Suicide of a Planet

Scripture: John 14:6, John 1:4, Matthew 24:37-39
Many say that our materialistic society is failing fast. Major issues in our culture are shaking people's lives with worry and fear. This broadcast looks at social issues that are causing concern in the hearts of many. What does the Bible say about our times?
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Friends, do you know what word describes our generation perfectly? Bewildered! That is how we are. Our generation has not merely missed the way, it has lost the address. We are no longer conscious of our destiny!

Many of us find ourselves in the same position as the sad and lonely dog sitting in a cage on a porter's baggage cart in one of London's larger freight stations. A sympathetic stranger who was passing by inquired from the attendant, "What is wrong with that dog? Why is he looking so dejected and fearful?" "Let me tell you," the man in the shiny cap confided. "You see that dog has chewed off his destination label and now doesn't know where he came from or where he is going." And do you know, our boasted civilization is like that. The experts are shouting that it is doomed, not tomorrow, but within this generation. The last fading rays of a sun that has already set has given place to the gathering gloom of night. From every department of our lives, both national, secular, religious, family, and personal, warning sirens wail out their frightening message of deadly danger ahead. Our materialistic society with its unparalleled technology pours an ever increasing flood of "things" onto an already flooded market. But it is grinding to a halt under the friction of its own machinery.

The Bomb. The Pill. Overpopulation. The starvation threat. Racism. Civil disobedience and commotion. The family and sex crisis. Disasters. AIDS. Earth-quakes. Floods. Hurricanes. Disease. Excessive wealth. Abject poverty. It is a grizzly old world that we live in. Life has never looked so bleak to a generation of youth, nor to the mature or the aged. We dwell in the shadow of a dozen monumental problems which could result in cosmocide, world suicide.

In the gathering gloom we feel as insecure as the little boy whose mother put him to bed and switched off the light. The little fellow said, "You are not going to leave me here all alone in the dark, are you?" "God is here with you all the time," replied the mother in her most assuring tone. "Yes, I know God is here, but I want someone with a face!"

God understood our need for tangible evidence. That is why He sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son in human form. He is the answer to the universal cry of mankind. He came to reveal the Father. In Jesus Christ we see all the God we know and need to know. There is a way out of the human dilemma. Christ is the answer. As we look into His face we hear Him say, "I am the way,the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

Only in Christ and His gospel is there life and hope for our doomed and dying generation. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." John 1:4. A converted newspaper editor was asked by an acquaintance, what is the news this morning? With heart and mind overflowing with the gospel news the writer put the essential message into one dramatic headline, "ETERNAL LIFE NOW." Yes, Christ is the only leader with a program of life and light for mankind in civilization's darkest and most dangerous hour.

Jesus looked forward and saw the crisis of our generation just as clearly as He looked backwards and read the history of past crises. In the heart of one of His greatest sermons, a prophetic outline reaching from His day to the end of time, Jesus stated that things would be exactly as you and I see them today. Life would run down to a level comparable with the days of Noah when God found Himself obliged to step in and do something drastic.

Jesus explained it this way: "As things were in Noah's days, so will they be when the son of Man comes. In the days before the flood they ate and drank and married, until the day that Noah went into the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes." Matthew 24:37-39, N.E.B. Yes, the coming of the Son of Man is the climax of the present gospel age. There are clear indications that we are now in the crisis hour that Jesus said would be similar to Noah's day, and which would immediately precede His personal return.You might ask, what were things like back in the days before the flood? What circumstances existed that led to such drastic divine intervention? These questions are vitally important since our days will be like the days of Noah.

The first feature that we observe is the population explosion. "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth." Genesis 6:1. Some people like to think that Noah's world faced a population problem. Men were rapidly multiplying on the earth. One authority, Alfred M. Rehwinkel in his book, The Flood, declares that it is reasonable to assume the population in Noah's day was at least equal to the population of the world today. There was sufficient time for such an increase in population, and the physical conditions conducive to population growth were most favorable. There can be no doubt that the population figures of this modern generation of ours have, like Noah's, reached the danger level.

One man has simplified our modern dilemma of too many people and too little food as a contest between the stork and the plow. The future appears gloomier and gloomier. If man doesn't come up with a solution, the problem will solve itself, in wholesale starvation. This century began with 1.6 billion people on earth. It will end with perhaps seven billion. Feeding them all will be a tougher job than gently landing men on the moon and bringing them back with color movies.

Two hundred years from now, and that is not such a long time with our expanding life span, there will be 150 billion of us clawing one another for standing room. If man or God doesn't do something, nature will, as it always does in the animal kingdom. For man, famine is constantly just around the corner. People, governments, and the United Nations are not yet alerted to the magnitude of the danger.

"As it was in the days of Noah so shall the coming of the Son of Man be." Man began to multiply on the face of the earth!

