death. Only dead people are content with the status quo. There is no revolution in a graveyard! But then there is no progress there either!
We may be living in a free country. But do we know true liberty in our personal lives? Man has progressed scientifically, but retarded morally. Most countries in the world are independent today; but man himself is still in bondage. He is unable to conquer his selfishness and his base passions even though he has external freedom. The Bible says, "It is better to control one's passions than to rule a country".
Revolution involves an overthrowing of the existing order. In this sense, Jesus Christ was the greatest revolutionary this world has ever seen. The only difference being that whereas other revolutionaries taught external revolution, Jesus Christ taught an inward one. Christ hit the root of the problem and taught that what man needed was a revolution that took place within him.
When man experiences this internal revolution, then the external will take care of itself. We need to deal with the root cause of the problem first. A doctor when treating a patient, does not treat the external symptoms alone. He treats the disease itself. For example, a man suffering from cancer may complain of a lack of appetite. A doctor would be quite foolish if he treats the man merely for lack of appetite, without treating the cancer. And those who think of external revolution as the solution to our problems, are making the same mistake. They are trying to get rid of the symptoms. But the disease itself still remains.
What is the existing order within man which needs to be overthrown? Man today lives a self independent of God. Even religious men seek their own in so many ways. God does not enter into their reckoning when they plan their lives. To overthrow this order means to come to the place where man lives in dependence upon God. This is the spiritual revolution that Jesus Christ came to bring. And this is what many are experiencing today, throughout the world.
Consider another area where we need revolution. All of us have inherited a religion from our parents. Along with that religion we have inherited certain prejudices that we have developed and built up through the years. In matters of religion, unfortunately, most men do not think for themselves. They have a priest or a pastor to do their thinking for them. Yet thinking on spiritual matters is the most fruitful activity that any man can engage in. We must determine to know the truth about God accurately. We cannot afford to be mistaken in this matter.
Consider how things would have been if man had refused to think for himself in the realm of science. If men had always accepted what their forefathers had believed there would have been no progress in the realm of science at all.
Here's one example: For thousands of years, men believed that the earth was the centre of the universe, and that the sun and stars revolved around it. But 450 years ago, a man named Copernicus questioned what all his forefathers had believed and proved them to be wrong.
Science is progressing, because scientists do not blindly accept what their forefathers believed. A century ago people believed that there could be no such thing as a flying machine. Today, people travel all over the world in aeroplanes. At the beginning of this century nobody believed that an atom could be split. Today, the atom has been split. A few years ago no one believed that man would ever land on the moon; but man has landed on the moon too.
It is only in the realm of religion, alas, that people blindly accept what their parents or priests have taught them. What about you? What are your religious convictions? Are they merely what you have blindly inherited from your forefathers? Or do you have convictions of your own, concerning God and eternity, that you have thrashed out in your own mind, and are now sure of?
Jesus Christ was the greatest revolutionary the world has seen, because He came to change men from the inside. And when man is changed on the inside, the ills of the world and of society will be remedied too. Not before then. Until man himself has been changed, there is no solution to the problems that face our world and society.