People in all ages have thought about the future and wondered what it would be like. I can remember being in the fourth grade and our teacher, Mrs. Purcell, assigned us to write a short paper about what we would be doing in the year 2000. This was the school year 1961-62. She emphasized to us that it would be a new century a new millennium! I can remember thinking how mysterious it all seemed. What was it going to be like in a new millennium? I also remember thinking that I would be 48 years old in 2000! Man, I was going to be ancient!
What will it be like fifty years from now? Many of us reading this article will not be on this old earth fifty years from now, but some will. My children may still be living then, but they will be in their 80's. My four grandchildren will very probably be living then, though my oldest granddaughter will be ready to retire fifty years from now. What advantages will they have that we do not now have? What advancements will be made in medicine, in communication, in transportation, in government? Will the United States of America still be the country it is now and be the beacon for democracy to the world? We have no way of foretelling the future, so there is really no way for us to know these things.
Great changes have taken place over time. Every time I pick up a cell phone, turn on my computer, or use the remote control for my TV, I am made to think of my grandparents and how amazed they would be at our "modern world" with all its gadgets. My maternal grandfather, Thomas Spaulding, was born in 1890 and died in 1975. He once commented that he would not believe men had stepped on the surface of the moon until they would, "... hang something up there that I can see!" Going to the moon made little sense to Poppy; he just had a very hard time comprehending it all. My paternal grandfather, Floyd Farley, was born in 1859 and died in 1932 and saw great changes from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Once he said to my father, "Howard, there's a trick to that radio business, and one day I'll figure it out. It is just impossible for a man to be talking in Cincinnati, Ohio, and we hear him here at Crum, WV." He just had a hard time conceiving how radio waves work. The first automobile that Grandpa Farley saw caused him to comment to those around him, "Boys, it's a coffin on wheels!" This was about 1922-23.
Things have always changed, very often for the betterment of society. We spend a great deal of time and money educating our children and grandchildren so they will be prepared for these changes and so that they may even contribute to these advancements. However, brothers and sisters, what are we doing to insure that our little ones will have what it takes to withstand the changes that will, no doubt, take place socially and morally over the next fifty years? What will the congregation where you worship be like in the year 2057? Will the congregation even be there, and, if so, will there be faithful and sound elders, deacons, preachers, and teachers there?
Since World War II, materialism has "sky-rocketed" to the point where people have come to think success is spelled "$UCCE$$." Contrary to the words of our Savior, many really do think that a man's life consists in the abundance of THINGS he possesses (cf Luke 12:15-21; 1 Timothy 6:5-21). True Christians have always been "the few," but it is getting increasingly more difficult to rear children with a view toward serving others. This is because of the effort made by those of the world to teach our children that they must "get out and get theirs." We must do all we can to teach our youngsters NOW to be a loving and serving people!
During the past fifty years, the divorce rate has "gone through the roof," homosexuality has generally become accepted as just another life-style, drug and alcohol abuse has risen steadily, the crime rate continues to go up and up, and filth on the televisions and movies is more and more common. With this in mind, do we think society is going to get better, morally speaking? We MUST give our children a good foundation NOW so they can build their lives upon the teachings of Jesus the Christ. Matthew 7:24-27.
Parents, grandparents, preachers, Bible teachers, elders we must look down the road fifty years and prepare our young folks for the future. If the Lord does not come back, those fifty years will come and go. We must be the light of the world and salt of the earth for our youngsters today! The Word says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish ..." (Proverbs 29:18). Again, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge ..." (Hosea 4:6). P.O. Box 285, Crum, WV 25669. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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