Alright, the second prominent feature of Noah's days was the social crisis. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives all of which they chose." Genesis 6:2. These sons of God which were the Godly children of Seth married the "daughters of men" which were the Godless Canaanites. Because of these mixed marriages between the godly and the godless the human race degenerated and the family problems became more and more perplexing. Jesus summarized the problem in the words "marrying and giving in marriage." While we are given little detail of the nature of the social system of Noah's day or the facts leading to its breakdown, it is abundantly clear that in this area of home, family, and sex lay a major portion of the pre-flood problem. Jesus said it could be like that down in the end of time. And it is!

"What time is it?" someone asked at the bar of a much frequented night spot. "Sex o'clock", replied the attendant. "Here it is always sex o'clock." There are many who feel that he might have been speaking for the nation or for western culture in general. Too many seem to have picked up the immorality bug feared by some to be an old strain responsible for wiping out entire civilizations of the past. It played havoc in the antediluvian world; it is destroying the faith of millions and the future of nations in our day; and it is a vital part of the crisis at the close of our world's history. Something in the air has anesthetized the nerve of self-control, released the inner restraint, and freed men of vital checks and balances. We have become the "anything goes" generation and this has led us into the AIDS generation. No one knows where it will end. It is too frightening to talk about.

Unfortunately the prevalence of the problem numbs us to the shock. We don't wince any more; some might even laugh or sneer. Exposed by the news and entertainment media to nudity, orgies, wife swapping, pornography, obscenity, homosexuality, incest, free-love, and pregnant teenagers, we may very easily fail to recognize it for what it is. There can be no question, it is a sign of the times. It is like being in an asylum run by the inmates. As in Noah's day, the family unit in western society has been seriously shaken. Working women, changing sex roles, freer attitudes toward premarital and extra-marital sex, as well as the pill and legalized abortion, have all weakened the traditional family structure. The result is that while people are marrying more they are enjoying it less. Divorces come to be considered part of the living process, or a maturing experience. Along with the new sexual freedoms the decade has produced an alarming increase in venereal disease, illegitimacy rate, and the deadly AIDS plague.

Now, let us take a little look at the moral picture of the Antediluvians, and see if it also exists today. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5. Crime and immorality, which ate out the soul of the antediluvian world and conditioned millions for destruction, are skyrocketing in most western countries. Race riots, political assassinations, mass murders, sniper killings of innocent passers-by, terror on the streets, all are the signs of a deeply disturbed society. Americans are daily encountering a barrage of violence that has made crime and law enforcement a political issue. Court decisions seem to give criminals all the breaks. There are sickening examples of public apathy and lack of concern for others in dire distress at the hands of thugs and murderers. The experts call it a moral toboggan slide.

Corruption and pollution were very much a part of those pre-flood days. Genesis 6:11 tells us "The earth also was corrupt before God." Man has succeeded in bringing about not only his own moral corruption but also the pollution of his God-given environment. Adam was placed in the garden in a brand new world to dress it and keep it. But Bible prophecy predicted a time would come when God would be obliged to step in and "destroy them which destroy the earth." Revelation 11:18. The planet earth is sick, very sick. The symptoms of this planet's diseases are all around us, in our air, our water, and our food. Some scientists feel the disease may already have progressed too far. Before our modern era of advanced technology, the earth seems to have been open to absorb man's insults, but twentieth century man has acquired such additional capacity to tamper with his environment that he threatens to destroy it.

The Apollo eight crew members made an interesting observation on their round trip mission to the moon in December 1968. They noticed it was easy to spot Los Angeles from hundreds of miles out in space. They located it by observing the large blanket of smog hovering over the southern California metropolis. (New York was about as easy to locate.) In a Los Angeles school playground a sign appears that says, "Warning! Do not exercise strenuously or breathe too deeply during heavy smog conditions." In Tokyo, Japan, school children sometimes have to wear masks on smoggy days. Traffic police in certain areas of Tokyo must take periodic "oxygen breaks" to keep from being overwhelmed by noxious exhaust fumes.

Americans alone throw away annually more than thirty million tons of paper, four million tons of plastics, forty-eight billion cans, more than 240 per person, and twenty-eight billion bottles and jars, more than 130 per person. An it keeps growing every year. The annual price we pay to collect all this trash is $2.8 billion, according to AAA's Department of Environmental Affairs.

Thinking of man's pollution of his environment, the atmosphere and the waters, including the oceans, frightened scientists frankly warn of the possible death of our plant. They ask, will this be man's last decade? There has been more verbiage about garbage in the last few years than in all history. But in the meantime garbage and pollution in general continues to mount. Those who know the Word of God are convinced that the time has come when the One who made the world will call upon its human caretakers to account for the way in which they have used their environment. "As it was in the days of Noah." "The earth also was corrupt before God."

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