I woke up this morning to news of another mass killing, this time in Dayton, Ohio, where a 24-year-old gun-man shot and killed nine people—among them his own younger sister. Another 27 were injured, some by gunfire and many from injuries incurred while running for their lives.
Only 12 hours earlier a similarly deranged 21-year-old murdered 22 people and wounded 24 more in a 20-minute shooting spree inside a large store in El Paso, Texas.
Just a few days earlier, another young man shot and killed three and wounded 15 more at a festival in California after cutting his way through a fence to avoid security officers.
Meanwhile, an average of 56 people are shot per week, 10 fatally, in Chicago alone. In all fairness, many cities in Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela have far higher murder rates, so devastatingly high homicide deaths are a worldwide phenomenon. And this doesn’t begin to take into account the ongoing mass murders of Christians in the Middle East and Africa by those determined to stamp out Christianity.
At the same time, those of us in the West live in societies where advocates of the murder of unborn babies lecture us on human rights, socialists lecture us on economics, transvestites lecture us on human biology, and Hollywood actors and actresses with multiple children by various sex partners lecture us on virtue.
Just last week a homosexual U.S. presidential candidate (there’s a phrase I never remotely imagined I would type on my keyboard!) lectured the nation on proper Christian and biblical morals—which in his view requires yet more government redistribution of citizens’ hard-earned money.
On the heels of that, dozens of Hollywood A-listers, politicians, entertainment moguls and celebrities descended on the Mediterranean island of Sicily in more than 100 luxury private jets and yachts (one costing $400 million) to stay in $900-a-night resort rooms for a three-day conference. The reason for this meeting? To discuss how to “save” the planet from climate change! (The luxury private jets alone—not to mention the many limousines, sports cars and helicopters—generated some 900 U.S. tons of CO2 emissions.)
Yes, the world truly is going insane.
What do all of these problems have in common? One is that they are all symptoms of a spiritual sickness that pervades our world. So much that we see around us is indeed a kind of insanity—thought processes and actions that defy rational explanation and make no sense. We’re entering uncharted waters where up is down and down is up, or, as the Bible puts it, people “call evil good, and good evil” and “put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20 Isaiah 5:20Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
American King James Version×).
And to anyone with any perception at all, it’s obvious things are getting worse, not better.
Why can’t we find solutions? Because these are spiritual problems, symptoms of spiritual sickness, and the solutions must be spiritual.
Why do I say these problems are spiritual? Because there is a spiritual force and power behind them. Few people realize it, but a dark and malevolent influence is working continually behind the scenes of our world.
The Bible reveals to us information we otherwise could not know because it isn’t discerned by the human senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing or smell. But it is real, as surely as you and I are real. The Bible reveals the existence of an invisible, unseen spirit world. And it records the occasional intersection of our physical world and this spirit world, with results that often terrified those who experienced it!
The Bible reveals that there are spirit beings called angels who serve God. (To learn more, download or request our free study guide Angels: God’s Messengers and Spirit Army.) But it also shows there are evil and rebellious angels called demons who serve a powerful fallen angel called Satan (meaning “adversary” or “enemy”) the devil (meaning “false accuser” or “slanderer”). He is called a liar and a murderer (John 8:44 John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
American King James Version×) because that is what he does.
His influence is so great that he “deceives the whole world” and “the world around us is under the control of the wicked one” (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×; 1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation). If you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ based on what is written in Their holy Word, the Bible, then you must also believe in Satan the devil and his demons, whom the Bible reveals to be every bit as real!
This is why our many problems are so entrenched and unsolvable in spite of humankind’s best efforts. Without God’s help we cannot solve them. They are spiritual in nature and require a spiritual solution. Spiritual forces we cannot defeat are behind them and fill our world with violence, hatred, hostility, murder and lies.
So what is the solution? God can and will do what mankind cannot. The time is approaching when He will intervene and send His Son Jesus Christ to earth to end Satan’s reign as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×). This issue of Beyond Today discusses how that will come about and what the coming new and transformed world will be like. It’s why we encourage you to join us in praying, as Jesus taught, “Your Kingdom come!”