Faithlife Sermons

Visitng Rwanda

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I read of one person’s visit to Rwanda. Rwanda is the country in which so many people have recently been killed over religion. When this person went, they said they went looking for monsters. Not the kind that devours New York City in some “b” movie. They said that they had begun to imagine, after hearing of the torture, rape, and murder going on in this country, that somehow it would be easy to spot the people who had perpetuated the killing. They naively assumed that they would be able to look in the faces of the people and tell if they had been involved.

What they found puzzled, confused, and ultimately, even frightened them. Instead of finding, leering, menacing people, they met men and women who looked and behaved a lot like them. They took care of their families, went to work, chatted with their neighbors, laughed, cried, prayed, and worshiped. Where were the monsters? Where were the evil doers? Where were the ones who had committed the most despicable acts? Slowly, with a deepening sense of dread, they understood the truth: There were no monsters in Rwanda, just people like you and me.

Before that trip, they said, “I can't tell you the number of times I reacted to evil I read about or witnessed by saying, ‘I would never do that!’ But thousands of years of bloody human history prove differently. Fifty-four years of my own history prove differently. We are all proficient in our ability to conceive, plan, and execute evil. Of course, we don't call it evil when we're the ones involved. But it is. As French writer La Rochefoucauld observed, "There is hardly a man clever enough to recognize the full extent of the evil he does." You might as well face the shameful truth: You and I, put in the right situation, will do absolutely anything. Given the right circumstances, I am capable of any sin. I've grown more afraid of the monster lurking in the dark corners of my soul than of any monster lurking in the dark corners of my house.

Listen, man at his best is potentially a genocidal murderer. The only possible way for him to become righteous is for God, because Jesus paid His debt on the cross, to give to Him the righteousness of Christ. And, if you’ve never received Christ this morning, it is this gift of righteousness that you need!

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