Todd does a good job laying out what we are seeing today and how that links to prophecy. The days of Noah and the Days of Lot were cruel and evil times. Are we seeing that these days? Has it gotten worst?
Paul also laid out in his letters what it would be like in the last days when he laid out what men in the last days would lust after and gravitate toward.
This world is slipping down a slope…
May 28, 2012
I read somewhere that there is no word in the English language that describes a person who enjoys the misfortunes of other people. We have plenty of adjectives like “cruel,” “evil,” and “sadistic” that we can apply to someone’s nature, but we lack an appropriate noun. To find a word that fits the bill, we have turn to the German language for the word “Schadenfreude.”
The folks at Merriam-Webster need to find a word we can call our own because we live in a world that thrives on Schadenfreude. It has become the core foundation of much of what passes for entertainment, and I think this mindset is doing major damage to the moral fabric of our society.
Television has become so fractured that networks have been forced to turn to the cheapest forms of programming to fill their daily schedules. One of the most cost-effective formats is a show that features videos of people making fools out of themselves. One of the pioneers of this field is America’s Funniest Home Videos, which first aired as a special on November 26, 1989, and is now in its twenty-second season.
The standard fare from AFHV is footage of people falling down and sports-related nut shots. When compared to some of the new shows today, AFHV looks like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Some of these shows feature people doing stunts that result in major bodily harm. One example is the Tosh 2.0 channel on YouTube, which runs footage of a young man lighting a large firecracker that prematurely exploded in his hand. The host then makes light of the horrid situation.
Another popular program is Cheaters, a weekly show that documents people who are suspected of committing adultery, or cheating, on their partners. Cheaters has the host and jilted lover confronting the alleged cheater, normally in a public setting. One odd thing about the show is that all parties need to eventually sign a release before their images can be used in the show. It’s unbelievable to think that there would be so many people who would willingly give their consent to having the whole world see them caught in the act of committing a despicable act of betrayal.
The winner of the most confounding example of Schadenfreude would have to be World’s Dumbest, which airs on truTV. Most of the videos in the show are about criminals doing stupid acts. Some of them have been on the Internet for several years. What is unique about this program is that much of the commentary comes from people who are famous for having their own lives result in a train wreck, including names such as Daniel Baldwin, Leif Garrett, Todd Bridges, Tonya Harding, and Danny Bonaduce.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the Schadenfreude reality shows are all these law enforcement programs that provide a voyeuristic view of people being arrested for various offenses. There are shows about bounty hunters and campus police, and one about rangers who arrest people who shoot deer out of season. All of these programs work together to make people more and more comfortable with images of our nation slowly transforming into a police state.
If Hitler lived today, I have to wonder if he would give the nod for a show called Concentration Camp. I’m sure that during the Tribulation hour, there will be reality shows about what happens to people who refuse to receive the “Great Leader’s” special “Mark.”
The book of Revelation describes the eruption of international Schadenfreude when the world population rejoices at the death of the “two witnesses.” The following passage has been often cited as a prediction of global satellite news coverage:
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth” (Revelation 11:9-10).
If you ask the average person to name a sign of the end times, natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes are going to be the most common answer. But the Word of God repeatedly warns that gross immorality will be the greatest calling card of the Tribulation hour. Predictions like Schadenfreude are very tricky because if you don’t maintain your moral vigilance, this whole category of signs can creep up without you noticing them.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mat. 24:12).
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If you have not asked Christ into your life, the essential gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and that He was raised on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Believing this is the only qualification for salvation. We are sinners in need of a savior. Jesus died for our sins, and to prove that His death was sufficient for us, God raised Him from the dead on the third day. Believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead is our assurance that He will raise us, too.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor. 15:3-4).