Days of Our Lives, as
the World Turns
by William T. James
Powerful forces are at work beneath the relative tranquillity that masks the
true state of our nation and the world. Ours is a society that boils with
turbulence beneath a veneer of sophistication. It is a society mirrored by
television soap operas and hedonistic movies which have, in turn,
mesmerized much of the American public. Life has indeed imitated art, while
year after year morals have degenerated and the very concept of morality
has been turned upside-down and inside out. We are a people given a thrill-a-
minute fix to satisfy our insatiable cravings for instant gratification. We are a people all the while descending deeper and deeper into depravity.
Gleam and glitter and unparalleled technological gadgetry have procured for
the American public hours upon hours of time for pleasure-seeking, and it is
more than abundantly obvious, for mischief-making. While it is true that the
moguls of science provide great benefits for human health, wealth, and
achievement within the sphere of human potential, to see the direction in
which all of this is truly sweeping us, one has only to consider any given
local evening news broadcast. We are not as a society every day and in
every way, getting better and better like the New Age evolutionary thinkers
would have us believe. Feeding our voracious appetites for more exciting
thrills and greater pleasures has served only to generate phenomenal growth
in criminal activity. Those who perceive themselves to be the have
nots ravenously desire those material things which the American
propagandists flash before their lusting eyes. Because Big Brother
government has, in effect, destroyed work ethic through give-away welfare
programs but can in no way give this dependent class the shimmering lifestyle
it lusts after, the rip in the fabric of society worsens daily as the ungovernable
elements engage in the only occupation they believe can secure for them the
thrills and pleasures they seek. As a result, gang members as young as seven
years of age live and often die in their unattainable pursuits.
Can there be any doubt that conditions and activities which God's Word
predicts will be prevalent while the end of the age approaches are now being
played out before our very eyes? The similarities between the biblical
descriptions and the reports we witness on our nightly newscasts are
stunningly evident. Man's atrocities against his fellow man are pandemic.
Stories of debased human behavior are so numerous that those items which
would have formerly been front page headlines now are relegated to pages
farther back because even more heinous stories overshadow them.
Jesus himself prophesied about the generation that would inhabit Planet Earth
at the time of His Second Advent: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall
also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt: 24:37). Jesus Christ, who is God
himself, gave with that reference based upon Scripture recorded in the past
and Scripture He knew was yet to be recorded - an unmistakable
characterization of the generation alive at the time of His Second Advent.
Jesus said, while discoursing with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, that
that generation, like the pre-flood society of Noah's day, will be "eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" (Matt. 24:38). Like in Noah's day,
society will be conducting business as usual, having become desensitized to
the perversities going on around them and even more desensitized to any
consideration of the things of God and the fact that divine judgment was
already on the way.
Daniel the prophet said: "And the end of it shall be with a flood" (Dan. 9: 26),
meaning a flood of incorrigibly wicked behavior and a flood of God's wrath
and judgment poured upon that unrepentant, blasphemous people of the
apocalypse. Jesus said that the generation alive at the end of the age will be
totally immersed in doing what is right in their own eyes, as were the
antediluvians of Noah's day. The people of that earlier, doomed generation
were marrying, partying,
and busily engaged in commerce while their perversions, debaucheries,
violence, and blasphemies were simply well-accepted, even welcomed
ingredients within the cultural and societal mixture of the time. Jesus said that
they were carrying on as usual "until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the
coming of the son of man be" (Matt. 24:28-39).
Jesus was saying that people living at the time of His return will have become
so rebellious as to have rejected the notion of a CreatorGod. Their thinking
will have become so reprobate, their consciences so seared, that many will no
doubt even forget that such a God was ever said to have existed! Christ's
coming will be so swift and startling that it will be analogous to the horror of
that long ago, worldwide deluge that destroyed all but those who were found
righteous in God's eyes. Just prior to that flood Enoch disappeared, having
been translated into the presence of the God with whom he walked righteously
(Gen. 5:24). Noah and his family were supernaturally preserved upon the
raging sea that engulfed the entire earth (Gen. 8).
Jesus also drew the parallel between the time of the destruction of the cities of
Sodom and Gomorrah and the days that will immediately precede the
consummation of the age. "Also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat,
they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; But the same day
that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and
destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is
revealed" (Luke 17:28-29).
