Our world is on fire, you don't even have to follow the smoke to see it because it's burning up right before our eyes. Tune in to learn what your Bible has to say are some of the causes for the state of our world.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
The scenes are gripping. Streets filled with protestors. Buildings burning. Clashes with law enforcement. Masks and pandemic warnings. Racial tensions. Experts at odds. And the leaders we expect to bring order, balance, and solutions doing little more than tweeting, blaming, and posturing--inadequate, ineffectual, and focused on internal divisions and discord.
It seems as though civilization itself is going up in flames.
On our program today, we will review the state of the world right now, and we will seek to do what others won’t: We’ll look at the causes of this chaos--causes that most are unwilling to admit.
Join us for this episode of Tomorrow’s World, where we examine a world on fire.
Greetings, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World.
I know that some among our hundreds of thousands of weekly viewers all over the world have had the horrifying experience of waking up to discover your house is on fire. You’ve gone to bed in otherwise peaceful surroundings, only to be shocked awake by the sounds of home fire alarms, the scent of smoke burning in your nostrils, and the terrifying sight of flames beginning to engulf the walls around you. Few experiences can be as frightening.
In a collective sense, we are experiencing such a moment today. The world we lived in only months ago is no longer the world we inhabit. That previous world is on fire all around us. What is happening? And why?
Today we will identify some KEY CAUSES for the fires of violent self-destruction raging throughout the world--causes that few in ANY political party have the wisdom to discover or the will to admit!
We will also give you several opportunities to request our free DVD resource, “A Culture in Crisis.” This DVD is already paid for and completely free to all who request it. Be sure to watch for the information you need to order your free copy.
If it seems to you that unrest and chaos are increasing in society, you are not crazy. They are.
In May of 2020, international news resource EURACTIV noted the results of a survey of civil unrest across the globe. These results match what most of us already believe:
“Civil unrest has doubled in the past decade as citizens protest against issues ranging from economic hardship and police brutality to political instability, according to this year’s Global Peace Index.”
The Global Peace Index is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The Institute notes that over the last decade
Institute founder, Steve Killilea stated, “It’s likely that the economic impact of COVID-19 will magnify tensions by increasing unemployment, widening inequality and worsening labour conditions--creating alienation from the political system and increasing civil unrest. We therefore find ourselves at a critical juncture.”
But when we speak of a world on fire, few need an international think tank to send us a report. We see the flames on our own television screens and social media feeds. In fact, some of us see them in the streets of our own cities, outside our own windows, and even within our own homes and workplaces.
In a world already burdened by concern, depression, unemployment, and fear, stirred by the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions, came the shocking, video-recorded death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resulting protests that began in the United States were soon joined by others in London, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro--cities all over the world. While crowds initially seemed focused on addressing questions of policing measures and concerns of racial prejudice in law enforcement, protests rapidly began to expand to include multiple actors from multiple walks of life with diverse purposes and motives. Some targeted capitalism and economic change. Others wanted to see police forces completely abolished. Others, still, inserted their own social cause, such as the transgender movement and bringing down cultural and historical institutions. And, sadly, more than a few seemed interested in little more than causing destruction and generating anarchy.
Businesses in many urban areas were looted, demolished, and burned, destroying livelihoods and upending lives. Portions of Seattle were seized by protestors and declared “independent” of the United States. Many of us will never forget the images we have seen of individuals assaulted, beaten, and killed in the streets of our own cities by lawless individuals who seem freed from the bounds of human conscience.
Meanwhile many politicians and news anchors merely pointed fingers and attached blame. While accusations flew, no one provided the answers that suffering families needed.
As the world burns around us, the most important question we must ask is WHY? Why does the world seem to be engulfed in flames? What are the real causes of the tragedies that we see unfolding?
Those questions have answers! They are not popular, to be sure, but they are the TRUTH. And the day is long past when we could afford to indulge in the lies, ignorance, and pretense we see coming from politicians seeking to win elections and news channels seeking higher ratings. We will dare to give you those answers, beginning in the next portion of our program.
Yes, the world appears to be engulfed in the flames of violence, chaos, confusion, disorder, and destruction. The flames die down for a season, only to return hotter, hungrier, and more widespread.
