by Tommy Thornhill
We are now in the year 2021 and many are fearful of what the future holds for us. We wonder, ”What is this world coming to?” To us older Christians it is certainly disturbing to see the present “status quo” (the mess our nation is in). As I reflect back to how things were in America during my growing up years, at that time I saw this country as truly “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our lives were more casual and serene. People were more content, and God, His Son, and His word was honored and respected by the vast majority.
I do not have this same view today. Even with the many advancements and improvements in science, medicine, technology, education, service organizations, etc. that have helped to raise our standard of living and make life easier, there still seems to be a feeling of uneasiness, insecurity, and uncertainty about the future. The country is in a state of turmoil morally, socially, politically, and spiritually and things seem to be getting worse, not better.
While we may think our present generation is the most wicked and perverse generation ever, It’s not true. Every generation has been wicked, perverse, and evil. Some are just more open with their sinfulness than others. Jesus branded His generation as “a faithless and perverse generation” (Matthew 17:17), an ”adulterous and sinful generation" (Mark 8:38). Later, when the church was established on the Day of Pentecost, the people were told to save themselves from a "perverse generation" (Acts 2:40). And our generation today can be lumped right along with all past generations.
Today morality is no longer respected by many. People, especially among the young, practice all sorts of perverted sins, doing them openly with no sense of shame. But this is nothing new. God’s prophet Jeremiah wrote about people with the same attitude in his day. He asks, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15-16). Today, many brag about the perversions they practice and think it strange that moral and godly don’t join them in their sinful activities (I Peter 4:3-4).
Socially and politically, Jeremiah saw his people as well as the priests and prophets (politicians of that day) and their city Jerusalem of his day the way we see our society, politicians, and Washington DC today. Speaking of the country and the main city, Jeremiah wrote, ”She is full of oppression in her midst. As a fountain wells up with water, so she wells up with her wickedness. Violence and plundering are heard in her. Before Me continually are grief and wounds because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ˜peace, peace! when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:7,13-14).
Yes, our nation is disintegrating rapidly and one day, sooner or later, will face the wrath of God. The pronouncement made by Isaiah for God still holds true. "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man!" (Isaiah 5:20-23).
The things I have written above just remind you of the wickedness of this world. And it will not get any better because the way or "the course of this world is directed by the "prince of the power of the air" (the devil) and he is not going to let it get any better. Those who follow him and walk after the world are "sons of disobedience" who conduct "themselves after the lust of the flesh to fulfill the desires of the flesh and mind, and by nature children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:2-3); "In the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart, who being past feeling, haven them-selves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:17-19).
So “what is this world coming to?” It is headed for destruction. When the cup of the wrath of God has filled to the brim, God will bring judgment to bear. On that Day the world and its lust will pass away (I John 2:16), and ”the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth, and the works that are in it will be burned up" (II Peter 3:10).
So, don’t expect 2021 to get any better. Just remember that as Christians we live in this world, but we are not to live like the world (John 17:14-16). Here we are just pilgrims and sojourners (I Peter 2:11-12) traveling toward a better country (Hebrews 11:16) where our true citizenship is found (Philippians 3:20). So while living in this old sinful world, make sure we conduct ourselves as children of God. Pray for our country and our leaders (I Timothy 2:1-2; I Peter 2:13). Pray for our enemies, return good for evil (Matthew 5:43-48; Romans12:9-21). Practice love not hate. Seek peace not turmoil. Have faith, not fear.
This world is not our home, we are just passing through.