5 Sept 2021
Technology and science have made leaps and bounds in making what seem an ‘impossible’ dream ‘yesterday’ to reality today. Many may feel that we are doing much better today as communities and nations, given the many advancement and progress in so many fields.
But we need to pause and consider: many species of animals and insects have become extinct or are on the endangered list; climate change (due to extensive damage of forests, the increasing use of fossil fuels, the killing of animals for their body parts, the unregulated fishing and ‘harvesting’ of the sea etc) has ‘passed’ the point of no return. Disputes and ‘wars’ between nations, the proliferation of destructive weapons, the erosion of integrity among even leaders of nations (many of them do not think twice to use ‘lies’ and political manoeuvres to get an upper hand) – all these point to increasing sin and corruption – manifested in self-centredness, self-absorption and self-pity, not only among nations but also among individuals (“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,..” 2 Tim. 3:2).
At the same time, there is no sense of our sinfulness; we make it a habit to manipulate others to get as much of what we want – there is no idea of sacrifice for the sake of others in many strata of society, no such thing as doing things for the good of others. We may say that society has largely become a ‘jungle’ in which we are all hunting for pleasure, profit and power, and are happy to put others down to get what we want. Someone rightly said, “It is ‘get what we can, can all we get, and poison the rest'”. At this juncture, can we still say that we have made much progress and advancements in this age? Or are we living with many illusions of what society and the world has become?
Is the current age aptly described as in Genesis 6:5? “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. This was the point in time when God decided to blot out man whom He has created from the face of the land with the flood. But God was long-suffering and Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord. Is our time and age today ‘sitting on the edge of impending judgement’ from God?
As for believers today, we may not be in a much better situation. Compared with believers a generation ago, we have shockingly little sense of the reality, pervasiveness, shame, and guilt of sin. We cherish strong illusions about having a right to expect from God health, wealth, ease, excitement, and sexual gratification. We are surprisingly unaware that suffering Christianity is an integral aspect of biblical holiness and a regular part of Christian living as usual, for the believer. Increasingly, believers cease to walk according to the truth of the gospel either when they let their lives be governed by doctrinal error or when they compromise the truth in practice under pressure from an influential body of non-evangelical opinion. Today, believers face a situation in which all these tendencies and deviations appear in ‘modern dress’ and we are no wiser when faced with them.
Let us not be lulled by the illusions into a state of presumption. The call from Scriptures has always been “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…”
The warning from John the Baptist remains relevant – “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance….Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees, Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 2:7-9).