Thus saith British Queen Victoria’s chaplain just before the end of the 19th century: “The railroad, Cunard’s liners, and the electric telegraph are signs that we are, on some points at least, in harmony with the universe; that there is a mighty spirit working among us . . . the ordering and creating God.’
Men and women, more than ever before or since, felt at home on earth and in control of their destiny. That natural demons of the past had been banished by reason and electricity, and the human demons of the new century were still hidden.”
Nothing, it seemed, could stop this great progress.
Well, one small thing did. It was called World War I, which, if it weren’t bad enough, was soon followed by World War II. How interesting, too, how few were prognosticating about the grand future ahead of us as we ended the 20th century as they were when we ended the 19th. And no wonder, either, with 9/11 a powerful symbol of what the new century would bring.
We are fallen beings on a fallen planet, and though we must do all that we can to bring healing and hope and peace, things will get only worse. There will even be “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that time” (Daniel 12:1)—a time that will be followed by the Second Coming of Jesus. Until then, we must live with the realization that this is a broken world filled with broken people, and by faith in Jesus, and what He has done for us on the cross, we can have a hope and assurance for a better world--a hope and assurance that’s certainly not found in this one, no matter the hopeful proclamations to the contrary.