Peter the apostle wrote about Lot's days of interaction with the people of
Sodom: "For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling among them, in seeing and
hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds"
(2 Pet. 2:8). Peter then went on to imply the type of behavior which greatly
disturbed Lot - the sort of behavior that inevitably brings on Almighty God's
indignation and judgment.
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust
of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous
are they; self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of
dignities.... But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be
taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they
understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption, And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness,
as they that count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. Spots
they are and blemishes, reveling with their own deceiving
while they feast with you. Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease
from sin; beguiling unstable souls; an heart they have exercised with
covetous practices; cursed children, Who have forsaken the right way, and
are gone astray.... These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with
the tempest, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. For when they
speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the
flesh, through much wantonness, those that are just escaping from them who
live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the
servants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he
brought in bondage" (2 Pet. 2:8-19).
God's Word speaks powerfully of His opinion about the vile activities that
were commonplace during Lot's day warning all generations that His
righteous judgment must and will fall on those who engage in ungodly
enterprises. "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like
manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh,
are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. In like
manner also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and
speak evil of dignities ... these speak evil of those things which they know
not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they
corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain.
... Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to
whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" (Jude 7-13).
The Holy Scripture then rolls before the mind's eye of our imagination the
awesome truth contained within the words, "it is a fearful thing to fall in the
hands of the living God" (Heb. 10: 3 1). As the Book of Jude continues: "And
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the
Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all,
and to convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds
which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which
ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers,
complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great
swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before by the
apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How they told you
there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own
ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, having not
the Spirit" (Jude 14-19).
Apologies to Sodom and Gomorrah
Ruth Bell Graham is attributed to have made the statement, in the context of
surveying the growing wickedness she observed in her nation, that if God
did not judge the United States, He would surely have to apologize to the
cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Many years have passed since Mrs. Graham
allegedly made that (in my opinion, very correct) assessment. Does the fact
that the United States has not been obliterated by fire and brimstone, all of
its population consumed in a thermonuclear holocaust or by supernatural fire
from the heavens, mean that we, as a nation of people, are improving in our
conduct to the extent the Almighty will not judge like He did those now-
extinct, ancient cities? Or does it mean that Mrs. Graham was wrong?
One thing is sure. God is never wrong and thus need never apologize for His
actions. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8.) His
immutability is perfectly consistent as recorded throughout His Word to His
creation called mankind. Thankfully, and praise His holy name, so is His
quality of mercy, His slowness to anger and wrath - else the little, though
tremendously prideful creature called man, would long ago have ceased to
Mrs. Graham dramatically made the frightening (but true) point that sin
ultimately brings death to individuals and to nations who transgress God's
laws and refuse to repent. God's judgment might, in some cases, seem slow in
falling as man counts finite time, but God's judgment is certain! This brings
us to the question: Where does America - and for that matter, the world -
stand in relationship to sin, repentance, and God's judgment like that which
consumed the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Has the TV soap opera-
like hedonism in which our society has gleefully bathed made the days of our
lives, as the world turns, cleaner for all my children - and yours? Or have the
filth and scum simply been loosened from the bottom of the world's bathtub
and brought to the surface through glamour and aggrandizement to the point
they stick to and permeate our lives while they, at the same time, provide a
putrefying cesspool environment for sin-germs to incubate and for soul-
destroying infection to spread?
Examination, Diagnosis of and Prognosis for a Sick World
Most adults in America today would, if honesty prevailed,
acknowledge that our culture has changed markedly during the course of the
last decade. Many of those adults - especially those of us 40 years of age
and older - would have to admit, if that same degree of honesty held firm,
societal conditions in America and the world have suffered phenomenal
degeneration despite spectacular technological breakthroughs and
sometimes heroic efforts to better mankind's lot by individuals and
institutions. That the human race is in rapid decline does not surprise
Christians who are spiritually attuned to the prophetic warnings of their
Heavenly Father's written Word.
"Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving and being
deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13). "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, high-minded, lovers of pleasures
more than lovers of God, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power
of it.... For of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly
women laden with sins, led away with various lusts, Ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of truth" (2 Tim. 3:1-7).
Does any of that seem familiar? Indeed, has not the entertainment industry,
even down to and including the hundreds of hours of commercial advertising
productions with which our senses are assaulted daily crept into our houses
and "led captive, silly women" and incidentally - "silly men"? Are not our
fallen human lusts whipped into ever-heightening frenzies while we see
mankind's most wicked imaginings glamorously advertised on our television
screens? Is it any wonder that our national and world societies have, in
biblical terms, "gone the way of Cain"?
