Is The World Getting Better or Worse?

As a kid in grade school I often heard a debate about whether the world was getting better or not. 

“Better,” my teachers said. 

“Better,” my T.V. screen told me. 

“Worse,” my parents said. 

The question rankled mom and dad, who as part of an older generation had seen a certain decline in the morals of the country. 

“Much worse,” they shook their heads. 

This week I’ve been reading 2 Timothy. The writing by Paul the Apostle stopped me because the words scrolling seemed so now, so much today. Read each descriptive word. 

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people 

will be: 

  • lovers of self, 
  • lovers of money, 
  • boastful, 
  • arrogant, 
  • slanderers, 
  • disobedient to parents, 
  • ungrateful, 
  • unholy, 
  • unloving, 
  • irreconcilable, 
  • malicious gossips, 
  • without self-control, 
  • brutal, 
  • haters of good, 
  • treacherous, 
  • reckless, 
  • conceited, 
  • lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 
  • holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; 
  • avoid such people as these.” 

(2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB) 

Hmmmmm. Well then. 

Globally there is a whole lot-a bad happening. We read about it, see it on our screens, and feel it in conversations; events that surely pain the heart of God.

While we see ourselves within our own contemporary context, Paul saw his then, and these same things applied. He wrote these verses at the end of his life. Soon after he himself was put to death for his faith. He was abandoned, lonely, and in prison. 

He wrote what he saw. People, with a semblance or appearance of knowing right from wrong lived without true belief. People bent on saving themselves, set their own foundational rules. 

photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Jean-Paul Sarte, philosopher and Marxist political activist from the mid-1900’s is attributed with this quote, “Life is an empty bubble on the sea of nothingness.” That hopeless picture gives a despairing picture of a world without absolutes. It describes life without an anchor. 

Unfortunately, like Sarte, many ride the seas of nothingness.     

My husband’s uncle, a minister of the gospel, coincidentally named Paul, owned a small sail boat. When Uncle Paul took my husband and I out to sea, the wind skimming us over the water, he talked about drift. I remember how easily a small sailboat like his, prone to drift, could be carried out too far. I remember him lowering an anchor into the water so we could enjoy the view and the moment without peril. 

We have an anchor.  Jesus is our anchor in the calm and in the waves. We do not simply sail along on a sea of nothingness, the tide does not need to take us where it wills. We need not throw up our hands in despair at drifting undertows.   

To be lost without Christ today is just as lost as lost has ever been. 

To be saved by Jesus Christ today is just as miraculous, undeserved, and unmerited as when He died and rose again.

Christ followers distinguish themselves by being different, set apart. Jesus has changed our DNA so that transformation through Him accomplishes that which all good intentions cannot. We don’t drift into thinking as those who don’t know Him, nor acting like them. We do not ride on untethered currents which lead to hopelessness.

No leader, political agenda, or world view can fundamentally change souls. Only Jesus can.

The gospel transforms hearts first, the rest follows. The world may not be better than 50 years ago. In fact, it may grow exponetionally worse, but the answer remains solidly unashamedly in Jesus Christ alone.

  If Paul’s list in 2 Timothy 3 feels at first like kindling on your fire, as it did mine,  instead tilt your head upward to gaze heavenward, away from upending waves. 

Jesus is the anchor. 



*feature photo by NASA on Unsplash

22 Replies

  1. Gaytha Reply

    Thank you,Sylvia, for this beautiful reminder of the truth.

  2. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply


  3. Beth Reply

    Beautiful post Sylvia! How grateful I am that Jesus is the anchor that keeps us from drifting with the tides of the times.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Beth. I am grateful too! So glad He gives His Word, because on my own it is so difficult to recognize drift. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  4. Lori Strietzel Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia, your words definitely reminded me to look up!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Lori. It couldn’t have accomplished anything better than that!!

  5. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Many years ago when SCOTUS removed prayer and Bible reading from public schools, my mother said, “Watch everything go downhill after that.”

    She was right. And so were your parents. Thanks and God bless!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yours and mine!! Thanks Nancy. Grateful for a Sovereign Ruler who knows what He is doing!

  6. Don Pahl Reply

    Well done, Sylvia!
    And we can complain about the drift or offer the Anchor!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you for that. It is far too often I complain about the drift and do not offer the Anchor. I appreciate your reminder!

  7. Annie Yorty Reply

    It’s hard to fathom how long these “last days” will stretch out. I think we can expect things to keep getting worse, but there’s nothing new under the sun either. You remind me to make these days count.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Annie. Making these days count may be costly, but exactly the posture we need to take. Thanks for your thoughts!

  8. Jennifer Reply

    I went to a wedding the other day that had no mention of God whatsoever. It felt as empty as the quote you gave. I can’t imagine my life without the hope of Jesus in it. Thank you for the analogy of the anchor. I could relate. Great post.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. I appreciate your thoughts and observations. How often God is left out of the things He Himself instituted or created.

  9. Yvonne Morgan Reply

    Great message Sylvia. Our world does feel like it is getting darker by the day. Jesus is our only hope.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Jesus is our hope, indeed. This hope is brighter than any darkness. May we shine. Thanks so much Yvonne!

  10. Katherine Pasour Reply

    I think Paul’s letter confirms that the problems we have now are the same as the ones in his time. Thankfully, the solution is available (as it was then). Jesus is Lord of all. He’s our Savior. He is love manifested. Only He can save us. Much prayer needed for our nation and the world. Thank you for this thought provoking message and a call to action–PRAY!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I often wonder how long the early church thought the “later days,” would last. I know my parents didn’t think things would continue on this long! May we be faithful in this generation to pass on to the next, Jesus is the Anchor. Thanks Katherine!

  11. Martin Johnson Reply

    Such a good post and sadder yet, Paul was referring to the church becoming lovers of themselves and things. Like our Jewish forefathers, the church has drifted from their beliefs.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Martin. Certainly as a church it is a crucial moment. We need to be anchored tightly to God’s Word. I appreciate you adding your thoughts.