Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
October 5, 1997
Last Updated :
September 26, 2014
Our Modern World Sits In Spiritual Darkness, A Global Plague Of Corruption Hedonism Materialism And Greedy Selfish Living, Scriptural Admonitions Regarding Succumbing To Materialism, Satan Is The False God Of This World Who Tempts With Things, Obsession With Getting Things And Abandoning God, Status Quo, Love Of Many Shall Wax Cold, Parable Of The Good Samaritan, Love And Concern Replaced By Fear And Paranoia, For Men Shall Be Lovers Of Their Own Selves And Without Natural Affection, Loss Of Respect For God And His Word, Mockers, Self-Absorbed Society Engaged In Instant Self-Gratification, Oblivious To Approaching Danger, Attitudes Of Younger Generation, Without Fear Of God Moral Barriers Begin To Break Down, Encroaching Liberalism, Rapid Advancement Of The Gay And Lesbian Agenda, Global Sodom And Gomorrah, Newspapers Profit From Publishing The Bad News, Hopeless Existence Without Christ In Our Lives, A Selfish Existence Or Wholly Dedicated Service To The Lord, Jesus Still Needs Laborers To Harvest Souls For The Kingdom, God Needs Active Witnesses And Not People Who Just Like To Play Church, Many Different Methods To Share The Gospel Of Salvation, Make Your Choice, Heavenly Rewards For Laborers
Despite Jesus' enlightening words almost two thousand years ago, particularly His emphasis on unselfish love, the sad truth is that today, many people once again find themselves sitting in spiritual darkness, as they endeavor to survive in a hedonistic, self-indulgent society which is every bit as corrupt and spiritually polluted as ancient Rome itself. To our own shame, Western society has become the epitome of egotistical living. It is an extension of the so-called "Me First" generation, which has never really seemed to come to an end. From the highest echelons of government to grassroots levels, our society is plagued with corruption, greed and a total lack of respect for the rights and well-being of those people who we consider to be below our own station.
Many people worldwide have succumbed to the symptoms of this dreadful disease. They will do whatever it takes -- no matter how unscrupulous -- in order to climb over others and make it to the top, thus realizing their ultimate delusion of total, self-indulgent materialistic living. It is all based on the misguided notion that things will make us happy. However, the sad truth is that they will not. In fact, as we learned in part one, the Apostle John warned us to beware of this very temptation and manner of living. Of course, John was not the only one to warn us of the materialistic temptations of the world. Jesus, the other Apostles, and even some of the Old Testament writers likewise emphasized the importance of the spiritual over the physical. This is quite evident in verses such as the following:
"And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
Job 1:21, KJV
"When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words."
Proverbs 23:1-8, KJV
"There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand."
Ecclesiastes 5:13-15, KJV
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon . . . But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 33, KJV
". . . Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Matthew 19:23-24, KJV
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Mark 8:36-37, KJV
". . . Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"
Mark 10:24b, KJV
"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Luke 12:16-34, KJV
"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."
John 6:27, KJV
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Corinthians 3:13-15, KJV
"And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 7:31, KJV
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Philippians 4:11, KJV
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:6-10, KJV
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
James 5:1-7, KJV
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5, KJV
It should not be necessary for me to tell you that the one behind this devilish scheme to totally occupy our lives and minds with the pursuit of physical things, so that we don't think about anything else -- not even God -- is none other than Satan himself. After all, the Scriptures clearly inform us that he is the false god of this present world, and he owns it all. Being as that is the case, he can offer it to whosoever he will; at a price, of course. Consider the following verses:
"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it."
Luke 4:5-6, KJV
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
As I said, some people become so obsessed with their selfish desire to acquire physical things in their wretched lives, that they hardly think much about anything else; not even God. In their foolish pride, they have to prove to all their friends, neighbors and associates that they are doing as well as everyone else. They strive to live up to the sacred image of the status quo. In a word, materialism becomes their god, while the one true God is pushed further and further out of their lives. Even if they do happen to go to church, quite often, it is not because they are really seeking God, it is just to impress their friends, and to play the game, just like the rest of the empty, shallow people who are caught up in the very same game. I am reminded of the following verse:
"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."