Paul the Apostle, in that 2 Timothy account, warned that the last days'
generation will pay the price for its self-sufficient, self-centered godlessness.
"For their folly shall be manifest to all men" (2 Tim. 3:9).
Manifestations of Sin-Diseased Society
Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kansas), speaking in Hollywood against what he called
the moral pollution that comes out of the entertainment industry, said: "Our
music, movies, television, and advertising regularly push the limits of
decency, bombarding our children with destructive messages of casual
violence and even more casual sex. The line of decency has been crossed. It
is crossed every time sexual violence is given a catchy tune, when teen
suicide is set to an appealing
beat, when Hollywood's dream factories turn out nightmares of depravity."
John Gizzy, editor of Human Events, said of Dole's speech:
This declaration of war on the kingpins of culture sounds familiar, a lot like
Dan Quayle's Murphy Brown speech three years ago. The only difference is
the reaction when the then-vice president fired his missile on Murphy, the
media, the moguls generally mocked him, saying it was foolish for a national
figure to criticize a fictional character. And besides, it was an election year
and the economy was what folks wanted to hear about. Well, not so with Mr.
Dole's speech. Although many in the press said he was harsh, and
Hollywood is whining its mantra of "I'm being picked on," the Senate
majority leader is also winning praise for what the majority of us have
thought privately: That there is a relationship between the salaciousness of
entertainment and an increasingly unpleasant America, a place where we've
gone from "Leave it to Beaver" to "Beavis and Butthead" and from sons
hunting with their fathers to sons hunting their fathers.'
Dr. James Dobson, a well-known psychologist and outspoken proponent for
the concept of Judeo-Christian morality in America, brought to light in an
agonizingly revealing way the extent to which America's love affair with sin
has now reached the depths that her "folly" is beginning to become
"manifest to all men." In a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters
during February 1994 at Washington, DC, Dobson said regarding the
children of America:
There is something that is going on in their spirits and their hearts and their
souls, and it is dramatic. We have had a 500 percent increase in violence
among the young since 1960. The number of teenagers killed by gunshot
wounds has increased 85 percent since 1980.... A child born and raised in the
United States has a 15 times greater probability of being killed by gunshot
than a child born and raised in Northern Ireland. We've become one of the
most violent nations in the history of the world. And especially with the
violence that we are perpetrating on children and they are passing on to one
another, we have raised ... at least a part
of a generation that believes that the way to deal with conflict is you kill
somebody, you shoot somebody.
Tulane University just released a research project where they asked
suburban high school students about this matter of teen violence. They
asked them, "When is it appropriate to shoot somebody?" That's quite a
question. Can you imagine, 20 years ago, asking a question like that - when
does it make sense to shoot somebody? Twenty percent of those suburban,
high school kids said it is appropriate to shoot somebody if they steal
something petty theft. It's appropriate to kill them! Eight percent of those
kids said it is appropriate to shoot somebody who insults you.... It is an
unbelievable development that has occurred in this culture.
The Rhode Island Rape Crisis Center asked a similar question. It asked,
"When is it appropriate, when does it make sense, when is it right, for a boy
to force a girl to have sex with him?" Now another word for that is "rape." So
"When is it appropriate for a guy to rape a girl?" Another incredible
question. Twenty-five percent of the boys in the sixth through the ninth
grade said it is appropriate for a boy to force a girl to have sex with him if he
has spent money on her. They asked them how much, and the average is $10-
$15. If he spends 15 bucks on her, he's got a right to rape her! They believe
this! Ibis is what they've been taught, or at least what they've been hearing.
And 67 percent of them said that if a boy had dated a girl for six to eight
months, he's got a right to rape her. This is the world in which they live.
This is the violence of the world of the young.
And the violence that's taking place there now ... is dramatically different
than it was a few years ago. Because it is frequently without passion. It is
without anger. It is wanton brutality. It is without conscience. It is without
compassion. It is violence for violence's sake. You have been reading about
it in the papers and so have 1.
