Humanity’s Fatal Disease in a Nutshell

Posted on October 4, 2021


by David Ettinger

Back in the 1990s, I watched a TV program called “Seventh Heaven.” The popular show centered on a pastor and his “Christian” family. One particular episode stood out, its closing line a poignant one. The 20-plus-year-old plot is sketchy to me, but it involved an estranged father who behaved disgracefully toward his daughter. Disgusted, the show’s main character, Reverend Eric Camden, chastised him by saying, “Do you fear God?”

It wasn’t a question, but a stinging accusation, Reverend Camden’s point being: “Only someone who has no fear of God can behave as reprehensibly as you.” He is absolutely right. If there is no fear of God, no reverence for His divine being, no accountability to His infinite power, then all restraint has the potential of being removed from human behavior.

This lack of divine fear is humanity’s fatal disease in a nutshell, and it is the human race which has both brought this plague into the world and which continues to transmit its deadly germ.

The Knowledge of God
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they unleashed every evil this world has to offer, disease included. Of all the human race’s diseases, there is none more foul than the self-inflicted scourge of the refusal to fear God. Why the word “refusal?” “Refusal” describes the action of deliberately denying something which is innately known, that is, a “born-with” knowledge.

In this case, that which is innate is the knowledge of God. This does not mean that every human being possesses a full comprehension of God, but the realization, or “sense,” that there is a Creator who made all that is seen and unseen. Romans 1:20 tells us: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”


Deliberate Denial
Make no mistake about it: the denial of this innate knowledge of God is a deliberate act; one not of ignorance. We read in Hosea 4:1: “Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: ‘There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.’” In other words, it’s not that the world at-large knows nothing about God, it’s that it has made the active, willful decision to not acknowledge Him.

There are consequences to this, as Hosea 4:2 proclaims: “There is only cursing, lying, and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.” This, of course, does not mean that every unbeliever is guilty of such behavior, but that, as a whole, the world without God commits such atrocities. This condition is the signature of the human race.

Furthermore, God will not excuse humanity for allowing this disease to fester. In Hosea 7:13, He says: “Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak about me falsely.” Again, note the blatant willingness of the human race to cast off God. God, by contrast, longs to bring healing and reconciliation to the Earth’s inhabitants, but they detest His offer.

The Lord further makes this clear in 2 Peter 3:9 where He explains why He hasn’t yet brought about His final judgment of the earth. Peter writes: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

It is way too apparent that what unredeemed humanity wants and what the Lord wants are two divergent things. God wants to save humanity; humanity wants God vanquished.

Humanity’s Fatal Disease Summed Up
Perhaps no single passage of Scripture better sums up humanity’s fatal disease than does Job 21:14-15: “Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’”

This passage was written roughly 4,000 years ago; it reflected humanity’s heart going back to the fall in the Garden, and it astutely speaks of unsaved humanity’s heart since.

In one way or another, the world knows of God, but wants no part of Him. “Leave us,” they rant, “we despise you. We don’t want to know you, nor anything you stand for; and we sure have no mind to pay you any heed.”

Not only is this disease of not fearing God fatal, it is overt, resolute, willful, and intentional. Humanity stands on the brink of destruction, yet God continues to hold out salvation. He has given you and me the privilege of sharing this truth.

May God grant you wisdom and strength in these monumental days.