Who made the world the way it is – man or God? Why hunger, disease, famine, the energy crisis? What has happened to our world? What has gone wrong?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” He made the dry land, and, later, the magnificent oaks, the cedars, and the grass, and it was all very good we are told.
Other days of creation followed and finally, God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then he made a woman. And God blessed the first couple and said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). Thus God gave mankind dominion over every living thing.
He made for man a garden in Eden. That garden was paradise literally. It was a perfect creation, and there was no pollution and no energy crisis. God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.
Strange things have happened since the beginning. Good has been replaced by evil, peace by war, give by take, love by hate and abundance by scarcity. Our present world is riddled with pollution, poverty, crime, famine, war, death and now, the energy crisis. It’s not a happy world.
Can God look on the earth today and say, “Behold – my creation is very good”? What went wrong? Why do we have so many problems climaxing now in the energy crisis?
It all started in the garden, after God finished making a perfect society. In the beginning Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. They talked about God’s perfect creation and the way he wanted them to live. Then one day Eve decided it would be intriguing to try out a different way of life, a life-style in which she would make up her own mind about what would be good and what would be evil.
It wasn’t many years afterward that Adam and Even found that their eldest son Cain had killed his brother Abel. But the world didn’t come to an end just because one man was murdered. Several generations later, a man named Nimrod appeared on the world scene. He disagreed with God and God’s government. God’s way is harsh and stern, he reasoned. So Nimrod talked to the people. He promised those who joined his government greater prosperity, more luxury, more leisure, greater happiness, and world dominion.
Over 4,000 years have elapsed since Nimrod’s government in the Middle East. It’s now the 21st century. In 4,000 years, we have “progressed” from a one-world society to a three world society.
Our three worlds may be defined as the Free World, the Communist World, and the Third World. Unfortunately, all three worlds are filled with immense trials and troubles. One of the more immediate problems, the energy crisis serves to illustrate a point. Man, in all his wisdom and technology, has brought the world, not to perfection, but to near disaster.
Our free world is the one most affected by the energy crisis. Energy is its lifeblood. The industrialized free world is a Disneyland megalopolis of technology created through the lavish use of energy. Man in his quest for prosperity through technology and the extravagant use of energy has upset the balance of nature all around the world. Man’s uncontrolled technology has given rise to great cities, millions of cars, refineries, factories, and a world of plastics and chemicals all accumulating waste in the wrong places. The more we prosper, the more the earth dies.
God created the earth and gave man dominion over it. What God had in mind was custodianship over nature’s forces, not conversion into a global ghetto buried under pollution.
The United States is still one of the most technologically advanced nations in the free world. It is the richest and consumes the greatest amount of energy. Several years ago 11.1 metric tons of energy was used per person as opposed to a world average of 1.9 metric tons (today it is more). Yet some of its people cannot live with each other. Its people suffer from high rates of divorce and suicide, from the highest crime rate in the world, and from boredom.
The automobile is the most obvious symbol of the American life-style. In a few short decades, it has become an object of affection. Americans can’t live without it. It has become a god. This god has drastically altered man’s way of life. The auto is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all air pollutants in major cities throughout the free world. In many industrially advanced countries, the auto has spilled more blood than weapons of war.
In Tokyo, the home of 13 million people, 75,000 factories combine with auto exhaust fumes to make smog a greater threat than the pall hanging over Los Angeles, California. In times past, Mount Fuji could only be seen from downtown Tokyo about 40 days a year. It may have improved somewhat since then.
In one year in the United States, people spend more than 100 billion a year on recreation, or is it escapism? Americans spent most of it on mortgaged, motorized vehicles to get away from polluted, crime-ridden cities. It’s not that much different in the rest of the free world. The Rhine, the Tiber, and the Ural Rivers have become channels of waste. The North Sea has been termed “the industrial cesspool of Europe.
We can’t stand our world of technology, its noise pollution, or its tensions. In World Wars I and II, in Korea, and in Vietnam, in the Middle East, most nations of the free world gave their money and their men for a world of peace through technology. But peace has not come.
We want the good life our way. We want, but we don’t have. We wish there wasn’t so much evil, and we don’t want to see people die. Yet it seems we just can’t help ourselves. We shake our heads as we look at what we’ve created, hoping against hope that government will find a way to save us.
All of us are sorry about what we see. None of us want it that way. We didn’t plan it this way. We are not quite sure how we became the victims of our own genius.
And what has the Communist world contributed? They too, are confronted with war costs, smog and social ills which they have created. One Soviet journalist has said statistics reveal “a tremendous moral and ethical problem, which cannot be ignored. They are also plagued by divorce, and alcoholism persists as a perennial problem.
Their world is, for many, an unhappy world, frustrated, endlessly looking for peace through subversion and revolutions. A large proportion of the energy they consume is spent on ways and means to overthrow the established order and to remake society their way!
What about the Third World? It is generally the world of the “have not’s” and it is the majority, 70% of the world’s population. A large proportion of its people do not have enough food to eat or energy to use. They are the “living” who would fight for what many in the free world drop into electric garbage disposal units each day.
There is a crisis in human energy in many Third World nations. In India, you will find twisted bodies, crawling along the streets begging for food, just hanging on, looking for one more day of life. Many nations of the Third World are stocked with poverty. The inhabitants are often only one short step away from death.
While we worry over the energy crisis, the crisis that stalls our boats, our cars and cuts down heat in winter for our homes, the Third World struggles for minimal subsistence. The energy crisis to them is spelled “hunger,” “starvation,” and “death.”
In the Third World, more than 500 people will die every hour from starvation. A mere 500,000,000 or more are now suffering from hunger and malnutrition. In the Third World, there are approximately 100 diverse have-not nations. Many of their peoples tell time, not by years but by famines. Income ranges from practically nothing to not enough.
In one African city, 700,000 residents live. All but a few live in squalor in their very own shanty town. More than 100,000 are prostitutes. The city can be smelled for miles around.
Who made the world the way it is? Man did! Man was given a beautiful world, and he traded it off for a world of his own making, a world of bargain hunters, a world based on “get” from your neighbor. All three worlds are worlds of sorrow.
The Holy Bible prophesied men would reach a time when the world would be filled with unbelievable technological developments and the capability to blast all life off the earth (Matt. 24:6, 21- 22). It would be a time the like of which has never been since the beginning of the world and never will be again.
God knew from the beginning that man’s society would fail; that there would come a time when the restoration of all things as God originally created them would become necessary (Acts 3:21). He spoke of a great restoration that would bring all men back to a world under God, once again in balance, free from pollution, crime and famine.
We need that kind of world, a New World. It’s the only answer to real peace, happiness, and abundant living. Just such a world is coming, a world filled with the knowledge of God, even as the “waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9). That world is just around the corner, a short distance beyond the energy crisis. That is what The Church of God New World Ministries is all about. God has commissioned us to proclaim that New World, that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Mark 1: 14-15).
If you would like to learn more about the gospel of Christ, which proclaims the New World to come, enroll today in our Mini Correspondence Course and our Traditional Christian Doctrine series. You can learn now how to prepare for the New World to come!