In Virginia, there was a 14-year-old boy sitting in a car at a stop light and he
got out of his car, someone else was driving, and walked over to the car next
to him and shot the man sitting there. He shot him six times in the face
with a 45-caliber pistol. They asked him why he did it; he said, "Because he
was checkin' me out." The man looked at him and he killed him!
In Seattle, there were 12- and 13-year-old boys who decided to kill the next
customer who came out of a 7-11 convenience store. So they sat there and
waited randomly for who came out. It happened to be a 72-year-old man and
they beat him to death with a baseball bat just to watch him die. This [sort of
thing] occurred occasionally in the past, but it's an everyday happening
In West Palm Beach, Florida, a 13-year-old girl took a ride in a cab. There
was a $6 cab fare at the end. Instead of paying it, she blew the back of the
head off of the cab driver. Her own mother said, "It was frightening; she
didn't shed a tear. She didn't even care. . . ."
Now, what's going on here?.. . Some of us, myself included, blame a lot of it
on Hollywood, the entertainment industry ... the Rambo-type nonsense
that's going on. We've just pumped violence into the ears and the eyes of
these kids ... but that's still not the basis of the problem. When you really get
down and look at it, it comes right back to the disintegration of the family
and the victimization of children that takes place, especially in the inner city
but throughout our society [as well]. .
Dobson went on to itemize the many self-centered activities such as drugs
and alcohol abuse and all other forms of selfish living that cause parents to
neglect their children.
When you put all of that together, you've got an incredible number of
abused and neglected children ... the latest estimate I've seen is something
on the order of 10 million abused and neglected children that are out there.
And you have, not uncommonly - and social workers will tell you this - a
baby who is left in the crib for two or three days with dirty diapers, and
when he gets diaper rash and cries from the pain, he is slapped and hit and
beaten. All of us who have been on the faculties of large hospitals have
seen these kids coming in, have seen them broken and battered and bruised
and wounded. There is a phenomenon that's called the "red sock
syndrome." It's where parents
get angry at their kids and to punish them, they get scalding hot water in the
bathtub and they sit these kids down in it and it scalds and blisters their feet,
and they come in looking like they have red socks on. And they put their
little bottoms in it. I mean, one mother in Los Angeles cut her child's eyes
out with a razor blade. It is unbelievable what is happening to children. It
must break the heart of God to see what we're doing to kids, and not just a
few of them there have always been some kids that have been abused, but
there are millions of them out there ......
Dr. Dobson went on to say that perhaps the neglect of America's children is
even worse than the abuse.
We have five and six year olds now across the
country who get u p in the morning with nobody to dress
them or look out for them, teach them anything. They go
into the kitchen and try to find for themselves something
to eat, some cereal or something. They go off to school,
they come home alone, they are in the house alone.
Newsweek magazine did a cover story called "Growing Up
Scared. [These children] come home through these
terrifying neighborhoods. Newsweek described it in such
graphic terms: "These pitiful little forms sitting in front of
the flickering television sets and the lengthening shadows
of winter move up the walls and flood the comers. These
kids are alone, there by themselves."
I'll tell you something else about children who are not supervised by parents.
They are sitting ducks for pedophiles. A pedophile who knows his business,
it's usually a man, a bedeviled who knows what he's-doing can move into a
setting like a video center or a place where children congregate, and in five
minutes he can have that vulnerable kid under his control because he gives
that child what he hasn't got anywhere else - love and attention. And then
he exploits him and abuses him and destroys him.
Dobson continued by saying that tremendous sums of money have been
expended by the federal government to research cause and effect within the
dynamics of the tremendously increasing violence being experienced by
American society today.
They now believe ... that this generation of teenagers who have no
conscience or very little conscience have been brain-damaged at birth or
very shortly after - some of them, even in utero, from the stresses associated
with disintegrating families. So these kids that shoot people on the streets
are not like the rest of us; they don't feel. They can't feel. They can't feel for
other people. They have no empathy, they have no conscience. And their
brutality is a reflection of the rage they have inside, but which is not linked
to the governing authority of our consciences that keep it in check.