Psalms 10:4, KJV
What is particularly alarming regarding the current state of society, is that we find certain verses in the New Testament which seem to perfectly describe this modern age. Whether or not the persons who spoke or wrote these words were actually describing our current time in human history, I will leave for you to determine. However, the accuracy of their words is quite unsettling, and should not be overlooked. For example, in Matthew chapter twenty-four Jesus states the following:
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Matthew 24:12, KJV
Wow! The "love of many shall wax cold." This short phrase is a perfect description of our modern, selfish, rat-race world, is it not? For those of you who may not be familiar with it, in the previous verse, the word "wax" is an Old English term which means to grow or to become. In short, this verse is describing a society in which people grow cold towards other people, and think more about themselves. No one can deny that we live in a world that is full of indifference and apathy, where the love of many people for God, as well as for their fellow man, has grown cold. We live in big cities, apartment complexes, and condos where we don't even know our neighbors' names. We are packed like sardines, yet we are strangers to each other. All we care about is ourselves, and our own little selfish world.
If someone gets hurt in a public place, many people no longer even want to get involved or offer assistance. Why? Because they are fearful that that same person might turn around and sue them for some reason. It is a strange world in which we now live, and a far cry from the Parable Jesus told regarding the Good Samaritan who was willing to help a total stranger. Not only did the Samaritan help the wounded man on the road, but he committed himself to paying his bill at the inn where he lodged him until the wounded man could get better. Here is the story in its entirety. We can all learn from it:
"But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
Luke 10:29-37, KJV
As we all know, many people will also choose to turn their head the other way when they witness crime and violence. This reaction is partially due to paranoia, and a fear of retribution from whoever may be behind the crime. In other cases, it is just a matter of not caring. Whatever the case may be, what we are witnessing is genuine love and concern for our fellow human beings being replaced by paranoia and fear. How can any society continue to function in a normal manner when its citizens feel this way? The issue of fear is discussed more at length in the series entitled "Dracula, Nosferatu, Twilight: The Vampire Fad", as well as in "Free From the Fear of Death: Law and Works vs Grace".
I am also reminded of something that the Apostle Paul wrote in his second Epistle to Timotheus, or Timothy. Once again, it sounds very much like Paul could easily be describing our current age. Consider the following verses. I have placed a few words in uppercase letters for the sake of emphasis:
"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, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
2 Timothy 3:1-5, KJV
Amazing, isn't it, that words which were written almost two thousand years ago, can so perfectly describe what we are seeing in society today. Incidentally, the phrase "without natural affection" is derived from the Greek word "astorgos", which meanings "unloving". Isn't that exactly what the Lord said in the previous verse that we examined? Another ungodly attitude which is becoming quite prevalent in our modern day can be found in something which the Apostle Peter wrote in his second Epistle. Consider the following two verses and see if they doesn't sound familiar:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
Just as these verses describe, in our modern age, many people have lost their fear of God, and their respect for His holy Word; that is, if they ever had it to begin with. Not only is our God is mocked and disrespected, but His name is used in vain on a daily basis by millions of people. His Word is described as mere myths which are only embraced by ignorant folks. Many people also engage in actions without thinking of the consequences. They are totally absorbed in lives of instant self-gratification, and do not seem to care about much of anything else. They get drunk on booze, high on a wide assortment of drugs, engage in sexual acts which are strictly prohibited in the Bible, praise the Devil in their songs, art and dance, and do whatever else it is that pleases them. The modern world has become a self-absorbed, self-indulged society which cannot see much further than their iPads, iPhones, Androids and other mobile devices.
I am reminded of something else which Jesus stated in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Consider the following interesting verses:
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe 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."
Matthew 24:37-39, KJV
Jesus is describing a world which is totally oblivious to the truth; in fact, a world which does not even seem to want to know the truth, and which appears to be totally unaware of the approaching danger. The attitude of many people in our current generation seems to be "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die, so why not just party?" In other words, I sense a loss of hope in a lot of young people. To be quite honest, taking into consideration the fact that the older generation is largely responsible for what this generation has inherited, I can't say that I totally blame young people for their current attitudes. They are witnesses to what the corrupt politicians, greedy Big Business and warmongers have done to our world. So they do have justifiable reasons for being upset with their elders.
