We see a huge power struggle between the east and west, between radical Jihadist warriors and their greatest foe; a morally weak and corrupt humanistic west, centred on Europe and the United States.
We also see another struggle, that of secularism and its determined rout of Christianity, in education, science and society.
A whole new value system now extols man, his freedom and his rights in an ethos where an evolutionary understanding of our humanity rules supreme, and where older values, once rooted in Christianity, have almost vanished.
· RESURGENT SECULARISM Some of these older beliefs include creation by the living God, the sanctity of life and marriage, civil law grounded in the ten Commandments, of the Bible as the word of God, of the reality of the Genesis 'fall' into universal sin, and redemption by Christ, the Son of God - all these and more are smothered as the goal to give the supremacy to autonomous man and his reason advances.
However, it is still very obvious that many people still want to hold on to some of the old values; such as respect for the aged and vulnerable, and compassion in society and human dignity and for telling the truth.
Recently I read a letter in the press from an expectant mother who shared her disappointment at the falling values in society, some of which had happened to her on a crowded bus, where a youth had elbowed his way past her to get a seat for himself only to leave her standing.
Sadly, that is what you get - a 'me-first' attitude and the rise of violence, anger and meaninglessness, when you jettison historic biblical Christianity and let Darwinian evolution hold sway.
The values this lady missed were sensitivity and selfless regard for others that flow from a biblical view of humanity, but now people still want these inherited values, but without realising they have been cut loose from the living root that once nourished them.
· SUPREME So who really is supreme - man or his Creator? The Bible gives a very clear answer, 'the Lord our God the Almighty reigns' (Revelation 19:6), and again, 'our Lord Jesus Christ...
who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords' (1Timothy 6:15).
This is why we all need to turn back to God as the one our sins offend.
He is the one our lives ought to honour by our true worship and obedience.
He is the one for whose glory and praise we exist! That is why this serious change, this turning around and facing God and his way, is what 'repentance toward God' (Acts 20:21A) calls us to do.
And seeing who is really supreme, we ought then to put 'faith in our Lord Jesus Christ' (Acts 20:21B).
Faith is a simple trust (but certainly not contrary to evidence), a personal reliance upon the Lord Jesus - as the One risen, ascended, the glorious Son of God - in his person, his words, and his faithfulness.
Faith looks to the Lord Jesus and sees all his forgiving love and overflowing grace and mercy to rescue us from the penalty, power and eventually from the presence of sin.
Just as repentance was 'toward God' so faith looks to - 'the Lord Jesus Christ'.
What a wonderful Person has been provided for us, perfect in every way! · THE STRUGGLE HAS BEEN WON Today, people are looking to their poor broken heroes who will soon leave this scene of time.
People will look anywhere except to the God-appointed Saviour.
But there is a time coming when his burning gaze will be unavoidable, then they will cry to rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of him who comes as Judge (see Revelation 6:15-16).
That is why the call to repent goes out to all the world (see Acts 17:30-31).
Faith looks to a living and loving Saviour and rests content in Him, and all his death accomplished in bearing the penalty of our sins.
Faith may falter, faith may be small, but it trusts the One who will never fail.
After the Genesis Fall, 'because of one man's [Adam's] trespass death reigned' but in that supreme conquest, 'the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy [break or crush] the works of the devil' (1 John 3:8).
Now all who 'who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ' (Romans 5:17).
They reign in life through him who loved us and gave himself for us! The age-old struggle has been settled, and Jesus Christ has won - time to bow the knee and the mind and heart to him who is Victor and Lord of all!