Dr. Dobson summarized the days of our lives, as the world turns in America,
by saying, in part:
Society is going to pay an incredible price for the neglect and the rejection of
this generation of kids. We have become so selfish, so self-centered, so
determined to have it all, that we have kids around our feet who hardly know
us.... The generation I'm describing is like a storm cloud moving over the
Pacific heading for the West Coast. It's going to be over Colorado before
very long, and it's going to move on across the East Coast, That generation
is going to be in charge. They're going to be the parents of tomorrow. And
America is in a great deal of trouble. [One psychiatrist has] said, "We've lost
one generation. We may be able to survive it. But we will not survive the
loss of another."... Because what happens to the family affects everything
else. Everything sits on that foundation. Our institutions, our government,
our way of life, our faith that's dependent on the family. You can't evangelize
the next generation if the family is destroyed.'
To carry the analogy of our soap opera-like existence in America today a bit
further, it is altogether accurate but perhaps a glaring understatement to
characterize a huge and growing segment of our children as "the young and the
World's Elevated Fever Now Accepted as Normal
The fact that we live in a world that grows sicker by the minute is undeniable
except to the most ostrich-like among us. A head-in-the-sand approach to
life might, for a time, provide a degree of insulation
against the worsening conditions closing in on even the most isolated
havens of safety. Nonetheless, the time seems to be rapidly approaching
when this generation of earth's population will reach the fever pitch of that
ancient generation described by Paul the apostle in his letter to the Romans.
Those people, like many - perhaps the majority - of our present generation of
people, apparently thought the conditions which engulfed them were merely
normal for the times in which they lived. They failed to detect the rising,
killing temperature of their societal fever like in the perhaps trite but
appropriate proverbial story of the frog simmering, then finally boiling to
death in a pot of water because the rise in temperature was so gradual he
could not sense the change. Could it be that this generation of earth dwellers,
like those in Noah's day, like those about whom Paul wrote, is failing to or
woefully refusing to read the thermometer of our time?
Paul wrote God's thoughts to all generations - perhaps particularly to the
generation of people who will be alive at the time of Christ's return - about the
course of degenerate human conduct that inevitably brings the Almighty's
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Because
that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it
unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal
power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse; Because, when they
knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing
themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the
incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-
footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore, God also gave them up to
uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own
bodies between themselves, Who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and
worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed
forever. Amen (Rom. 1: 18-23).
God, through the apostle Paul, then sets down some very specific forms of
depravity that are inescapably familiar.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women
did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature; And likewise
also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one
toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving
in themselves that recompense of their error which was fitting. And even as
they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a
reprobate mind to do those things which are not seemly, Being filled with all
unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full
of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of
God, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to
parents; Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural
affection, implacable, unmerciful; Who, knowing the judgment of God, that
they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but
have pleasure in them that do them (Rom. 1:26-32).
Case Histories Then and Now
It is perhaps a misnomer to characterize this chapter with the title "Days of
Our Lives as the World Turns." A more descriptive title for the darkening
times might be "The Edge of Night." This generation, if our hourly newscasts
are accurate indicators, is indeed raging toward a precipice beyond which
lurks the black abyss of apocalypse. Certainly world society has for some
time now been exhibiting all of the symptoms that were prevalent during the
time of the ancients, symptoms of the sin-virus engendered incorrigibility
which caused a loving God to give the patient up to its self-willed self-
destruction. Notice that Paul writes in Romans 1:28 that "God gave them over
to a reprobate MIND."
That generation, like the ancients of Sodom and Gomorrah who would come
later, were of one absolutely unchangeable mindset. They would rather
perish than change! They were all in agreement. They were all inalterably
determined that each had the right to do what was right in his own eyes.
Undoubtedly, these judgment-bound societies termed doing what was right
in their own eyes "freedom of choice." They pursued their own form and
concept of life, liberty, and happiness totally apart
from the loving God who created them. In their willful right to choose,
obstinacy lay the chains of their enslavement to sin and, ultimately, God's
wrath and, ultimately, destruction. It took the gushing waters of a broken
earth and an angry, deluging sky to cleanse the sin-sick world of Noah's
pre-flood days. It took the fire and brimstone conflagration sent by a God of
righteous judgment to purify that area of the earth's surface occupied by the
cities of Sodom and Gomorrah during Lot's day.
Symptoms of Degenerative Sin-Disease Then and Now
God's Holy Word speaks bluntly about the cause and effect of sin-disease
that ravaged the earliest reported civilizations. Considering the Holy Spirit's
words spoken through Paul's pen, it is clear that the people of those ancient
civilizations flatly rejected the truth of God, although God plainly manifested
himself to them. "Because, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as
God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their
foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became
fools" (Rom. 1:21-22).
