The Sunset of Civilisation

I preached in Sheffield last month, returning home that Sunday evening through the beautiful Peak District. Using the infamous Snake Pass, its windy, steep and narrow route rewarded me with beautiful views of lakes, mountains and uplands bathed in a warm, red glow from a slowly setting sun.

I remember once visiting Kenya and noted the absence of any lengthy sunsets or sunrise. That equatorial land went from bright daylight to darkness very quickly. We, being far from the equator, have long, drawn out sunsets in the summer. It means that darkness, though approaching, is delayed. When it is still bright at bedtime, it feels like the night will never come. 

We in the West have seen a decline in gospel light over the past 2-3 generations. It has been so gradual that some at first barely noticed. In some respects, our society has never been so bright, especially regarding technological advance and the distribution of wealth. Yet these benefits are just an evening sunset; darkness will soon be over us as our civilisation abandons even a pretence of living by God’s standard. Evening’s red glow, though pretty, does not last. Still, as moral darkness descends, let us remember that this too will not last forever. As a new morning follows the night, so the darkness of our end-time rebellion heralds Christ’s return.

The road ahead looks dark, but the morning is surely coming.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:13-14