In this sermon, Pastor Babij explains the Great Physician’s analysis of the human condition in three steps: a diagnosis of an evil and spiritually dead heart unable to be fully restrained, a prognosis of permanent spiritual disease incapable of self-reform, and a prescription for the only cure for man’s heart and the only salvation from God’s just wrath: Jesus Christ.
Each week, we have been bombarded with medical information, some helpful, some very confusing. Doctors and researchers are working every day to find a vaccine that will work in order to inoculate people against this virus. And yet, that’s a medical thing. So when doctors think of something like this, they’re thinking about diagnosis. They’re thinking about prognosis. And they’re also thinking about prescription. What’s going to solve this problem? That’s always in the plans of doctors who are trying to analyze particular illnesses and/or diseases.
This is also true in the spiritual realm. In the spiritual realm, you can also, from Scripture, analyze the human condition. That’s what I’d like to do this morning from the word of God.
But before I go there, let’s have a word of prayer. Father, I thank You again for Your kindness to us in allowing us to meet in this way. And those who are at home listening and those who are here listening, Lord, I just pray that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, the word of God would go out. And it would grip our hearts. It would hold us and keep us and give us understanding concerning the things that are most important to You and the things that are needful to know so we can truly have a relationship with You. I pray that today, Lord, that we can see how You have analyzed the human condition in Scripture and you have brought it through the stages of diagnosis and prognosis and prescription. Lord, teach us today those particular steps so we can see where we’re heading. I pray this in Christ’s name, amen.
This Lord’s day, consider with me three steps of analysis of the human condition, moving through the diagnosis, the prognosis, and finally the prescription. First of all, the diagnosis – the first step of the human condition. As the great Physician, Jesus gives us an analysis of the moral condition of humanity and its results. Of course, spiritually sick the humanity is because of sin. He says in the passage: I have come as the great Physician to those who are sick and to those who are sinners. I didn’t come to those who think that they’re self-righteous and can save themselves. I come to those who realize that they are sinners and they are spiritually sick and they really can’t do anything to heal themselves.
So the first part of that diagnosis is really found in various places in Scripture, but the first place is a very common passage of Scripture. That is one that you most likely already know in John 3:19-20. The first thing it’s saying there – that inside the heart, darkness and evil is in all people, soon as they are born. For it says in John 3:19:
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
In other words, from that passage, all people are sinners by nature by their behavior. We are born relationally and spiritually dead to God. Why is that? Because of our corrupt nature. We are powerless to do anything about it. Our heart is dead. The darkness and evil is anchored in every human heart and manifest by a self-centered life.
We live in a selfie society, don’t we? Everybody’s taking selfies. Everybody loves to take pictures of themselves and post it everywhere. And they like that. Well, Paul told Timothy in the latter times, it’s always been that way, but maybe it’s getting worse now. Men will be lovers of self, right? They will be lovers of money, which goes along with loving self. Boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy. So these are the things that they will live for on the earth. And it all stems from, first of all, having a heart that is dark and a heart that is evil.
A second part of the diagnosis is that inside the heart, dirt and rottenness will be there also, specifically, sometimes from the top down. And in our case, if you look in the gospel of Mark chapter 2, you’ll find in chapter 2 and verse 16 that the Lord is having a conversation with the scribes and the Pharisees that were the religious leaders of the day. And he says in Mark 2:16:
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors,
They took notice of this, that Jesus was sitting down eating with people that were sinful, that they were not like. In fact, a sinner, for a Pharisee or for a religious leader, is not only one who is not free from sin but also who is not careful in observance of ceremonial duties. Unobservant and irreligious people, living lives contrary, they thought, to the divine law. The Pharisees did not question Jesus directly in this passage. They were actually questioning His disciples. And most likely, they did not enter Levi’s house but waited outside, because if they went inside, they thought they would make themselves dirty because of these sinners. And they addressed them as they came out of the house and said to his disciples in verse 16 of chapter 2:
“Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”
Now by the question, they were accusing Jesus of not shunning sinners as a rabbi should, as a teacher should. Instead, they thought Jesus was defiling Himself and contaminating Himself with the filth of these people. So the Pharisees and scribes considered themselves to be righteous men. Remember, Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, right? he came to save the sinners. Obviously they do not see themselves as sinners. These righteous man, they did not see any spiritually healing effects of Jesus’ teaching that they needed in their life. Their blindness closed themselves off to the righteousness of God that saves because they established their own righteousness in the written law-keeping and the oral law-keeping. See, they saw themselves as strong, able, and spiritually healthy. As far as they were concerned, they were not sick and they did not need a physician. They did not see that their heart was dirty and their heart was blind and their heart was full of hypocrisy and their heart was full of lawlessness.
