I have always enjoyed history. I’m sure it began early growing up with the familiar Bible stories. Abraham, Joseph, Elijah and Elisha, and, of course, David and the years of the Israelites in their land. My enjoyment would expand, as I studied all the ancient cultures, including Asian, African, and those in Pre-Columbian America. In college I specialized in European History, up to the present. And I have a special love for United States and Canadian history. I enjoy it for what it tells about where we have been, and what it may say about our future. And it is said that we should study history so as to not repeat it. I fear that admonishment has fallen on deaf ears.
We have come to believe that slavery was ended nearly one hundred and fifty years ago when Brazil outlawed the practice in 1888. This after the United States had extinguished their own slavery in 1865 with the thirteenth amendment. It ended even earlier in the British Empire, when its Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1834. This was inevitable for with the efforts of men like William Wilberforce they abolished the slave trade in 1807. Yet, we now know, insidiously, that there is more human bondage and sex trafficking of young women than at any time in world history. We haven’t learned much or improve, morally.
Wars and carnage continue, seemingly with impunity, even encouraged in some quarters. Is it the billions involved? We squander unconscionable amounts of money for things we never see, with no accountability for where the money goes. Yet, large areas of our globe lack drinkable water and enough food for the day. There are too many places where existence is indescribable, and living conditions are literally deadly. Certainly some of these billions could be better spent there. Why is this so?
The answer is easy; we are a fallen and dreadfully sinful people. Obviously sin knows no color, tribe, or nation. Sin knows no borders, limitations, but inflects us all, “we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rm.3:23). Note; we have all fallen from our intended place in the very “glory” of God, His very presence. And it is my understanding of scripture that this is what is in store for all who love the Lord. This is why creation, why this redemptive plan of God, why all of this, so that He can dwell with His people, forever. This can be hard to visualize at times when we reflect on the state of humanity, how obstinate, depraved, and ruthless we can be. This is all too apparent when lawmakers celebrate when a law meant to protect babies who survive a botched abortion is defeated. When the physical mutilation of confused children, who believe they can change genders, is not just encouraged, but made law.
This can all be disconcerting, and could be the beginnings of the “apostacy,” or as it is translated at times “The rebellion.” This is what Paul said must “come” before the Lord’s return (2 Th. 2:3). If so, then we but await “the man of lawlessness (being) revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship…” (v4). If he doesn’t ‘appear,’ then this is but another preamble, another ‘warm-up’ to those future end-time events; like Nero, Attila, Saracens, Napoleon, Bolsheviks, Mussolini, and obviously Hitler. Just signs of what will be one day; only he will be much more. What ever we are now experiencing, our New Testament’s most frequent admonishment is to be faithful, to abide with our Lord, to stand firm in our faith, certainly not wavering or uncertain. John in his letter to the seven churches will continuously praise those that have “overcome.” Overcome the ‘beast,’ the harlot Babylon, all the insidious efforts of the Dragon, the ancient enemy of humanity. This is what we are called to! We are to be strong in our faith, in spite of the world, in spite what is happening around us, in spite of what is said, their threats, or efforts. “…No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived, what God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Cor.2:9). That’s worth believing in!
Lord, continue to enable us to be strong, to be overcomers,
Thomas Randolf Wyatt
eginning of the abolition movement because of Wilberforce they would stop the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Interestingly, Vermont as an independent “republic” outlawed slavery right after the Revolutionary War in 1777,