by John H. Stoll

As the world approaches the end of the century and millennium, it appears that unrest and confusion increases, rather than a challenging and fulfilling future. Why should that be, when at the beginning of this century people awaited the twentieth-century with optimistic anticipation, that it would bring peace and prosperity through the industrial age? What caused the change?

If one takes seriously the principles of the Bible, as authoritative, it is easily seen that as the world nears the end of existence as has been known, and God's judgement is impending, that Satan is producing more confusion to further enslave mankind. In I Corinthians 14:33 it states that God is not the author of confusion, so it has to be Satan, since there are only two spiritual forces in the world.

Reflection on today's world shows us confusion in almost every aspect of society to produce insecurity elsewhere. The fracturing of the family, which is Satan's primary thrust, has brought personal insecurity to many children, which carries through to adulthood. Children are confused as to identity roles, transsexual identities, homosexuality, single parent families--these are all contributing to this confusion.

Even words are transposed, so that words such as gay, turkey, adult, are no longer understood in their traditional ways. In the workplace there is little, if any, security among the laboring class. Then, the innate wickedness of people (Jeremiah 19:9) which causes road rage, drive-by shootings, family killings, etc., only adds to the confusion. Is it no wonder people are asking, what in the world is going on?

Then too, there is increasing lack of self worth and esteem, so that individuals wonder who they really are. Is life worth living?--and many do succumb to suicide, since there is no hope. Internal confusion does not allow them to order their lives aright, and thus there is lack of fulfillment in life.

Added to all this are the natural disturbances that aggravate people. We hear of "Elo Nino" trade winds coming to produce more weather disturbances that are unpredictable. This is in addition to the already convoluted weather patterns, so that we experience tornadoes, floods, drought, etc. at any time and any place, further disrupting the order of society and adding to the confusions that is already apparent. Is there no answer?

Again, for the person who takes seriously the principles of the Bible, there are answers. In Matthew 24 Jesus Christ stated that all these things would come to pass, just before He returned to establish His kingdom. In Luke 21:25-28 He described the problems that today are besetting us tremendously. In these two passages it is clearly stated that all this would come to pass just prior to Christ's return.

For the Christian there is no cause for consternation or confusion. Not only does God's Word outline all this that is coming, but explicitly tells us how to respond. In Luke 16:8 Christ said that the people of the world are in their generation wiser than the children of the light. Therefore, we are to rely more and more on the pathway of truth in the Bible to be able to overcome.

The Christian should realize the subtleties of Satan as described in II Corinthians 11:14-15, so that we can take countermeasures. The Christian's strength is in the Lord, as seen in I John 4:4; II Timothy 1:7; I Peter 5:7; Hebrews 4:16, 13:5-6; and Philippians 4:6-7.

Not only do the children of God face external problems, we also have inward struggles, that may contribute to our confusion. Christ said in Mark 4:19 that, "The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful." It is imperative that we not allow Satan to gain a foothold in out lives through these avenues, so that the internal struggles combined with what we see in the world overwhelm us. No, we must keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.

There is a very remarkable statement in Isaiah 5:20 that should alert every Christian as to the confusion that is seen in the world today: "Woe unto them that call evil good; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." Christianity is systematically being squeezed out of every vestige of society; our Christian heritage is fast disappearing. Wickedness is not only rampant, it is tolerated, yea, even accepted as "everyone is doing it!" The darkness and gloom of wickedness is the order of the day. How much longer can God tolerate the sins of society, which cry out for judgement? Can Christ's coming be soon?