It is clear it is inside the heart all these things reside in all of us, as it says in Matthew 23. Jesus gives the woe passages of Scripture to the spiritual leadership of the day. And He says in Matthew 23:25:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Just as we read that, we’re seeing that God looks inside the heart. He sees everything going on there. We can mask our behavior. We could mask and cover things by what we say and what we do and who we hang out with, but you can’t fool the Lord. He knows who are righteous and who are not. And those who are righteous, He made them righteous. They didn’t make themselves righteous.
There’s a third part of this diagnosis. It’s this – that inside the heart is pure evil in every one of our hearts. Now some may manifests this in greater lengths than others. In other words, if you want to deal with evil, you must start right in the right place. You may ask – where is that? Right in your own heart, the evil that is in our own heart.
Now defilement is moral and spiritual and it always involves the heart. The heart is the center of personality, where its will and its thoughts dwell. When the contents of the heart spill out into any situation, it spills out in words. It spills out in actions. It spills out in motive. But all that spills out, all of it defiles us. And what defiles a person is in their thoughts and words and actions, which are a product of their own heart. So Scripture actually lists twelve sins in Mark 7:21-23. These twelve sins are all born in the human heart, and it appears in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. If you look in your Bibles in Mark 7:21-23, you’ll find that in the middle of verse 21 it says:
out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts,
that’s breaking the eighth Commandment.
That’s breaking the sixth Commandment.
That’s break the seventh Commandment. And of course:
deeds of coveting…
That’s breaking the tenth Commandment. And out of coveting comes what?
wickedness, as well as deceit,
sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
Now all these, notice in verse 23:
All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.
See, the heart is not only dirty inside, blind, full of hypocrisy, and weakness, but the heart is downright evil. What’s really wrong with the world? Why can the world be such a miserable place to live sometimes? Why is there so much strife between nations and races, tribes and classes? Why do relationships tend to fray and fall apart? Jesus is actually saying to us – we are what’s wrong. We are what’s wrong because it all comes out of our heart. We have war in our heart. It’s what comes out from the inside. It’s the self-centeredness of the human heart. It is sin. In fact, these evils that come from the heart is what makes us so unclean, what makes our society so unclean, what makes relationships so unclean, what makes a country so unclean, is it comes from our heart.
Some have defined evil as a lack of what ought to be present and is not. Let me repeat that – some define evil as a lack of what ought to be present, but is not. For example, if a father abuses his child when he ought to love her, we call him evil because abuse is present and love is missing when love ought to be present. So this defining of evil is defined here in a relational way. That’s really important because that’s where evil affects us the most – in our relationships.
In fact, I like you to take your Bibles real quick and turn to Luke chapter 13. In Luke 13, there’s an interesting situation Jesus had posed to Him concerning the question of sin. In Luke chapter 13:1-5, let’s just listen to Jesus as He stresses something to this small audience. Now, let me give you the background a little bit, and then I’ll read it. These people were wondering about the tragic event involving a tower that had fallen and killed 18 people. What Jesus did is He explained why these events occurred. He actually redirected the question back to the questioners. Now look at what it says in Luke 13:1:
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?”
That’s a good question. We often have questions like this when tragedy strikes. Then notice the rest of that passage of Scripture. Verse three:
“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Now, you can imagine the crowd saying: wait a minute, we’re not asking the question about us. We’re asking the question about them. And Jesus says to them: no, it’s about you because it could have been you who died, because you will die someday. And He says to them:
“no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And then He goes on to say to them in verse four:
“Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worst culprits than all the men who lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Now that question is for every single one of us. We don’t know the day or the hour or the place or the time that we are going to die or how we’re going to die. But we do know we will, and that’s the important question. So He warned them. Jesus warned them concerning the impending danger that they would face if they did not acknowledge and address the evil in their own heart. See, that’s what He was saying. You ought to be more concerned about your own evil ways and the consequences you will face if you do not confess them and turn to the solution to your evil ways, and that is of course Jesus Christ. So if you want to see God stop evil, we should ask Him to begin with us. See, that’s where evil stops.