Many factors play into the problems we see today, and many temporary solutions could be offered. But any REAL, PERMANENT SOLUTION must address the CAUSES and not just the SYMPTOMS! Let us look at three of the deeper causes behind the flames that are engulfing our world. Any solution that does not address THESE THREE ISSUES may work for a short while, but will ultimately be DOOMED TO FAILURE.
First, Humanity has abandoned the truth that we are created in God’s image.
The Bible declares this fundamental truth in its opening pages:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26–27.
Every single one of us has been created in the very image of God. This fact sets mankind apart as the pinnacle of creation and endows humans with a dignity and value far above anything possessed by the animals.
Yet this marvelous truth has been cast aside in favor of the baseless and untenable idea that life “just happened”--that there is no Creator and nothing truly special about mankind.
We increasingly experience the consequences of that terrible lie.
When you see people as individuals bearing the image of God, you cannot commit the sort of atrocities against your fellow man that we have seen in cellphone footage from riots and violent protests. You can’t drag someone out of his car and beat him to death with a skateboard. You can’t loot his business and burn down his livelihood. You recognize that he, too, is a potential child of God, just like you are--a human being whose life has value in the eyes of His Creator.
When you know each and every member of the human race is made in the image of God, there is no room for seeing someone as somehow “less” than you are just because of the color of his skin. Rather, you see him as someone whose standing before God reflects your own--as both of you reflect the image of the One who made you. As Paul told Christians in his letter to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Yet when we only see each other as animals, we begin to behave like animals and treat each other as nothing more. And it goes beyond what we see in our streets.
Consider the curse of abortion. What happens when we forget that all human beings--even those in the womb--are created by God in His image?
Out of every 1,000 children in the womb, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that 35 children are aborted.Compare that to the World Health Organization’s estimate that only 29 children out of 1,000 die within a year after they are born. That means we now live in a world where a child is in MORE danger of being killed in his own mother’s womb--what should be the safest place of all--than dying outside it!
In the free DVD we are offering today, Gerald Weston covers that topic thoroughly--with both fairness and compassion--in his program “Tiny Fingers and Toes!”
But the confusion doesn’t end there. For instance, why is there such chaos in society over concepts such as sex, gender, family, and marriage? Because we have abandoned the truth that humanity is created in GOD’S image and see ourselves as completely free to RECREATE OURSELVES in WHATEVER IMAGE WE FANCY!
But there are profound consequences to abandoning the divine design of humanity. Consider the impact of dissolving biblical marriage and redefining family. The National Center for Fathering gathered research on the impact of fatherless families on children, and the results were staggering. As they noted, “… children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.”
Think about that. To what extent does the growing epidemic of fatherlessness, alone, contribute to what we see in the burning world outside our windows?
Abandoning the truth that humanity is created in the image of God has PROFOUND consequences.
Let’s look at another reason--one that involves a source of wisdom more than 3,000 years old, which modern man has cast aside to its own self-destruction.
Humanity has abandoned the Ten Commandments.
More than three millennia ago, God delivered to the ancient Israelite people a collection of Ten Commandments that would provide the core of an approach to life and worship that would guide their entire civilization.
Listed in Exodus, chapter 20, these ten rules represented divine, God-given laws that superseded all human law--an objective moral guide against which our own ideas of right and wrong could be measured and tested.
God’s commands that…
…have formed the basis of legal codes in Western civilization for centuries.
However, mankind has abandoned the Ten Commandments as a divine code--thrown out the idea that God commands us anything at ALL concerning right and wrong, deciding that we OURSELVES, should have the right to decide what is good and evil. After all, why should the modern world owe any allegiance to a set of rules and morals listed in some dusty old book written tens of centuries ago?
Yet, after throwing out God’s definitions of what’s right and what’s wrong, what do we use to replace them?
Some would claim that SCIENCE is the answer, as if morality can be discovered through the microscope or the test tube. The perverted experiments performed by Nazi scientists during the Holocaust should give us pause before turning morality over to the scientific realm. Some appoint GOVERNMENT as the moral authority and LEGISLATURE AND COURTS as the deciding factors in what is good and evil. Yet, again, how many wicked governments have sprung up among men, even in democracies, and on what basis do we judge such governments? Was slavery in the American South a MORAL GOOD just because it was legal? Of course not!
