Faith- “The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart”

By Pastor Ron Buxton

   A man had a severe heart attack and was rushed to the hospital emergency room. The attending doctor evaluated him, and then told him that if he didn’t get an immediate heart transplant that he would die. The man was devastated.

   A few moments passed, however, and another doctor ran into the emergency room, shouting out:   “You’re in luck! Two hearts just became available through the donor program, so you get to choose which one you want. One belonged to a divorce lawyer, and the other belonged to a social worker.”

   The patient quickly responded, “Give me the lawyer’s heart!”

   Both doctors replied, “Wait. Don’t you want to know more about their medical histories before you make that decision?”

   But the man calmly said, “That won’t be necessary. I already know more than enough. We all know that social workers are bleeding hearts, and the lawyer probably never used his! So, I’ll take the attorney’s heart for a transplant.”

   All kidding aside, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. About 610,000 people die of this tragic disease every year–which makes for about 1 out of every 4 deaths. In fact, sadly, every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack. 

   Now, not everyone will die due to heart disease. Thank God. However, 100% of people that have—what I call–“spiritual heart disease” will die a worse, and eternal, death. And that, my friends, is 100% preventable!

   Interestingly, Jesus made an important observation, recorded by Luke (an actual medical doctor), when He stated: “Those that are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5: 31-32) Stubbornly, Christ’s original audience did not accept that they were “sick” in sin and selfishness. Unfortunately, the vast majority of folks today still reject that same diagnosis regarding their “spiritual heart” condition. How sad! There is simply no other remedy. As I said in a recent funeral that I officiated, only faith in the redemption of Jesus Christ provides the “vaccination” against this spiritual malady. Anything else are just placebos.

   In a previous article, I mentioned that only Christ answers the deep existential questions. In that, He stands alone. Whereas other worldviews attempt to assess mankind’s problems, only Jesus did something about it. Jesus told us plainly–and very clearly–that almost all evil in this world originates from within the human heart. You see, the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart!

   Listen to Christ’s words in Mark 7:21-23– “For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these vile things come from within, and they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God.” Apart from so-called natural disasters, that list sums up everything else that we consider evil in our world today. That being said, we can either accept or reject Christ’s diagnosis and remedy.

   Folks, there simply are not any government policies, nor humanitarian efforts, that could ever control the human heart. And tragically, the evil and violence will probably be more frequent and alarming in the days ahead. This will ultimately require a divine intervention–personally, and then globally–before it’s too late.

   We all want to change the world. But let’s start with our hearts first. The problem of the heart is the heart of the problem. The “transplant” is here. When Christ dwells in your heart by faith, the prognosis is eternal health and wellness! Don’t die of “spiritual heart disease”! It is 100% preventable through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!