On an Indonesian island, I asked some teenaged girls what they thought the biggest problems were, in the world.
“No job, no money!”
“No wisdom for victory!”
“No peace in family…”
I suspect their answers were partly a reflection of their own cares and concerns, yet also astutely, what the world thinks its problems are: poverty, employment rates, lack of expert opinion, no sex or marriage, domestic conflict.
23 …all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
and if all have sinned, with no exceptions, Western or Eastern, liberal or conservative, rich or poor, and
23a…the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a)
then everyone, whether in first world or third, in developed country or developing, oppressor or oppressed, exploiter or exploited, has the same problem – we all face the certainty of death in this lifetime, and the prospect of eternal death thereafter.
…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b)
This is the gospel (good news) that Christians are so eager to proclaim to the world. This is why that proclamation is ultimately more important than merely attempting, unsuccessfully, to alleviate poverty now or to put right perceived injustices.