Learning from the Fall of Rome

(In DEUTSCH hier!)

Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) offers a sobering warning from the grave:*

“If the West goes down and is defeated, it will be for one reason only: internal rot. . . . If we continue to spend our lives in jollification, doing less and less work, demanding more and more money, more and more pleasure and so-called happiness, more and more indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, with a refusal to accept our responsibilities, there is but one inevitable result—complete and abject failure.

Why did the Goths and Vandals and other barbarians conquer the ancient Roman Empire? Was it by superior military power? Of course not! Historians know that there is only one answer:

the fall of Rome came because of the spirit of indulgence that had invaded the Roman world—the games, the pleasures, the baths. The moral rot that had entered into the heart of the Roman Empire was the cause of Rome’s ‘decline and fall.’

It was not superior power from the outside, but internal rot that was Rome’s ruination.

And the really alarming fact today is that we are witnessing a similar declension in this and most other Western countries. This slackness, this indiscipline, the whole outlook and spirit is characteristic of a period of decadence. The pleasure mania, the sports mania, the drink and drug mania have gripped the masses.”

What should we do inmidst a society which is going down, which is under the wrath of God, as said in Romans 1:18-32?  Jeremiah talked into a similar situation ((Jer. 17:5-8):

„Thus says the LORD: ‚Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.

He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Or, take David’s advice on how I can trust in the Lord practically (Psalm 1):

„Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

…for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.“

———-

* quoted from: http://defendingcontending.com

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