THE BRAVE NEW WORLD (Jer.

8:11-22)

Typescript by Byang Kato

It is a great joy for me to speak on this topic - THE BRAVE NEW WORLD, because it is a subject at hope after all else has failed, there is still hope for the new world. Jeremiah was called to be God's mouthpiece when he was in his early twenties. Like Timothy of New Testament, he was timid yet he had a message for the people of his days. He was realistic in facing the prevailing situation. He would not dwell in a fool's paradise. He condemned the false teachers of his days who were shouting "Peace, Peace, when there is no peace." The false security in Israel was gone. Since the days of Amos and Hosea, the children of Israel had a false theology. Because of their material prosperity, they felt God was on their side. The rich were getting richer, and poor were getting poorer. The rich deprived the poor man of his land and felt that since they were rich, God was pleased with it. Religious leaders held that God would never desert his temple. Their cry was "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these." Yahweh must defend His temple under any circumstances. Having a form of religion, they denied the power thereof. Nebuchadnezzar with his mighty army stood outside the city wall, yet nobody paid any attention. False prophets kept on saying, "Never mind, all will be well. God is a God of love; no judgment will come." So they cheered the hearts of people lightly. Let us examine the situation in our world, which I would call the old crumbling world. The present century has given man the greatest sense of security on the planet earth. Yet paradoxically, it has been the gloomiest century, most especially in its dying decades. The steam engine was invented by James Watt in 1763. But it was George Stephenson who actually developed the train engine in 1829, close to the 20th century. Electricity, which is commonplace today, came into proper use in 1882 when the first power station was used. One of the two Wright Brothers, Orville tested the first aeroplane on Dec. 17, 1903 which took off and landed safely after 12 seconds. His brother Wilbur Wright was applauded when his magic plane flew for 52 seconds at 852 feet above the ground. Today the supersonic jet airliner has zoomed into Nairobi airport. Space flight has become ordinary. Do you know that there was no radio as we know it today before 1907? It is estimated that there are nearly 250,000 T.V. sets in Africa. The first T.V. in public use came in 1940. Ten years ago when I was a student in England, there was a heated debate as to whether they should have colour television or not. We have heard it rumored that many T.V. stations including our own V.O.K., will go colour. In 1896 the Red Flag Act in England made it compulsory for a man with a red flag to lead a so-called car to warn of the danger of accident. The first car as we know them today was used in 1910. I could go on with the fantastic development that has come to man within 20th century.

This false philosophy of humanism has gripped nan. Man was spelt with a capital M. Liberal theology taught that man by his own effort could bring about a Utopia. A man called Rauschenbush taught the false view that by working to improve society, Christians would be bringing about the kingdom of God. European theologian Ritschl and Schleiermacher identified Western Civilization with the kingdom of God. Some liberal missionaries went to foreign lands to bring what they believed to be the message of the kingdom of God. These were the type of erroneous teachers shouting peace, peace, when there was no peace. The first World War shattered this false theological premise just like Nebuchadnezzar’s battering rams shattered beyond repair the theology or false teachers in his day. The scientific knowledge that man had used to build up an empire became the tool that brought about its downfall. Within the short period of 5 years, using the machine gun for the first time, man eliminated 10,000,000 lives. The League of Nations was formed to pick up the pieces. Before man had fully recovered greed and selfishness plunged him into another World War, all in the first half of this century. The second World War lasted from 1939 - 45. This time, the rapid scientific development increased man's capacity to kill. The first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, Japan. In the matter of minutes, it left 80,000 dead and many more incapacitated. Six years left 40,000,000 dead, including the 6 million Jews Hitler killed. Today man's capacity for wiping out the earth has multiplied. It is estimated that the U.S.A., Russia and China have the capacity to wipe out the earth 50,000 times. Where is earth's peace? The U.K., in the same impotent position as the League of Nations, looks on while wars and rumours of wars rage on in all corners of the earth. If a Third World War should break out today, man might resort to the use of biological warfare. It could come by way of something like the plagues of Egypt, the form of vicious flies or lice. The world is no safe place. Truly this old world is on its way out. The Word of God tells us plainly what will happen to this world. I do not believe that the Book of Revelation has all been fulfilled. The Great Battle of Armageddon is yet to be fought. Thousands upon thousands will be slaughtered at the valley of Jehoshaphat, the place of Judgment. The earth that man has struggled to build will all go into flames. Peter prophesied some 1900 years ago, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass way with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up," (II Pet. 3:10). Where is your security? What do you live for? There is no peace for the wicked, no peace for the world. The weeping prophet Jeremiah reflected the sad situation of his people. He cried "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20). The time is running out. Hope is fast disappearing. Yet Israel remains stubborn. The signs of our Lord's coming multiply. The hopelessness of this fast deteriorating planet does not wake people out of their slumber. Will you wait till disaster overtakes you in this old world of despair? Thank God, there is still hope. Jeremiah asks a rhetorical question: "Is

there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?" (8:22) Balm was a kind of herb raised in Gilead, exported to Egypt for embalming dead bodies to keep them from decaying. It became a symbol of a cure for any kind of disease. This old world is fast folding up. Sinful humanity continues to worsen as the day of judgment draws near. But thank God there is a cure available. John in his vision sees a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-4) Jesus Christ is going to make all things new. For the individual sinner there is hope for a brave new world right now. Jesus Christ says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might it more abundantly" (John 10:10). The Apostle Paul says, “Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold the new has come" (2 Cor. 5: 17). Accepting Jesus Christ now will bring you the following results: 1) You will be at peace with your maker instead of being in conflict with Him. 2) You will receive eternal life and know that you have it here and now in spite of your sinful condition, past or present. 3) You will have the right perspective of this world, helping to make it a better place in which to live and yet realizing that we have no abiding home here. 4) You will live at peace with your neighbours, your family and other people by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. 5) You will some day enjoy eternity with Christ. This is the new brave world which we invite you to explore.