In society, there has been put in place by God at least four restraints for all humanity, for all human hearts. Those restraints are given by the Lord from the beginning. Soon as sin came in, the Lord had to put something in place to keep down the violence, to keep down the anarchy, to keep down the rebellion. And what did He put in place? He put certain restraints. The first restraint He put in place is the moral law – the Ten Commandments. It was Paul who said about the moral law in Romans chapter 2:
in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.
That’s the first thing the Lord put in. But if that restraint is put aside and is not acknowledged anymore, not taught anymore in the nation, well that’s one restraint that’s gone.
A second restraint is the conscience. The Lord has given us a conscience. That conscience could be developed. It could be informed. But the conscience could also get to the place where it gets seared. And that’s again, Paul telling Timothy the young pastor in 1 Timothy 4:2:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.
In other words, the conscience could get so calloused that it doesn’t respond anymore to right and wrong. It only responds to their own passions and desires. If there’s an evil heart there, the only passions and desires they’re going to respond to is their own selfish evil desires. If that restrain is gone now, we have two that are gone.
There’s a third restraint, and that’s the restraint of family. God’s given family. Now, we know that the family too has been broken down to the point where it’s not functioning as it should and as it once did. What was the family supposed to do? The family was supposed to provide corporal punishment to young children to drive out foolishness, disobedience, and rebellion. Now if that’s not being done, then a third restraint is now by the wayside. But remember what it said in Proverbs, which is the wisdom book in the word of God:
On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.
So the rod is the very thing that drives away rebellion and being naive and being rebellious. It’s the only thing. If that’s not being done because everybody’s afraid to do it, because people think that’s abuse when it’s not. It’s wisdom. The rebellion is still going to be there when they get older. What we see in the riots are people who are rebellious people who have never been disciplined, who’s never been under these restraints, and they’ve cast aside these restraints. Again, it says in Proverbs 13:24:
He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
See, that is an important ingredient in our society. And when people aren’t following that, then what happens to a society? The evil just becomes prominent.
Then there’s a fourth restraint that God has given us, and that’s government. Now, I don’t know if you noticed, but in the last couple of weeks since all this, I never thought that I would see a police precinct allowed to be burned to the ground. And yet, it happened and the police left. Why did that happen? Well, because something happened long before that day, and that is the police are not supported. They are not backed up. They are not held in high esteem even in our society anymore. But could you imagine if that thin blue line is erased between you and I and big government? That would be absolute anarchy and chaos. Yet, if that’s being eroded away, what will be left? How are we going to protect ourselves on a day-to-day basis if we call 911 and no one shows up? Because they don’t want to go to jail. They don’t want to be sued. And the government doesn’t have us, its people, in mind anymore.
So if God’s restraints that He’s given is disregarded, then the only thing left is chaos. Maybe that’s what’s going to happen at the end when people are untaught and they do not have these restraints in place. If they do, then you will develop people that are peaceful, that get along for the most part, who’s somewhat fair, because they’re restrained. They’re still evil, but it’s restrained by these things. But if these restraints are gone, we’re in big trouble.
I was reading an article by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I didn’t know this, but he had studied revolution for over fifty years. He specifically study the great disaster that befell Russia, trying to diagnose the main issues which swallowed up sixty million people who died in that revolution. He started out his research and he kept hearing people say this great disaster has come upon us because people have forgotten God. Now that was at the beginning of his research. Fifty years later, as he read a hundred testimonials, read a hundred books, contributed 8 volumes of his own research to find a clear answer to why events like revolution take place. This is how he concluded. He said: I could not put it more accurately than to repeat – men have forgotten God. That’s why all this has happened. So it is the same today.