Let us briefly attempt to dissect what God's Word tells us was a systemic
infection within that antediluvian society, with the hope of determining
similarities between the state of moral decay during their time on earth as
compared to our own.
Symptom #1: Idolatry - The Antediluvian
Paul reported about the corrupted ancients that they "changed the glory of
the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and
four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore, God also gave them up
to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own
bodies between themselves, Who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and
worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator" (Rom. 1:23-25).
God's first statement in Paul's letter to the Romans in reference to sinful
behavior that causes His anger to rise and His wrath to fall upon unrepentant
mankind, whether individuals or nations, is frighteningly unequivocal. "For
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1: 18).
After stating that He has clearly made himself known to humankind through
the creation that surrounds them, God exposes that early generation's
unthankfulness and points an omniscient finger of guilt toward their idolatrous betrayal, the particular act which seems most egregious to Him.
Those people had "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image
made like corruptible man." In other words, this generation, although they
knew that God is God, nonetheless rejected Him and His own declaration to
himself, the Godhead (the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy
Spirit). "Let us make man in our image" (Gen. 1:26.). These willful people in
effect said to the Almighty, "We are not made like unto your image; rather, we
will make you into whatever image we choose!" They were obviously saying
further, "We, like Lucifer, choose to become gods ourselves! Even though we
are creatures, we choose to worship and serve ourselves - that is, do what is
right in our own eyes - rather than worship and serve You even though all
creation that surrounds us are clearly witness to the fact that you are the
That generation, like Lucifer, who is that old serpent, Satan, and the devil,
thereby exhibited the sinful thing which God says He hates above all others;
their idolatry brought into focus their supremely arrogant PRIDE.
The writer of Proverbs records for us God's opinion of this most heinous sin.
"These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto
him: A proud look" (Prov. 0: 16-17).
Idolatry, then, springs from, then orbits the iniquitous thing called pride.
When idolatry becomes full-blown, i.e., a state of arrogance that manifests
itself through determination to usurp the very throne of the eternal God, God
apparently quits dealing with that individual, with that generation, and allows
their mind to become reprobate. This means the mindset is one that is
darkened by the infection called sin to the point that insanity rather than
rationality rules the minds of men - not only the physical minds of men, but
spiritual discernment as well. When that point of incorrigibility is reached and
God lets man do what is right in his own eyes, human society is very soon
turned upside down.
Almighty God, using His people, Israel, to speak not only to the generation of
that time but to all generations and all nations, warns of the consequences of
becoming so vile as a society or as an individual that God allows reprobate
mentality to have its way. "Woe unto them who call evil, good, and good,
evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for
sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them who are wise in their own eyes,
and prudent in their own
sight! ... Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame
consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom
shall go up as dust, because they have cast away the law of the Lord of
hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the
anger of the Lord kindled" (Isa. 5:20-25).
God expounds further through the prophet Isaiah about such prideful nations
and individuals. "Ali, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of
evildoers, children that are corrupters; they have forsaken the Lord, they
have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away
backward. Why should ye be [dealt with through correction] anymore? Ye
will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but
wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. They have not been closed,
neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment" (Isa. 1:4-6).
Isaiah then continues by putting forth the terrifying fact that in God's
foreknowing mind, these and all such reprobate peoples will suffer terribly. In
God's thoughts, their fall is already an accomplished thing. ". . . Your country
is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, foreigners devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners" (Isa. 1:7).
When Pride Equals Death
God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit that was forbidden, they
would surely die. They nonetheless succumbed to the serpent's tempting
appeal to their pride - the implied promise that if they ate of the fruit, they
would be "as God." So pride, the sort that causes human beings to desire to
usurp Almighty God's authority, is poison to those who fall to its alluring tug
just as God warned. We can say with certainty that God's warning about the
fatally toxic effects of disobedience to Him was true. Every person inevitably
gives up his physical existence to death. Pride, then, is not a characteristic
that leads to a more desirable quality of life as those who preach selfesteem
would have it, but it is a fallen human trait that has always brought and
continues to bring death to all mankind.
A most tragic manifestation of humanistic pride equaling death is most
clearly seen in the human historical record. Every civilization, culture, and
society that has gone so deep into idolatry as to have exchanged "the truth
of God for a lie" have had as a common practice in their idol worship the
insane horror of child sacrifice.
History is replete with accounts of human sacrifice to pagan
gods. Almost always those sacrifices involve the most vulnerable. Children,
young women, and sometimes the aged were most often selected by the
practitioners of those abominable acts to placate their insatiable gods. We
have all read of the Incas and the Aztecs, of the ancient Hawaiians, and of
many other so-called civilizations whose hearts became so sin-blackened that
their foolish minds grew dark, and human sacrifice was the ultimate result.
However, it is a sad truth that those heathens were not the only societies to
reach that depth of depravity. God wrote through Jeremiah the prophet:
"Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah,
which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes,
their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of
Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face; though
I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened
to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is
called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which
are in the valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their
daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them
not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to
cause Judah to sin" (Jer. 32:32-35).
The Contemporary Heathen
There is no way the people of today's world as we approach the dawn of a
new millennium would do the foolish and even insane acts historically
attributed to those ancient heathen! Such might be the wishful acclamation of
the most optimistic among our number in today's world. Especially in
America. Surely an overwhelming majority of Americans would never fall
prey to idolatry that, for example, "changed the glory of the incorruptible God
into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts,
and creeping things." Oh no?
With the primary god of this age, mammon (money), have not the affluent
among our ranks, individually and collectively, fashioned the idols we have
chosen to worship into forms that pleasure our own imaginations? Instead of
worshipping the Creator, do we of this generation not rather bend the knee to
our cars, boats, and our sports teams - many of which we have named after
birds, four-footed beasts, and creeping things or after signs of the zodiac?
Do we not sit for hours at a time before our television sets, amused at the
debased activities we see, some of which might have made even the ancient
pagans blush? The debasing goings-on within our television screens draw
our transfixed attention, in many cases resulting in the neglect of our children
who desperately need and want nurturing. Are these not altars from which
emanate the images made like corruptible man?
But surely ours is not a generation of earth dwellers that has reached the
point God has given us over to a collective reprobate mind. We would never
allow child sacrifice, which is one of the sure manifestations of a totally
reprobate civilization. Really?
Since Roe v. Wade was upheld by the Supreme Court of the land, more than 30
million babies have been aborted. Under the auspices of the secular religion
called humanism, these little ones were and continue to be judged nothing
more than self-created possessions subject to disposal, should the women
carrying them so choose. Abortion on demand has generated a multi-billion-
dollar industry based on infanticide (some would say feticide). By far, the
greater number of abortions are performed for the purpose of ridding the
person and/or people involved of the child who would, they fear, interfere
with their own self-centered lifestyle. The majority are abortions of
convenience, contraception after the fact of, in most cases, illicit sexual
If God judged Israel for turning her back on Him, rebellion that brought a
mindset so darkened by sin that they offered children in sacrifice to pagan
Gods, will He not judge America? No other nation has been more blessed
with the light of God's Truth. Yet daily, under the full sanction of the United
States government, thousands of our children are passed through the fires of
abortion, sacrificed to the gods of convenience and pleasure and hedonism
under the specious claim that a woman has a right to choose to do what she
wishes with her own body. In this convoluted way, freedom of choice
becomes the willful demand to do what is right in their own eyes. In effect,
she proclaims herself to be god-like. Child sacrifice, then, is idolatry come to
Symptom # 2
Paul the apostle, under inspiration, gave the second most pronounced
manifestation of any society that has totally turned its back on the loving
God who has, time and time again, called for it to turn from its course of
wickedness. In spite of the liberal theological acrobatics some theologians
and even secular humanists go through to try to explain away this and other
accounts of sexual perversions
that inevitably come to a hopelessly godless people, history attests to the
truth that societal decay ends in the death throes of the basest kind of sexual
Paul writes of the decadent societal characteristic that is second only to
immersion in idolatry. "God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their
women did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature. And
likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their
lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and
receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was fitting"
Historical accounts of Greece and Rome, and to a lesser extent of other
civilizations, validate and expand upon Paul's brief but graphic description of
the sexual cesspool in which these ancients ultimately became mired. There
can be no rational denial made of the fact that Paul reported homosexuality to
be the most glaring manifestation of that society's incorrigibility.
