We often look around us and as we view the world and the conditions therein we marvel at the longsuffering of the Creator. We often wonder if things can get any worse. In his first letter to Timothy Paul described our day. He said, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (I Tim. 4:1-3).
In his second letter to the young preacher he again speaks of “perilous times” which were coming. What he wrote sounds very much like today’s newscast or headlines in today’s newspaper. Listen again as he speaks of these times. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (II Tim. 3:1-7).
We witness the drive by our government, the news media, Hollywood, television, and even our schools to present homosexuality as just another innocent lifestyle; abortion, the murder of the unborn, is accepted and it is sickening to even read of the millions of babies that have been sacrificed in this manner; crimes of all kinds abound, with many major crimes committed daily; and these major crimes are no longer reserved for the large cities, but are occurring in small towns and villages nationwide.
However, the disgust and amazement we have for the conditions that surround us are not new to our generation. Thousands of years ago David penned, “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted” (Psalm 12:1-2, 8). Isaiah spoke of his time and said, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” (Isa. 5:20-23).
Later, Isaiah wrote, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:8-10).
The world of Noah’s day was described in these words, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). God destroyed Sodom because “their sin is very grievous” (Gen. 18:20).
God has His own timetable; He still “rules in the kingdoms of men” (Dan. 4:17). He is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9). Rest assured that the wicked will be punished, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10).
Pray for our world; pray for our leaders and all world leaders. And by all means be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. God told Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).
Paul M. Wilmoth