…one sinner destroys much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18, N.K.J.V.)
Wow, you talk about a statement with truth to it! These words from Ecclesiastes punch us right in the face, don’t they? What a sad but very real fact it is that just one person, acting in an ungodly manner, can ruin a ton of “good.”
I’ll openly admit that I hate this about life. I mean, if God is really trying to fix this world, then He shouldn’t let one sinner destroy much good, right? We’re certainly never going to get a whole lot accomplished with that setup.
Ah, but right there is the foundational flaw in our thinking. You see, God isn’t trying to fix this world. The noted preacher and author Warren Wiersbe is the man who helped me understand this. He says that rather than trying to save this world, God is saving people out of this world. I have to say that once I got a hold of that idea, life on planet Earth made a lot more sense to me.
Listen, I’m always glad when some criminal is brought to justice. I’m also happy anytime I pull into a gas station and find that gas prices have dropped. And any news that the economy is recovering and employment figures are on the rise is welcome. Through it all, though, we must always remember that this world is still in an irreversible death spiral. Consider the following verses:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come… (2 Timothy 3:1, N.K.J.V.)
But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13. N.K.J.V.)
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18, N.K.J.V.)
I assure you that the Bible is crystal clear in its teaching that this world is headed for dark, dark times. The climax of these times will be a seven-year period commonly referred to as “the tribulation period.” Getting even more specific, the last three-and-a-half years of that period will be the worst of the worst. How bad will those days be? Jesus said that unless they are shortened no one will be left alive on earth (Matthew 24:22). In other words, if God didn’t put a cap (a time limit) on those days, mankind would be completely wiped off the face of the earth. Think about that!
You ask, “When will these perilous times begin?” Well, passages such as Hebrews 1:1-2 teach that the “last days” age actually began when Jesus came into this world. This means that the momentum for the closing years of the “last days” has been building for some 2,000 years now. Some day, perhaps today, Jesus will miraculously rapture His people away from this world (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; John 14:1-3), and sometime shortly after that moment in time, God’s official clock for the seven-year tribulation period will begin ticking. That clock will see the prophesied events of Revelation chapters 6 through 18 come to pass upon the earth, and the clock won’t stop ticking until Christ’s Second Coming at the famous Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:1-21). It is that battle that will finally signal the end of this “last days” age as Christ then establishes His one-thousand-year kingdom upon this earth (Revelation 20:1-6).
Now, tell me, does all of that sound like God is really working hard right now to fix the mess we have made of life on earth? No, it doesn’t. And that’s why He doesn’t always stop it when “one sinner destroys much good.” Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God always lets the troublemaking sinner get away with his deeds. Neither am I saying that God wants us to just throw up our hands and give up on trying to make this world a better place. But what I am saying is that we must always remember that this world has major Biblical prophecies hanging over it, and God isn’t going to cancel those out for any reason.