It’s a common practice for people to remember the past in way that makes it seem like there were no (or at least far fewer) problems in the past. Frequently this is in reference to our society and culture and how it impacts our ability to serve God. In connection with this thought, Christians sometimes grumble about how hard it is to serve God in our current society and culture. We are often heard to long for “the good old days” when serving the Lord was easier.
For a few moments, let’s consider some of the environments and cultures where people had to remain faithful to God and see if we still think ours is so bad.
Would we rather serve the Lord…
• In the days of Noah, when only eight people (1 Peter 3:10) in the whole world could be convinced to follow God?
• In the first century when there was no readily available printed Bibles to study and know the whole revelation of God?
• In the first century when visiting other churches and could mean days of walking just to get to the nearest congregation?
• In our recent past, before telephones and computers connected brethren to be able to communicate with one another and encourage one another, even from thousands of miles away?
• In our recent past where many brethren, even in this country met without air conditioning or had to travel to church in vehicles without air conditioning? Or, in countries today, where the same is true?
• In countries today (and in times past in this country) where people don’t have readily available transportation and must walk for miles to worship with God’s people?
• In the recent past when Bibles and bible study tools were not readily available at your fingertips on your computer or your phone?
• Today, in other countries, where Christians must worship in secret for fear of being thrown into prison or killed for their faith?
So, the real question is not whether we have it worse than others. Yes, our society is evil and getting worse. But, Read Romans 1-2 and ask yourself if you think our society is any worse than theirs. Theirs was a society where immorality was not only present, but in many cases part of their idolatrous worship.
The real question is whether we are taking advantage of the opportunities God has given us in this day age and in this society. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) the one-talent servant was condemned because he failed to use the opportunity he had to serve the master and be productive. He wasn’t condemned for his results, but for his lack of effort. Will or excuses of an evil society be any more well received than his excuse that he knew the master was a hard man?
Today is the day that we have. This is the society we live in where have the opportunity to bring glory to God by our service. Will we waste it wishing for days that were not better, just different?
(Note: Verse references are clickable links that will open the verses in context in BlueLetterBible.org)