I use the phrase “Fallen World” all the time, but what does it actually mean?
I want to talk briefly about four inescapable realities that all of us will face somehow, because these are the realities of the world that we now live in.
1. You Live In A Fallen World
That’s it, plain and simple. Sin has frustrated the cosmos. There are all kinds of frustrations you face in this fallen world. The brokenness of creation makes things so difficult and complicated.
Your schedule doesn't always work according to your plan. Things get in the way that you have no control over, disrupting your peace and comfort. A fallen world also means death. Of course, the pain and tragedy that accompanies the death of a loved one, but also the death and decay of objects.
Simple things like the stain-resistant carpet end up not being so stain-resistant after all. The car that excited you so and even smelled new is now just a car with scratches and squeaks to prove it. Your body grows old, weak, and tired. Your joints hurt because they‘re wearing out from all the stress of exercise over the many years of your life. The list could go on and on, but the point is, things in this fallen world die.
2. You're not a perfect person
That was a shocking reality! All of us carry around a deep problem inside of us - it's called sin, and it does something terrible. It causes me to want to live in the claustrophobic confines of my own little self-defined world.
Sin causes me to want to live for nothing bigger than my own wants, my own desires, and my own self-defined needs. Sin causes me to want to live in the center of my universe.
While you are your biggest problem, it needs to be said that you’re not the only sinner in the universe. The people you live with and work with are deeply troubled by sin, too. When you get a world full of sinners living for themselves, something bad is going to happen. The sin of the human heart causes a variety of troubles and hardships.
3. You're at war with an Enemy
In this fallen world, there is an Enemy, an opponent of everything that is right, true, good, and beautiful. Satan is a divider, a tempter, and a destroyer.
He wants to paint in our eyes ‘right’ so it looks like ‘wrong’, and ‘wrong’ so it looks like ‘right’. He wants to seduce us outside of the borders of what God has called us to live.
It's true that your sinful heart is your biggest problem, but we would be foolish to think we don’t live in a world where we’re constantly being seduced. We’re constantly being tempted. We’re constantly being wooed away from what is good, and true, and right, and beautiful. This is not peace time; we’re at war.
4. You're in the plan of God
This is a very different reality than the first three realities. Yes, you live in a fallen world - with sin in your own heart and with fallen people, all while at war with a powerful Enemy - but it’s part of God’s plan.
Acts 17 says that God determines the exact place where you will live and the exact length of your life. It's shocking to think of it, and often hard to accept, but God has you right where He wants you.
God has chosen for you to live in this fallen world, not because He's evil and capricious, but because He’s wise, loving, faithful, and good. In this fallen world, He's working to accomplish good things in you and through you.
If you don’t factor in this fourth reality, you’ll be constantly discouraged. This world will frustrate you; your sin and the sin of others will make life difficult; and the power of the Enemy will make you want to quit. But the fourth reality makes all the difference – God is in control, and He has you just where He wants you.