No one need remind us that we are living in significant times, the like of which this world has never known.
We are experiencing upheavals, change, revolution of every sort.
We see changes everywhere; we experience upheavals in every sphere of life, in governments, industry, commerce, society, and church. We witness revolutions in every nation, among young and old alike, in the ghetto and on the campus of the university, terrifying in their proportions and in their number.
Life will never return to what we once called normal. The changes we see today will have their lasting effect, introducing a new age and an entirely new way of life.
God has given man over to the desires of his heart, so that every vestige of outward restraint is rapidly being withdrawn.
And as far as man himself is concerned, the dream of the ages is being realized. Gen. 3:5.
Man claims to have become as God.
Mere man today boasts of undreamed power approaching omnipotence.
We have earth movers that grind and groan as they cut through mountains and level out valleys, removing every obstacle from man’s path. We have long ribbons of highways reaching from coast to coast to improve travel and give faster speed to the millions of automobiles, each intent on going somewhere and in a big hurry.
We have cities with sky-scrapers of dazzling height, huge factories belching steam and smoke, beautiful homes, large recreation areas, thousands of bright lights to make the night as bright as day.
We have machines to run machines to simplify man’s life. The greatest effort often required is but to press a button that controls the machine that does man’s work for him. We have every conceivable convenience in the home and in the shop. We even insist on taking these conveniences along with us when we want to “rough it” for a few days in the great outdoors. And we also have power driven toys for our children.
We are able to span the seas in ships, to travel under water, and to cut ourselves a path through the ice fields of the north to speed up navigation. We carry hundreds of passengers in planes through the air from one end of the earth to the other in a mere matter of hours.
We have even put men on the moon.
Man has penciled out the word impossible. We now say, if we can go to the moon we can do anything.
We are well-nigh almighty.
And we have also become all but omniscient.
Science has made great advances in these last years. We may not quite know where we are going, at times we even realize that this is a dead-end road, but we are making progress just the same.
We have discovered the hidden powers in creation, atomic energy and other powers that grip the heart with fear. These can be harnessed to good use, but they can also destroy every living creature on the earth in a very short time. We still are testing these powers, mostly underground, in order to determine just how much power is available to us and how we can use it.
We have measured the speed of sound, the speed of light, and even the distance of the heavenly bodies with uncanny accuracy. We search out the bowels of the earth. We probe into the hidden depths of the sea. We reach out beyond the moon to the planets.
We have made wonderful advances in the fields of medicine and surgery. We have practically eliminated many infectious diseases. We cure many ailments. We are working on the transplant of human organs to extend man’s life as long as possible. We already have extended man’s life span a bit, often even adding to the misery of those whose life hangs on a thread. Although we worry about population explosion and practice birth control openly, we nevertheless try to create life in a test tube, and, if it were possible, we would overcome the power of death completely.
We have our own means to determine the age of the earth and the moon. We have come to our own scientific conclusions about the origin of the human race. Both are quite different from the account that God gives us in the Scriptures, but we prefer to let “science” dictate to Scripture.
We have our own opinions on man’s psychological make-up, based on our findings as to man’s origin from the lower animal. We do venture to cure man’s psychological and mental problems on the psychologist’s couch.
Yes, we have made great advances in learning.
But God is not in all our thoughts.
For man has all but become omniscient.
We even cherish the dream of omnipresence.
God once asked Job: Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, “here we are?” Job only blushed in helpless silence. But the modem man boasts: “Yes, we can.” He has discovered the power of electricity and has been able to harness it for many useful purposes.
We now have computers that work faster and more accurately than the human brain. We send our voices across the whole expanse of the earth, and even to the moon. We not only send astronauts to the moon, but we watch them as they walk on the moon’s surface.
We have television that can be seen by millions at the same time. We have satellites in the sky watching the enemy and outsmarting them in their maneuvers. Soon no one will escape the searching eye of man’s uncanny devices. The future world power will know every move we make and every word we speak.
Man has the world at his fingertips. It is as if he were present everywhere at any given moment.
Does not all this make man sovereign of the universe?
Is he not self-sufficient? Why should he not boast: “O man, how great thou art?”
And does he not have good reason, far better than Nebuchadnezzar had, to make himself an image extolling his greatness, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. (see Daniel 3:1; Rev. 13:14, 15; and note the number 6).
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 15:13, 14.
A shorter work week with more pay; less work and more time for pleasure seems to be the goal almost within man’s reach.
War must still be eliminated from the earth, wealth must be shared to banish poverty.
We are rich and enriched and have need of nothing, especially no need of God, nor of His Christ, nor of His Word, nor of a life beyond.
But He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord holds them in derision. Psalm 2.
He has His own name for all this: The Abomination of Desolation. Matthew 24:1.
Or if you will: The Man of Sin, The son of Perdition. II Thes. 2:3, 4.
Or: The Beast. Revelation 13.
And his number is 666.