Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 7 - October/November 2005 > Pastor's Piece - Confronting the 21st Century

Pastor's Piece

Confronting the 21st Century

by Dr Barry Wright

What will life be like for the followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century? Will it be more of the same or will life become more polarised recognising that the Church is now entering a new era of rapid change?

The evidence around us would tend to suggest that Jesus and culture will clash more radically than in any other period since the Saviour first appeared on earth.

As we look back on the previous century we see quantum shifts in thinking, values and behaviour as a result of increasing prosperity, technology and secularism. While this has not impacted our children as much as in other parts of the Western World, this situation is rapidly changing.

The world our children and grandchildren have inherited is one that is in desperate need of hearing the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.

It is a world that is desperately trying to live without God. Many people who still hold on to a semblance of Christianity are finding that the God they once served is now found at a lower level of priority in their daily lives. They are constantly being bombarded with the thought that they need to face the consequences of a universe in which everything can be accounted for at a natural level. It is a world that seems to have no need of the God of heaven.

There are also many that are finding no real meaning in death, an event that often strikes tragically, swiftly and randomly to many families. Many seem to believe that it is useless trying to figure it out and as a consequence when death is seen in this way, life also takes on a similar vein of thinking. All forms of the secular media are currently reinforcing this tragic situation. Music, movies, television, radio and books are all conveying the thought that we need to live for the present and this theme is set to dominate much of what we will see and hear in the future. As a consequence, pleasure seeking becomes the goal of life. The excitement of extra -marital affairs, the sensory rush of alcohol and other drugs, the thrill of high-risk sports, all seek to capture the fleeting moment and give some sense of meaning to their lives.

Along with these beliefs comes the suggestion that there is no absolute standard. We need to recognise that without God, there can be no good or evil, right or wrong, truth or error. The implications for this are horrendous and incalculable.   

In such an age we need to proclaim clearly and with boldness the unpopular message that Jesus is Lord and Master of our world. Along with the Apostle Paul we need to proclaim his words found in 1 Corinthians 8: 5, 6 that tell us that "People talk about their idols and how they control things for them, either from heaven or from somewhere on earth. These people keep inventing more and more idols to control more and more things. We know that only One is in charge of everything and that is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He made all things and it is through His power that we live. There was only one Jesus Christ involved with the Father in creating all things, and it is through His power that we are saved." (Clear Word Paraphrase)

It is only in Jesus that we find meaning in death as well as life. He is everything to us and represents not only goodness, but also righteousness and justice. He is our friend whom we need to know and learn to love and one day soon he has promised to come and take us all home to be with Him forever. He is the only one we can trust in this twenty-first century world.

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