by Sean Edwards (Author of the book The End Of Days)
Jesus Christ is “life, truth, and the way”, but His bride can get some things wrong from time to time. Especially when it comes to end times prophecy. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, which implies that we don’t already walk in the “all truth;” We need correction. As a body, we need to be willing to look at what we believe and let Holy Spirit purify those beliefs. One lie the church believes is that the world is getting worse.
When people see a new story about a natural disaster, or a corrupt politician, you will see Christians hang their heads and say, “It’s just the signs of the times,” implying that the world is on a downward trajectory, and evil should be anticipated.
But this assessment of the world is factually wrong. When most major metrics are analyzed, it isn’t even open for debate – the world is getting better, not worse.
There might be downward blips that occur, but the major trend over the last 2,000 years, and especially the last 200 years, is staggeringly up. As an example, lets look at hunger trends over the past 40-50 years. These figures come from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:
That’s a 47% decrease in 40 years.
Over the last forty years, the relative number of hungry people in the world has been nearly cut in half. In short, we are taking ground, not losing it.
Almost every other metric shows the same trend. There are some down blips, but the overall trend is up.
5 Facts That Change The WorldIn his book The Improving State of the World, Indur Goklany illustrates point after point, statistic after statistic, that human existence is in fact getting better, not worse. Here are 5 examples:
1) Hunger. Goklany reaffirms what we’ve already witnessed in terms of hunger. He also states that the price of food, once inflation is taken into consideration, has dropped by 75%. This means people can buy more food with less money.
2) Infant Mortality. Before industrialization, one out of every five children died before they were one years old. Worldwide, by 2003, that number had dropped to 57 – a 72% reduction. Every nation has seen a drop, even sub-saharan African (from 177 to 101).
3) Life Expectancy. For most of human history, life expectancy has averaged between 20-30 years. By 2003 life expectancy had climbed to 66.8 worldwide. Developing countries reached an average of 63.4. Sub-Saharan Africa saw a drop-off to 45 years in the 1980s, partially due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but those trends are normalizing back towards longer lives.
4) Wealth. For the first one thousand years after Christ, most people lived on one dollar a day, or $365 annually. Once adjusted for inflation, by 2001 that had grown to $6,000 annually – a 923% increase. Wealthier countries have done better, but every country has seen an explosive growth in its wealth.
5) Literacy. From 1970 to the early 2000s, global illiteracy fell from 46% to 18%.
To drive home the point, let me ask you a question: If the world is getting worse, then it implies that there are previous eras if history better than our own. Therefore, what era of history would you rather have lived?
Less than one hundred years ago, women couldn’t vote in the United States. Over fifty years ago, it was acceptable for husbands to commit domestic violence.
Before the 1930s, and the advent of antibiotics, a simple infection could have killed you.
The institution of slavery has been abolished from the modern world. No other era of history can say the same.
I ask again, if the world is getting worse, when would you have rather lived?
Why The World Appears To Be WorseThis raises the question, why does it at least seem like the world is getting worse?
One reason for this is the rise of mass communication. The Internet, computers, and iPhones have all enabled us to hear about violence, wars, and catastrophes almost instantly. One hundred years ago, it would have taken a lot longer for these stories to cross such distance, and those stories that did make i were few and far between.
Furthermore, research has shown that at least 70% of the stories covered by the news have to be negative, otherwise people won’t watch it. It isn’t the medias fault; they are catering to their audience (us).
The lie that the world is getting worse has caused the church to sit back and let Satan do what he wants, while condoning it as “God’s will.” Let me say that again, this lie has caused the church to empower the devil by anticipating evil in current events.
The Kingdom Come – The Church PresentIsaiah says, “Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7), meaning that once His Kingdom arrives, it will expand forever, destroying darkness as it goes. i.e., the world will get better, not worse.
Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” (Mark 9:1) This means that His Kingdom was established 2,000 years ago (He was talking to a real group of people, so His kingdom must have arrived before those people died).
This is the world we live in today, and this is the Church of today.
We are not on the defensive. We are on the offensive.
Do you see how these truths radically alter the role of the church?
It is time that we stand up and do what we were called to do: Bring God’s kingdom and destroy the works of the devil.