C. D. Plum
No! The world is not getting better. The world as a whole is not going to get better. Thank God for the few who will yet obey Him. But the trend of the world is away from God.
In every age of the world the trend has been away from God. Each age of Bible history followed the trend away from God. For proof of this please observe the following.
The Patriarchal age began well, ended badly. It lasted 2600 years. In about the last one-third of this age, things became so bad that this language was recorded against it. “And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Gen. 6:5-6). God closed out this age.
The Jewish age was the next. It began gloriously with the receiving of the law on Mt. Sinai. It ended badly. It lasted 1500 years. In about the last one-third of this age, Ezra prayed thus: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:6). God closed out this age.
Then came the gospel or Christian age. This age, too, began gloriously. It was ushered in with the apostles receiving the Holy Ghost baptism. The church was established. Thousands obeyed the gospel, and were added to the Lord’s church. For a history of this read the second chapter of the Acts. But this age is going badly. I don’t know whether we are in the last one-third of this age, or the last year, month, week, or day of it. But we have been in this age 1990 years already. The church was established in 33 A.D. This is 2023 A.D. Subtract and you have the age of it.
But how do we know this age is going like the rest, from good to bad? The Lord predicted as much. Hear him: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). The revised version says, “And because that iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold.”
And the Holy Spirit teaches through Paul concerning this age: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). In view of all of this, how dare any to say the world is getting better.
But it is pointed out to me that, the church was growing faster than ever before in 1953; the Gospel was preached in more places than ever before; we were giving more than ever before; and we were building finer, costlier, and fancier meeting houses than ever before. Even if all this were legitimate, it only proves some were getting better. It does not disprove that, “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Who is to Blame?
Of course, the foundation of all opposition to God and His way is Satan. Jesus said of Satan, “He is a liar, and the father of it.” He deceived the first woman, and she seduced her husband. So the fact the world is not getting better may be laid at Satan’s door.
That there has been a break down in family government cannot well be denied. And this contributes to a worsening condition. This is especially so among the world. It is too much so among those who call themselves Christians. “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” is with too many a lost art. “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures” is not true in millions of homes today. Not always so, but much so, the children of working mothers and fathers are neglected. Often they roam the streets, and travel with improper company.
Then often there is laxity in school government. Obedience is not demanded like when we “were taught to the tune of a hickory stick.” Too many times parents allow their children to take up dancing in the school, etc.
Civil government allows the selling of intoxicants, a divorce for anything, and license is granted for certain forms of gambling. Of a certainty Satan is behind all this, while the world grows worse.
Elders think little of withdrawing anymore, and do less about it. “The wicked one is not put away from among us” as Paul told the Corinthians to do. And I have heard of a few cases where members not grounded in the faith, and full of denominational ideas, talked of withdrawing from faithful children of God because their hands were called in some of their religious errors. Heretics were allowed to teach again and again errors concerning the Holy Spirit and other things. All this violates Titus 3:10.
Gospel preachers sometimes break under fear of quarantine or boycott. This doesn’t help the world to get better or come to God. Many members are still saying to the preachers: “See not; and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things” (Isa. 30:10). And preachers have found out there is often better pay and less moving when they listen to worldly members. This makes the condition worse. And although God has said, “I am against the prophets that smooth their tongues” many do it anyway. Some have said they were tired of being rode so much and moving so much.
Apostasies do Come
Not only the world grows worse, often many congregations go to the bad. Read of the sad condition among the seven congregations in Asia. Remember how soon the falling away took place after the death of the last apostle. Then when the restoration was accomplished, remember how soon the digression set in and divided Christ’s body. What will be the result of the present trend in the body of Christ I know not. I am praying that this time history will not repeat. God help us all because
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us (Eccl. 1:9-10).