However, what is dangerous is that with a loss of hope comes a loss of faith; and with a loss of faith can come loss of a fear of God. In the absence of a fear of God, moral barriers begin to break down, and that is precisely what we are seeing at this current time. I believe that I mention this point in the series entitled "When Sin is no Longer a Sin". Liberalism is spreading everywhere. This has resulted, for example, in the recent rapid advancement of the gay and lesbian agenda. A society which still fears God would not let this happen, in my opinion. It is precisely because they don't care what God thinks, that they have become so bold in promoting their evil cause. Tragically, they are winning, and I don't want to know what our world will be like twenty years from now. It won't be a world that I want to live in, because it will be global Sodom and Gomorrah.
If one wants to gauge the temperature of modern society, all he really has to do is read the daily news. It is filled with the latest stories involving war, political corruption, crime and violence, Wall Street deception, Big Business dishonesty, abortion, rape, sexual perverts, drug busts, and many other evils. Tragically, many of these things revolve around plain old selfishness and the wickedness of the human heart in one form or another. Unlike the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the daily newspaper is a bearer of sad tidings and bad news. Publishing companies have become rich from printing such negative material, and the people love to have it so. If people were not interested in reading it, then there would be no profit in it. But in light of all of the negativity which is shoved in our faces every day, is it really any wonder that so many people feel down, depressed, without hope, and even suicidal? I am reminded of something that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christian brethren at Ephesus. He said:
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"
Ephesians 2:12, KJV
That is exactly what people are like when they live godless lives and don't know Christ. They are without any real hope. Even if they are rich and powerful, and appear happy on the outside, their lives are still bleak and empty on the inside. They may fool their friends, but they are spiritually dead shells. However, that is where we enter the picture. We each need to decide what we are going to personally do about it. Taking this discussion to a more personal level, are you just going to continue living your same old selfish existence just like everyone else who is striving to get ahead in the rat race? Or are you going to make a positive change in your life and dedicate yourself more earnestly to doing God's Will and God's Work? As I point out in such articles as "Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service", the Lord is constantly in need of more laborers to reap the great harvest of souls; for as He stated in the Gospels:
"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
Matthew 9:37-38, KJV
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
Luke 10:2, KJV
"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours."
John 4:35-38, KJV
There are still many people who need to hear the Good News of God's Kingdom, and new people are being born every day. But as the Apostle Paul informs us in the following verses, it requires flesh and blood people to take the Message of Salvation to them:
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Romans 10:14-15, KJV
Even if you just pass out a few Salvation tracts each time that you go out shopping, or whenever you visit your local park, it is better than what most Christians are doing right now. If you are unable to get out in public due to your age, or because of health issues, you can always preach online as I currently do. If you are reading this, you obviously know how to use a computer. Many so-called Christians just huddle behind the closed doors of their little social club called church where they are fed non-offensive, socially-acceptable pulpit platitudes by priests, ministers and pastors who are paid to lull their congregants to sleep. Such Christians are happy with their "abundant life", and everyone singing "God Bless America". Tragically, many of them don't have a clue regarding what it means to truly serve the living God. God needs active witnesses and not people who just like to play church.
As I more amply explain in the lengthy series called "Christian Witnessing: Winning the Sheep and Waging the Warfare!", there are many different methods one can use to share the Good News of Salvation. They are only limited by your own imagination, and your personal level of motivation to get out there and do it. In my case, I write articles, compose Bible-based poetry, and create computer graphics. However, your talents and gifts may be different from mine, so just do what works for you. As I explain in the aforementioned series, our Salvation is a gift of God, which we freely receive through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However, Heavenly Rewards are a separate issue, and are only given to those people who are faithful to do the Lord's Work after they've accepted the Lord into their lives. So the choice is really yours. Are you going to selfishly continue to lay up your treasures on Earth in contradiction to the Lord's teachings; or are you going to serve the Lord? Consider the following verses:
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Matthew 16:27, KJV
"Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."
1 Corinthians 3:8-9, KJV
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:23-24, KJV
". . . I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."
Revelation 2:23b, KJV
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
Revelation 14:13, KJV
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
Revelation 20:12-13, KJV
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Revelation 22:12, KJV
"If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"
Proverbs 24:12, KJV
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .