Imagine the world with no rules, accountability, or consequences for evil actions? This image is one where people take a life with no remorse. It is a place where life savings are greedily stolen, women and children are abandoned, and even basic respect that was afforded to a mother and father is absent.
This place of our worst imaginings is one fraught with lawless, heartless, and treacherous people who are concerned with no one but themselves. That would be a world where the concept of love is foreign, while brutality, slander, and darkness become the norm.
This is not a description of total societal, economic, or geopolitical breakdown sometime in the distant future. It is an accurate analysis of the condition of our world at this very moment. This is how a majority of people are living life. These are the direct results of one fact: Godlessness is reaching epidemic proportions.
Reading the above description about the godlessness in the world today, I believe some will prematurely conclude the following: “Since the beginning, the world has always had both good and evil but, things aren’t getting worse.” I believe some people may even come to the false conclusion that the world is getting better.
While it is true that evil and good have both been a part of the world from almost the beginning, I think a real world analysis of our society clearly shows a marked moral decline. This moral free fall becomes even more clear when we view our current society through the lens of Scripture.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Knowing good and evil have always been part of the world should provide very little solace because the fact is….the Bible verse above describes a moment in time when godlessness will increase exponentially. This is a description of the conditions of the world in the last days, but most important is the condition of the human heart. A realistic look at our world will attest to the fact that godlessness is rampant and has reached epidemic proportions.
I want to break down a few of these godless conditions and shed light on the cause. These are times of great difficulty because people will become lovers of self and lovers of money. Although the love of money and self have been with us, never has there been a time when this is so prevalent.
Let’s face it; if you want to know where someone’s heart is—look at their checkbook. This love of self, and money, frequently go hand in hand. Some people will do whatever it takes to make more money and get to the top. This exists in all walks of life from the home burglar who steals family memories while you work… to the white collar guy who will lie and tarnish reputations to get the promotion.
This love of money goes to the core of what really matters to us. We live in a world where everyone wants the latest gadgets and toys. But there are people all around us who are in desperate spiritual and physical need. It’s a sad day when having the latest toys and entertainment at all costs consumes our attention, while people suffer from exploitation, sickness and hunger. God help us make helping the ‘least of these’ a priority.
Babies are aborted, children are discarded, and women are abused. Marriages are crumbling in record numbers and families are disintegrating because of sin and selfishness. All of these conditions have skyrocketed in just one generation. People are all about being free, self made, and autonomous. This is indicative of our generation of godlessness.
The Bible also describes the last days as a period when people will be proud, arrogant, disobedient to parents, and slanderous. We have all seen this ugliness of heart play out on every stage in life, work, home, and even church. Unfortunately our day is full of this evil and nowhere is it on display more than the Internet.
Before I continue I want to say that I’m grateful for the Internet and the way it’s helped families connect, made access to information instant, and has even been a vital tool in spreading the gospel to the world. That being said, the Internet and namely social media has done much to unearth some of the most wretched corners of the human heart.
Can you imagine a time when you could walk up to a complete stranger on the street and call him or her every vile name in the book? Can you imagine gossiping, spreading lies, and slandering someone’s good name, right in front of them? Can you imagine cursing someone with the most hurtful words one could speak? The answer is of course not, but that is exactly what millions of people are doing to one another on the most visible of all streets—their computer! This is wicked, cruel, and hate to the core. The Bible equivocates it with being guilty of murder.
This is so sad because now we have family members slandering each other, children voicing blatant rebellion and hatred to parents, and strangers talking to others with the most vile speech one could imagine. Even with all of our technology, we cannot mask the reality of the level of depravity the human heart is capable of. These are hearts swollen with conceit and a total lack of self control. The Bible gives insight regarding our tongue and the heart behind it:
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:9).
Self-absorption and narcissism are the rule, not the exception, today. Again, these traits have always been around, but now they are in abundance worldwide. This world, its system, and people are looking out for number one.
This self-focus is the epitome of… let’s call it what it is: Idolatry.
God has become an afterthought and other humans have become an inconvenience at best. People are lovers of pleasure and God doesn’t even factor into their existence. And if He does….it’s simply to keep up an appearance of godliness.
In these days, people are reckless, treacherous, and brutal. This lack of basic compassion and concern for fellow humans is disturbing. As we’ve highlighted before, evil has always been around, but this complete disregard for people and life is reaching a crescendo. People don’t just kill for cars, now they kill for parking spaces.
People will walk up to complete strangers and knock them out for the “fun of it.” Law enforcement officers pull over to help a stranded motorist change or repair a tire only to be gunned down by yet another depraved evil person. People will hate because you have more, you have less, because of your skin color, or…just because.
There are many signs pointing to the close proximity of the last days and this rapid spike in godlessness that Paul described so vividly is one of the clearest signs. Any person who reads the Bible and has a realistic view of how quickly the world is descending into rampant godlessness can see these days mirror exactly the conditions of the world Paul was describing. That is why dominion theology and wearing rose colored blinders to view what lies ahead is troubling to me.
If we think this world is just fine…..you won’t be concerned about eternity, heaven, and hell.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Here’s the bottom line: First, we need to realize the Bible warns us verse after verse to be ready, to discern the times, and to stay awake. Regardless of when the life of believers intersect history, we should live with the expectancy of Jesus’ return. We must be even more resolute as this world grows darker.
Second, we have an opportunity to shine like a bright light for the Lord in a world that’s completely mired in evil. Noah was a standout in his generation, Job was a standout in his day, Daniel was also, so were the early church believers, and now it’s our turn to stand for the Lord. Some will revile our God and our faith, many will not care and ignore us, but some people will be watching carefully. Let’s finish well for Him even as godlessness is reaching epidemic proportions.