Recent news headlines are both shocking and disturbing. An insane gunman mowing down children at a summer camp in Norway. A deranged father keeping two mentally incompetent daughters as sex slaves. A psychotic father decapitating his handicapped seven-year-old son. Thousands of rioters destroying cars and buildings and stealing as they rampage. A rapist assaulting an 85-year-old woman for the “thrill of the moment.” And the gory list continues. What is happening? Has the whole world gone mad? Will the carnage ever cease?
In an immoral society, people know better but reject what they know to be right. Today, increasingly, we are in an “amoral” society—where a people do not even know what is right or wrong (“UK riots: Greedy, amoral, irresponsible… Now who could that be?,” The Guardian, August 14, 2011).
How long will the decay and carnage we now see around the globe continue? Jesus Christ’s disciples once asked, essentially, this. “How can we tell when we near the end of the age and your return?” (Matthew 24:3). Christ listed several “signs” in His response, and said: “because iniquity [wickedness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (v. 12, KJV).
Many of the heinous acts we see today almost defy imagination, and truthfully only occur in society when the “love of many” waxes cold, and large numbers of people lack a moral compass. Ironically, in this “brave new world” of the 21st century, our enlightened, self-absorbed, self-confident, post-modern society is boldly going where society “has gone before.”
Long ago, God gave a prophecy aimed at the modern Israelite-descended nations, noting their moral decay (Jeremiah 2:4). “For they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God” (Jeremiah 3:21). And, “You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed” (v. 3). God also said, “But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed” (Jeremiah 5:23-24).
Society has rejected the Ten Commandments—the moral code that once supported most of the Western world! Through Paul, God listed more signs of the end of the age, noting that, “in the last days, perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving… despisers of good” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Does this prophecy begin to fit society today?
Satan the devil—“the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)—has blinded society! He is angry, and will soon lash out with fury at the people of God as never before (Revelation 12:12). He is like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Why is Satan so angry that he deceives the whole world into committing such heinous acts (Revelation 12:9)? Because he knows his days are numbered, and his power will soon be completely removed (v. 12)!
Today’s headlines are just “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). The shocking acts we see in the media will increase in frequency and intensity. But we must not allow our faith to be shaken. God is allowing these events so that mankind will learn that “of himself he can do nothing!” True peace cannot be created by the pride and power of men, apart from God and His laws. So, thankfully, there is an end in sight—after the carnage!
God does have a plan, and it calls for the soon coming return of His Son, the Prince of Peace. With Christ’s return, Satan and his demons will be banished, along with their influence (Revelation 20:1–3). No longer will Satan motivate weak-willed individuals to hurt and destroy others, made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26)!
One day soon, headlines will read very differently, because “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain…” (Revelation 21:4). There is a new world coming—a moral world that today’s human beings have only imagined, while they have futilely attempted to construct one under their own power. For more information on the encouraging future that awaits us all, be sure to read our powerful free booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?