Western society is quite diversified from what it
was a half-century ago. Acceptable conduct, expressions,
morals, lifestyles and social interactions are different. Some
changes are introducing profane and disordered elements, an unsettling development
to many people and institutions. The results are a vast increase
in both stressed lives and dysfunctional relationships, and a
decline in faith and religious discipline.
The changes could be attributed to natural cultural dynamics, but
such a view conflicts with Restoration teachings. The central
purpose of the latter-day work is to build up the kingdom of God.
It is commissioned to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in agreement
with the scriptures. As it does, it gathers out from the world
faithful people who are remade by the gospel ordinances into sons
and daughters of God. The family of God lives in the world,
among the irreverent and unbelieving and testifying by word and deed
to the veracity of the gospel that remade them and awaits the
appearance of the holy city to which Jesus can descend and begin His
When divinely commissioned servants invite people to believe and
obey the Savior's gospel, they offer enlightenment that comes
through the Holy Spirit. Those that accept the invitation
accept the light of God. They grow and flourish under its
illuminating rays. Those who reject the invitation, reject the
Holy Spirit and the accompanying light. The rejection of any
divine light leaves those who refuse the illumination worse than
before. From the Restoration point of view, our diversified,
even our polarized situation and out hectic, stressful lives are the
direct result of the rejection of the latter-day gospel that invited
people to build up the kingdom of God on earth.
During his first
advent Jesus told his disciples that His kingdom was about to go to
the Gentiles. He said, "The kingdom of God shall be taken
from them, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits
thereof; (meaning the Gentiles)" (Mat 21:53). Paul
describes the fall of the Jews and the salvation of the Gentiles
(Rom 11:11) through their acceptance of the gospel, and goes on to
predict a time when "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in"
(Rom 11:25). The gospel went from the Jews to the Gentiles
shortly after Jesus' ascension and the Gentiles gradually grew in
influence, approaching a time of Gentile fullness. Western
Civilization reached its zenith through the industrial age.
Historians generally mark the development of the Watts steam engine
in 1776 as the enabler of the industrial age. The second, more
powerful phase began in the 1820s.
discloses, "When the time of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall
break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the
fullness of my gospel" (Dec 45:4b). We testify that
the Lord brought his church out of the wilderness to which the
Gentile apostasy had driven it, at the dawn of the Gentiles' zenith.
Its restoration gave the nations of Western Civilization the
resources to build up the kingdom of God throughout the earth.
Jesus said, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much
be required" (Lu 12:57). The restoration of the Savior's
church among the Gentiles gave added responsibility to those
nations. When they refused the gospel fullness, they lost the
privilege their zenith afforded. Divine judgment has became
their deserved consequence. That divine judgment is a
characteristic of the end of Gentile dominion. Jesus
prophesied, "In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles
shall be fulfilled . . . upon the earth distress of nations with
perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also
shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep; men's hearts
failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are
coming on the earth" (Luke 21:25-26). The nations of
Western Civilizations are bewildered today and struggling with the
problems that they face.
Meanwhile, third world countries, once wallowing in illiteracy and
superstition, are growing in enlightened education and economic
might. Many western companies have exported their labor to
third-world nations, while some competing companies are being formed
in them. Some of those nations harbor extreme enemies to
Western Culture. Unrest and confrontation is increasing and
terrorism is becoming a way of life throughout the world.
Today's complex perplexities will
culminate in the establishment of kingdom of God and the descent of
Jesus in clouds of glory at the beginning of his second advent.
How that happens for the church, our
nation and the world
is further investigated on their respective pages.