The end result of casting aside God’s divine authority is a world in which every individual decides for HIMSELF what is good and evil--a world of moral chaos. Or, as we see today, a world on fire.
The Bible describes a brutal period in the history of ancient Israel, before there was a monarchy, as just such a time. It was violent--even barbaric--and God’s summary of WHY such brutality existed should get our attention. We see it at the end of the book of Judges, in chapter 21 and verse 25:
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
In a society where every individual independently decides right and wrong as he or she sees fit, the result is CHAOS--exactly what we see flickering in the flames of civil unrest that are breaking out with increasing frequency in our world today.
In fact, the consequences are far larger than many realize. Abandoning the Ten Commandments involves abandoning the idea that God is the ultimate lawgiver, whose laws and commands must be obeyed. So, for example, His laws listed in Leviticus 11 concerning clean and unclean animals are cast aside--yet the causes of many of the flus and contagions that have devastated the health and economies of nations around the world in recent decades, such as the recent coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic--are directly related to abandoning these laws and eating unclean animals! Tomorrow’s World presenter Gerald Weston has detailed this connection in multiple programs for our viewers. The laws of God are more than a mere academic philosophy about ethics and morality--as the coronavirus pandemic has made abundantly clear, obeying His laws is a matter of life and death.
At the heart of the confusion and mayhem we see in the world today is a REJECTION OF GOD’S AUTHORITY IN OUR LIVES. Humanity has rejected the Ten Commandments--and with them, we have rejected any hope of understanding right and wrong.
Yet, even if mankind were to embrace these causes, it would be insufficient. After all, ancient Israel understood they were made in God’s image, and they were given the Ten Commandments. Yet they could not stay the course, and their own civilization experienced the same self-destruction we see happening to us today. We need something more, and that something more is the rulership of the Savior of the world.
The third reason the world around us is on fire is that Humanity refuses to submit to Jesus Christ.
Now, some of you might disagree, saying, “What a minute--isn’t Christianity the largest religion in the world?” And you’d have a point. The Pew Research Center noted in 2017 that 31 percent--almost one-third of all humanity--claims to be Christian.
But true Christianity is more than a label.
Does one-third of humanity truly embrace the actual teachings, faith, and message of Christ? The message He brought to this earth 2,000 years ago and commanded to be preached today? NOT AT ALL! In fact, most of what the world calls “Christianity” today would be unrecognizable to Jesus Christ, running exactly counter to His teachings! In fact, the teachings of modern Christianity are often a SOURCE for the sort of problems and confusion we see in the world, not the SOLUTIONS!
For example, much of modern Christianity has embraced the idea that Jesus wants us to come “Just as we are,” as the old hymn proclaims--that all that matters is that you “love the Lord” and accept salvation, regardless of your way of life. My friends nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, in Luke 14:33 Jesus explicitly says that those who are not willing to forsake ALL THEY HAVE literally CANNOT be His disciples! His Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:4 that those who claim to know Jesus but who do not KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS are liars and the truth is not in them! And BOTH Peter and Paul explained that the TRUE Gospel, not the false “Gospel” of this world, is not only a message which must be believed, but a message which must be OBEYED. 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17
The apostate forms of Christianity that have provided the basis of Western culture are all essentially bankrupt of the deepest foundations of the truth and life that Jesus Christ intended His Church to carry into the world--foundations that you hear every week on this program.
Jesus gives us a way of life to LIVE--a way of life that is the exact opposite of the brazen arrogance we see in our culture today. It is a way of life filled with humility, obedience to God, and seeking peace, even in the face of oppression. It is a way of life in which, even in persecution, we look to the coming of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom for our solutions, not in what we can accomplish ourselves with our fists, our rage, and our anger.
And it is a way of life, love, and peace that Christ will bring to the whole world--not through political power or protests--but through reigning over the earth in power and majesty upon His return as King of kings and Lord of lords. May that day come quickly!
But we do not have to wait on the world to change--and that is truly Good News. We can come under the reign of Jesus Christ in our lives TODAY and put out the fires of our own inner rebellion and turmoil. God is calling a small group of people to do just that--those willing to live His way of life under the authority of Jesus in their lives in today’s world, so that they can help Him rule the earth in His way of peace in tomorrow’s world. Perhaps some of you are among those He is calling right now. That’s a question only you can answer.
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