Reading: “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple.” Acts 3:2

Have you ever asked yourself what has happened to society? News reports are full of murder, rape, theft, and social mayhem. Drugs and immorality are the norm. War and economic meltdown have plunged thousands into poverty, and all the while there is little thought of God and His gospel.

How can we explain the wretched state of the world in 2012? The answer is hidden in the words of our text for today. We cannot read these words without being struck by the desperate and hopeless situation of the “certain man.” To be a lame beggar without health, prospects, money, or any means of self-support is the epitome of a ruined and wretched life in the physical realm. But the point the Holy Spirit is making in recording these details is that the lame man’s physical state is a graphic picture of the spiritual state of this world.

The beggar at the gate had never known anything else but misery. He was lame from his mother’s womb. And this is the first great message of the Christian gospel: every one of us is born in sin. Furthermore, our sinful misery cannot be alleviated by the world. This man had great problems, and the world could do nothing about them. Transfer that truth into the spiritual realm and the lesson is clear: the world cannot meet the spiritual needs of sinners.

Let us ponder these things carefully today and resolve to take the gospel to people caught in the misery of sin.