That’s why these things will take place, because people with an evil heart have forgotten God. In other words, man has a very very deep need. His need is that he needs to be rescued. He needs to be healed by someone. In fact, it’s also because of the terrible fate of man. The revelation passage that speaks of the horror of eternal punishment in the lake of fire cannot be ignored as a significant motivation for all the church to evangelize. When it says at the great white throne judgment:
and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found in them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before The throne, in books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
Now, if they have an evil heart and they’re not redeemed, their deeds are judged because of their evil, because of their sin, because they were not spiritually healthy. And it says:
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
In other words, human beings have a very deep deep need. I think about the apostle Paul when he received the Macedonian call. What was the Macedonian call? When the man from Macedonia was begging a religious man, was begging for someone to give him the rest of the message so he can have help. See, the lost of the world are looking for something to satisfy their deep and inward longings, even though they may not be aware of it. They are waiting for someone to bring it to them. See, they need a message. A message that comes from God. Daily, they hear the bad news. We are bombarded with bad news every day in this world system, and they long to hear some kind of real true good news. The only ones who can give them that are the Christians. According to Ephesians two, the unsaved person is separated from God. They’re disobedient to God, living in hopeless despair, living under the burden of sin. He needs the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. So that’s the diagnosis.
But quickly, what’s the prescription? We saw the diagnosis. We saw the prognosis, and the prognosis was simply this – that the heart is permanently diseased. That’s the prognosis. What’s the prescription though? The prescription is really of the human heart that Jesus analyzes and Scripture analyzes for us is this – there’s a cure. We don’t have to wait for a vaccine. We got a cure. It’s been there in the word of God. Who is the cure? What is the cure? Jesus Christ is the cure. In fact, He is the cure in this way – that Jesus presented Himself as the only cure for the morally sick and dying world, to remedy eternal death – that is, a relational separation from God forever, is eternal life. And where does eternal life come from? It comes from Christ. It says in 1 John 5:13:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
It is good to know you have eternal life, and to know it now while you’re alive, while you have a sound mind. It’s good to know it. But you know what? Sometimes, there’s only one path to a top of a mountain. Sometimes there’s only one answer to a problem. Sometimes there is only one cure to a disease. In this case, a sinner before a holy God, there is only one way to come to God. For Jesus himself says:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
So people have a bad heart. They have a bad record before God. They need to hear about the demonstration of Christ’s love toward them as an ungodly sinner. Believers in Jesus Christ are His ambassadors, sent to proclaim the message of God to reconcile sinners to Himself. And you don’t have to reconcile friends. You have to reconcile enemies. So all sinners are enemies of God until they believe in Christ. Now they’re a friend of God. I say to people: don’t you want to be a friend of God? The God who created the heaven and the earth, the God who created this blue sky and this hydrological system called clouds that bring the rain in due season and waters the grass and our crops so we can eat. That God. Jesus Christ is the Creator, and there was nothing that is created and has not been created by Him – John chapter 1. And He is our Savior also. He came to die in the place of sinners. See Christ compels, His love compels people to give witness to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When the love of Christ and the joy of salvation are experienced, the desire that floods someone who becomes a Christian is that others would experience the same thing they experienced. That’s the motivation. I want others to be saved. So do you. You want others to be saved.
Jesus prescribed Himself as the only medication to take in order to be cured and have eternal life. Medication for life eternal cost us nothing. It is a free gift from God to us, freely dispersed by His dispensary, by the grace of God. Paul told us this in Ephesians:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Jesus also provided Himself as the only payment to be paid for sins, the sins of humanity. The payment to be paid for the sins of humanity is a perfect and a selfless act of love, where it says in 1 Peter 2:24:
and He Himself bore our sins in His body…
That’s the substitutionary atonement of Christ on behalf of evil sinners that cannot save themselves. That’s substitutionary atonement means that we are provided forgiveness. We are provided cleansing. The wrath of God on us is averted from us. And God ransoms us from the slave market of sin. Jesus comes to take away sin. Jesus comes to take it away, never to come back against us again.
There’s one last thing that Jesus provided. He provided Himself as the only permanent cure for His patients, which must be received by an act of faith on their part. Yes, Jesus tells us in the gospels the time is fulfilled. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel. So what is faith? Faith is the casting of one soul upon Christ as He’s offered in the gospel. Faith is likened to drinking of Christ because your soul is thirsty. Faith is likened to looking to Christ as Christ is lifted up, as the serpent is lifted up in the wilderness. The people of the Old Testament, all they had to do was look and they would be healed. It’s the same with us. When Christ is lifted up, all we have to do is look and we will be healed. See, that’s what faith is. Faith is also fleeing to Christ. It is following Christ.
