We live in two different worlds
January 30, 2012
by Bill Baldwin, Prairie Community Church Lester Prairie

If you are of a certain age, you may remember the pop song, “Two Different Worlds.” It was written in 1956, and was first made big by a singer I never heard of named Don Rondo. Engelbert Humperdinck later had a hit with it in 1967.

It tells the story of two lovers who seem to come from different backgrounds in some way, who don’t seem destined to be together, but in the end will triumph and be one.

It made me think of how we, who are Christian, seem to live in two different worlds.

We live in the very physical world of planet Earth, in very real human bodies, with all the struggles that being human seems to bring about. Being human, we seem to have a survival instinct within us that often leads us to put our selfish interests ahead of the common good.

Humans can behave very badly, to put it bluntly. We can be very cruel and mean to each other for no apparent reason.

Look at the current trend of bullying in schools; kids can’t seem to resist finding and pointing out any perceived difference in another child to make that child’s life pure hell.

What is it within the human being that leads us to act with such viciousness?

Human beings can be very selfish and greedy, amassing all they can for their personal gain, while withholding help to those in need.

Humans seem to have an uncontrollable urge to kill. There has been war for as long as there have been people.

Look at the current view that many people have of God; they say they believe in God, but on their own terms. God will conform to their image, and not the other way around.

This all says we live in a world of flawed humanity. For all the good we may do, there is an undeniable, uncontrollable urge to have it our own way, and allow others to get hurt in doing so.

For Christians, there is another world operating that overlays humanity. God’s kingdom operates in the midst of human affairs. God is pure love and all good. Jesus was heaven’s perfection, made flesh, to show us how to live according to God’s plan.

As Christians, we are commanded to live in the world, but not according to the ways of the world. We are called to die to the ways of the world and rise to a life of service to God’s goodness.

The problem is, history has clearly showed us that we cannot do this for ourselves. Even as committed Christians, we are prone to sin again and again.

We truly seem to live in two different worlds; we, in our world of brokenness, and God, in His world of goodness and love.

According to the Bible, God created the world, and it was good. God created humans, and they were good – even created in the very image of God. Then, that uncontrollable urge to have it our own way came into God’s perfect creation, and what we have – up to this very moment, is the interplay of human sinfulness and the ever-presence of God’s perfection coexisting in the world.

There seems to be no way to reconcile the gulf between human sin and God’s perfection, and that would always be the case without God’s perfect plan to save us from ourselves.

God so loved the world, that He gave us his Son, that whosoever will believe in him will not perish (that is, not face eternal separation from God), but will have eternal life.

We do this when we confess our sinful nature and place our faith in the crucified and risen Christ. We are still not perfect; just perfectly forgiven by the blood of Christ.

When sinful humanity places faith in the risen Christ, the two different worlds – the fallen Earth and the perfection of heaven, become one.

We will never see the fullness of God’s perfection on Earth, but when humans embrace Christ’s love, we do get glimpses of what God’s hope has been for us all along. And very soon, when we all get to heaven, we will finally experience in completeness what we only know now in fleeting moments.

Blessings and peace, and remember who you have been called to be – as Christ’s disciple.