The World's Progress
by J. W. N.
(written circa 1900)
Have you ever thought how stranger it is that while the world is making so much progress in science and inventions, that it makes none at all righteousness or even in morality? It is true that men persuade themselves that the world is growing better, but when brought face to face with the actual facts, they have forced upon them the conviction that evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse (2 Tim. 3. 13).
The records of jails, prisons, courts, and the plain proofs of increasing crime, fully confirm the truth of the word of God. Alas, the world's progress is not progress in or towards goodness. The wonderful advances in electrical inventions and discoveries, such as the X rays, all the scientific attainments and triumphs of this day, do not bring a single soul nearer to God or blot out a single sin.
The world's real progress is progress in pride and lust, in casting off the fear of God, and in rejecting His precious Word. In these res men are making swift and sure progress. The world is converting the Church to own infidel views of nature and Scripture. God and His grace in Christ are being laid aside for the fables of progressive theology, liberal views, and the teachings of the critical school.
Where, reader, do you find yourself to-day? Are you going on to eternity with the great multitude through the wide gate and down the broad road? (Matt. 7. 13,14). If so where are you going? The Lord Jesus Christ warns us as to what is at the end of this broad, easy way, in which the world is travelling. "Wide is the gate," He says, "and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat." It is the easiest thing in the world to find it. You have only to go with the multitude, keep in the easy way, be broad and liberal in your views, and the unerring word of the Son of God tells you where it will end - "Destruction"; that is a hard word, but it is the word of the Son of God. He died to save you from it, and it is in mercy that He speaks this terrible word. It is a word of solemn warning. It is what stands at the end of the world's progress. It is not annihilation. The same One warns us: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell'" (Matt. 10. 28) - another hard saying; but it was uttered by Him who loved sinners so much that He left His place in glory and came into this world to die for them, to bear divine wrath against sin.
It is the love of Christ that warns, in these solemn words, those who are going on in the broad path down to destruction. There is a path that leads to life. He has opened it up for you by His own blood. He invites you to enter it through the narrow gate. It was at infinite cost (2 Cor. 5. 21) that He opened up this way for you. He warns you that the path you are on leads to destruction. You know that it must end in death. The world with all its progress has never been able to banish death. There it is, right across every sinner's path - death. And beyond death is judgment for those who die in sin, who keep on in the broad way.
But the narrow path, entered through the strait gate, leads to life. Eternal life is the portion of those in the narrow path (John 3. 36). The life enjoyed there is a life of joy, peace, love, hope, and daily blessing. No Judgment to fear or look forward to; but life, eternal life. In that path you find real progress. Not the progress of the world, but progress in love, in faith, and in knowledge of God and of His grace. Not progress that ends in destruction, but progress that ends in glory in the blessed presence of the Son of God. All this rests on the work of redemption finished on the Cross (Eph. 1. 7), and it is ipffered to you now, "without money and without price" (Isa. 55. 1).