We should take note of God's account through Paul of the fact that these
people so submerged in sexual prurience - particularly the male homosexuals -
were "receiving in themselves the recompense of their error, which was
fitting." It is an appropriate speculation to make that this must have been
AIDS and/or hepatitis or something similar. It is interesting, too, that God
said in this account that these homosexuals were receiving in their bodies
judgment because of the error (the sin) of their homosexual activities. God's
Word says quite bluntly that the punishment fit the crime.
The Contemporary Heathen
To review the past several decades with regard to how homosexuality has
evolved from being a thing kept in our culture's closet to its acceptance now
as an "alternate lifestyle" would be boringly redundant because of our
familiarity with the facts. We have been fed daily doses of desensitizing
hyperbole intended to convince us to accept that terrible, dehumanizing
activity as not only normal, but as "gay. " What God calls "vile, " modem man
calls "gay. " Perhaps nothing more need be said about how thinking in our
generation has become so reprobate that evil is now called good, and good is
now called evil. Not only is what God called "vile" now called "gay," but
those who give a
clarion call back to morality and point out the minddarkened sin-error of such
perversion are vilified as "intolerant bigots" at best or as "homophobic Nazi-
types" at worst.
While AIDS and the many deadly infections spawned and perpetuated by
the homosexual activity raging unabated throughout the world today are
reasons for great concern, the disregard for human dignity and the sanctity
of human life fostered by such permissiveness are even greater cause for
One recent case in point illustrates that a permissive society whose
philosophy revolves around unbridled sexual liberty takes its people down a
broad road that leads to human degradation and even death.
In an article titled, "Sex, Death, and Videotape," an account of sexual freedom
taken to its ultimate extent emerged from what has seemingly become an
avalanche of such reports.
In Canada, the murder trial of the year isn't O.J.'s. The two victims, innocent
girls in their early teens, wept while a video camera recorded their suffering.
Raped and beaten and destined for strangulation, they were held as sex
slaves in a suburban Ontario bedroom. Their kidnapper forced the girls to act
out his fantasies and call him master. He taunted them with their impending
deaths, forcing the second girl to watch videotape of her predecessor's
ordeal. And they weren't his only victims. The first was his wife's little sister,
who was drugged and served up to him one holiday eve. "A great Christmas
present for me," he was quoted as saying. That was the story Canadians had
waited two years to hear. When the sensational trial of the alleged sex killer,
a clean-cut young accountant named Paul Bernardo, finally began in Toronto
last week, the prosecutor's six-hour opening statement made listeners
cringe.... Just before Christmas in 1990, Carla [Bernardo's wife], helped him
ply her sister, Tammy, 15, with liquor and sleeping pills until she passed out.
Bernardo is charged with raping Tammy and forcing Carla to perform oral sex
on her, recording it all on video. The unconscious Tammy later died, choking
on her own vomit in what was initially ruled an accidental death."'
Other Symptoms of a Sin-Sick Generation
Many symptoms of systemic sin sickness boil to the surface and erupt for all
to see between the time a society determines to turn its back on God and the
time a people become so wicked God gives up pleading for them to repent
because their hearts and minds cannot be turned again to Him. Again, the
apostle Paul starkly delineates specific symptoms displayed by a society well
on its way to incorrigibility and thus God's judgment. Consider carefully
God's examining checklist as put forth in Paul's letter to the Romans. Recall
for a moment your own experiences as you have dealt with the people in
situations around you this past month while going about life's activities.
Recognize any of the symptoms within Paul's description?
"Being filled with all unrighteouness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness,
maliciousness; envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters,
haters of God, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient
to parents; Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural
affection, implacable, unmerciful; Who, knowing the judgment of God, that
they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but
have pleasure in them that do them" (Rom. 1:29-32).
How sick is the patient? What is the prognosis for the sin sickness that
courses through the life's blood of this generation? We must seek answers
to these questions by first examining our own lives. Society, culture, and
civilization is no better or worse collectively than its individual members. The
sickness that afflicts one afflicts all. The good news is there is a cure. And
the cure is THE GOOD NEWS! The Good News of the gospel of Jesus
Christ who came to seek and to save every person from the darkness of sin.
God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
Jesus Christ alone can regenerate the hearts and minds of fallen man and
restore him to health and newness of life. If you haven't done so, take the
cure. Accept Jesus Christ this moment as your Saviour and your Lord. Then
the days of your life, as the world turns, will fill with energy and excitement
while you seek to serve the One who dispels the darkness of this doomed
age. Jesus is the Guiding Light!