So then the terms of entryway into the kingdom of God are repentance and faith. No one, no one can enter the kingdom of God without repentance, repentance from their sin to the one who paid for their sin. And without fleeing from sin and putting trust in Christ, no one could be saved. This is how our Lord Himself did evangelism. He announced the gospel and then He said in essence – your response must be to repent and believe. That’s how we get saved. And once Jesus’ payment for sin is received by faith, then that person is assured of healing. They’re assured of cleansing of an evil heart. They’re assured of now being really righteous before God because Christ’s righteousness is on their account, not their own. So the prognosis is actually described in such passages as in Ezekiel 36:
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
That’s moldable and pliable to My will and My word.
I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
That’s what it says in the word of God to those who are healed. They’re new. Jesus Christ alone has provided atonement for sins. An individual either comes to Christ or reject Him. There is no middle ground. There is no second chance. God’s grace of the gift of salvation must result in positive change in the believer’s behavior. Believers should make progress once becoming a believer in dealing with their anger, in dealing with their hatred, in dealing with their hypocrisy, in dealing with their covetousness, in dealing with their envy, in dealing with their slander. Everything becomes new.
And not only that, but God gives us the ability to have unity, unity between all tribes and nations and races. It comes from the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit changes our heart to see things just the way they really are. Unity should characterize the relationships and interactions of those who follow Christ. Why is that? Because they are practicing submission. They are following the example of their Lord. This new heart is now filled with what was previously lacking and absent. Remember the definition of evil. It will be filled with moral goodness that begins from the inside out. Spiritual light that will illumine the soul. Spiritual truth that will transform the mind. Spiritual righteousness and justice and equity that comes from the wisdom of God will flood our behavior and will flood our relationships and will flood our churches. All of this is empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to follow God’s laws, which are the ethical prescriptions necessary to engage in right meaningful relationships on this side of eternity.
Now in ending, if however the permanent cure of Jesus the great Physician is rejected, then true moral goodness cannot be achieved. Those who reject Jesus Christ must face God’s holiness. They must face God’s justice, and they will be on their own. No one could advocate for them if they reject Christ.
If you’re listening today and you don’t know Christ, if you have not received Christ, if maybe you thought you did but you find out you didn’t, don’t put off that thought because you have to take Christ’s prescription. If you know you’re not well spiritually, if you know that your sins have enslaved you, then you have to come to the prescription, and that is to come to Christ. Come to the One who will heal you. And He will receive you if you come, and He said He will. That’s why He came. And come just the way you are with all your evil, with all your sin, with all your wickedness, with all your defilement. Come just like that and He will heal you, because you realize there’s only one way to be made right with God and that’s through Christ.
So I prayed today that this message would resound with people. It would be firmly established in our hearts as Christians. And that we would not be duped by the rhetoric of the world to take us in a direction that Christ does not want us to go. We have to give the gospel to people. That’s the only answer. That’s the answer to all this stuff. So let’s pray and we’ll close today. Thank you for your ears.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank You today for this great opportunity and unique opportunity You’ve given us, to be able to in the open-air on this beautiful day. You giving us good weather. We thank You for that. And Lord, You given us a good word from the word of God, to strengthen our hearts, possibly to rebuke us because of our own selfishness. And Lord, even to those who heard and have not really trusted You as Lord and Savior, today they’d come in repentance and faith and they would be healed because they believe in Christ, because they want to follow Christ, because they want to look unto Christ. And I pray Lord You would take this message and You would use it for the glory and the honor and the exaltation of Your name, that Your name would go to the ends of the earth. Lord, we thank you for the medias that You allowed us to use to be able to get the truth out. And I pray Lord, use it to get to that person we don’t even know, the person that is in their room alone and has listen to the message. I pray Lord, You would use it, Holy Spirit, to bring conviction on the heart of people and to encourage those who know You to continue on in the midst of these difficult days to serve You with all their heart. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.