The Lord Jesus Christ revealed to John that in the epoch of the Sixth Vial (Rev 16:14) which ushers in Armageddon, there would be a spirit of madness gripping the nations and leading them on inexorably to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Previous articles in this series have focused on political events in the world and particularly in Europe. The following article reminds us that we do not have to go far from home to witness this “demoniac spirit” in a way of life that is fast becoming accepted as “normal” to the bulk of the population. Although much of the article is based on conditions the writer saw in North America, it is nevertheless typical of “the world of the ungodly” developing in much of western society and Australia in particular.

The “world of the ungodly” is the graphic expression Peter uses to describe the world, ripe for judgment in the days of Noah. John likewise, contemplating the Roman world of his day saw it in the same way: “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

A recent trip to the United States impressed on the writer how true those expressions are of our world. Verily we live in “the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26); “days” which shall have their climax soon “in the day when the Son of man is revealed”.

We flew first into Los Angeles where it was a delight to stay for a few days with Bro. and Sis. John McConville and meet with the Reseda Ecclesia. For everyone else in that vast sweltering city (and indeed throughout the country), the topic of conversation seemed to be solely related to the “O J Simpson trial”. This sordid episode of jealousy, marital breakdown, violence and murder, has become the “soap opera” of the day, overwhelming the media. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent in television coverage. The latest sideshow for the titillation of the masses is a lawsuit brought against Marcia Clark, the chief prosecutor, by her estranged husband claiming custody of their children since she, working sixteen hour days, seven days a week, cannot devote any time to them. Her response? A counter suit against him claiming extra funds for maintenance (though her income is three times his) because she must spend more money on clothing, hairdressing, makeup etc., befitting her prominence in this media spectacle!

In Dallas, Texas, I stood at the window of the hotel looking down on the spot a short distance away where President John F. Kennedy had been gunned down and I was struck by the barrenness of the scene before me. Railway tracks, roads, a wasteland of concrete and bitumen, but no people. Scarcely a sign of life. It was only later, after commenting on the empty footpaths (“sidewalks”) that the response was made: “You’d have to be crazy to go anywhere on foot”. Much too dangerous! I confirmed that for myself in quiet Gresham, Oregon, a suburb of beautiful Portland, the city of roses. I don’t know what it was, but I doubt it was a rose that was thrown at me from a passing vehicle when I had the temerity to take a short stroll from my motel in the cool of the early evening. Fortunately they missed and I beat a hasty retreat – lesson learned.

It was in Dallas too that in the most ostentatiously plush motor vehicle dealership I have seen anywhere, there in the Service Department was a prominent sign which read:

“Please do not leave whisky, guns, money or other valuables in your automobile.”

 It seems that in Texas there are about three times as many guns as there are people. Since the population of Texas is about twenty million, a quick calculation of the number of guns available is not too difficult. Clearly a place to tread carefully.

There seems to be no end to the madness in this gun-crazy society. In Atlanta, Georgia, one County passed an ordinance requiring every house to contain at least one firearm. A father recently returning home with his wife from a restaurant, shot dead his own fourteen year old daughter who had, in a childish prank, leapt from a wardrobe to give mum and dad a fright. It was from Atlanta too that I brought home a glossy mail order promotional piece, urging the recipient to spend $1,950 to purchase the “Official American Eagle Colt .45 Automatic Pistol”. The compelling copy assures us that “Colt Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut has captured in forged steel the classic gun, and Society artisans hand etch the eagle in 24 carat gold and pure silver”. We may smile at the sadness and folly of this. Better to see it as an example of the flesh without restraint. Where are the boundaries when men turn from their Creator? We live in a society where the very outer limits of excess are being breached. Worse, we are seeing that there are not limits. Each step down into the mire seems to merely reveal further extremities of indulgence to be explored.

We do not need to travel abroad to witness this moral wasteland. Observe this recent article from “The Australian” newspaper: “Parents who ban their children from attending HIV and AIDS education classes on religious and cultural grounds would be prosecuted for breaching human rights legislation under an AIDS and sex education strategy proposed by the National Teachers’ Union. AIDS and HIV education would be mandatory in all primary schools under the proposal…. Such denial would constitute an infringement of human rights.”

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness”, said Isaiah. Can we not echo his words today. The days of Noah are upon us when “all flesh (has) corrupted His way upon the earth”. Or have we gone even further back to an earth spiritually “without form and void” and “darkness upon the face of the deep”? The Sun of righteousness must soon arise with healing in his wings, to usher in a new day – a new creation: “Let there be light”.