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Our civilizations and societies are doomed to fail when we follow anything beside God, who human beings (and civilization) were designed to run on.

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Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today I present another End Times post.

It’s a very chaotic time we live in. All around the world, society is full of divisions and conflict. How much longer can we go on like this?? It seems like society is bound to collapse at some point. And it will. This is the painful reality of life in the End Times.

When collapse comes, it won’t be unexpected, and it won’t be the first time either. Far from it. Time and time again, great civilizations who believed they were the most advanced societies in human history collapsed and disappeared. International empires crumbled, and new powers built empires on the ruins of the old one. One day, the new powers would collapse too. And so it goes.

But are we doomed to repeat this cycle forever?? Is there no escape from this foolishness of rise, collapse, rise, collapse?? Other Christian writers have pondered the same thing before—and there is only one answer.

If we don’t want our society to collapse, we need to make a society centered around God. We need a Godly society.

That’s the only way society will work. That’s today’s topic, so let’s get right into it.

Running on the Wrong Fuel

Photo by Pawel Nolbert on Unsplash

Have you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis?? It’s a classic book about our Faith, so many of you already know it. It’s a great book and obvious why it’s such a classic. One of the best books on Christianity you could ever read.

Early on, there’s this passage about God, man, and civilization:

A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. […]
That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended — civilizations are built up — excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Page 50

This got me thinking. Great civilizations have risen and fallen all throughout history. Every great civilization that ever rose up has always fallen — no exceptions. Babylon, The Roman Empire, any great civilization you can think of, it collapsed into ruin.

Each one became a pile of ruins and a chapter in the history books. The next empire to take their place built on top of the ruins of the previous empire. Then one day, this replacement empire crumbled too.

And each of these empires thought they were the pinnacle of human achievement. They thought their great civilizations would last forever. The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr made this observation:

One of the most pathetic aspects of human history is that every civilization expresses itself most pretentiously, compounds it particular and universal values most convincingly, and claims immortality for its finite existence, at the very moment when the decay which leads to death has already begun.

Reinhold Niebuhr

In other words, “pride goeth before the fall,” right?

Pride comes before disaster,
and arrogance before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18, (CEB)

The people of these empires thought they would always be on top of the world. That they could never be conquered. That the good times would never end. But they were always proven wrong.

What happened? Why couldn’t they learn from the mistakes of other civilizations and avoid collapse? Well the individual circumstances of the collapses were different, but the root cause is what C.S. Lewis said in the quote above. None of these civilizations were built to “run on God.” The civilization machine runs on the wrong fuel. It can run for a little while, a few hundred years. But if it wasn’t setup the right way from the start, it’s bound to fail in the end.

I recently read a textbook about collapse entitled The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter. This textbook is a classic in the field of studying the collapse of civilizations. Although I’m not going to quote from this dense textbook, I will sum up the general point Tainter makes in his book.

In The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joseph Tainter says what dooms a society to collapse is a situation of declining returns. Without going into detail, he basically says the cost of keeping a society running gets more expensive all the time. Meanwhile, revenue keeps falling. Eventually the empire or society can no longer be maintained.

The Roman Empire was the wealthiest empire in the world once. But so much of their revenue came from conquering weaker neighbors. When they ran out of easy conquests, their income shrank. The Roman Empire was increasingly unable to afford maintaining their own empire!! They entered a period of decline that lasted hundreds of years until they collapsed.

The Romans became unable to afford their empire over time because they financed the empire on a finite resource: Conquests. If only they had run their empire on the one resource that will never, ever dry up: God.

God is the only infinite resource in this world. God is the one resource that will never dry up, never extinguish, never expire. There is always more God; He is Infinite and Incomprehensible. A society that was set up from the beginning to “run” on God would never run out of the resource that keeps them going.

So what if we setup our society to run on God?? What would a “Godly civilization,” one dedicated to and dependent on God in every aspect look like??

The First Attempt

Some might say God already tried to make a Godly society. Throughout the Old Testament He spent centuries working on the Israelites, teaching and guiding them. In the Old Testament, it didn’t work. Not because of God, but because of us.

Human nature reared its ugly head. The kings of Israel became corrupt over time. The people turned away from the LORD and worshiped other gods. The rulers of Israel were motivated by greed and other vices instead of Piety toward the LORD, who gives us everything. But of course, as C.S. Lewis says, “this is what Satan has done to us humans.”

Our civilizations and societies are doomed to fail when we follow anything beside God, who human beings (and civilization) were designed to run on.

If only the people had kept their Piety, and stayed focused on the LORD. He would have blessed them and kept their society running. If only Israel had seen God as the infinite resource and blessing that He Is, instead of seeking after other gods (little ‘g’) and ruining their own society.

But how about after the First Coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah?? After God sent His only Son out of love for the world to redeem us, then what?? Do we have an example of a Godly society from the New Testament??

When God Is at the Center

In Acts 2 and Acts 4, we see a New Testament example of what a Godly society looks like. And it’s a powerful example. It’s the one that Peter Maurin always talks about**—a society where people live out the teachings of Jesus. A society where people aren’t focused on themselves, but on doing the Will of God. A society that runs on God.

**See End Times Part 96 for more info on Peter Maurin’s vision for society.

We see in Acts 2 and 4 how God—not themselves—was the center of the society of the early Christians. They shared all their possessions, so they weren’t focused on their own needs. This protected them from greed. Meanwhile, they praised God and did His Will everyday, placing Him at the center of everything. They devoted themselves to practicing what the apostles taught them about Jesus.

(42) The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (43) A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. (44) All the believers were united and shared everything. (45) They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. (46) Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. (47) They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47 (CEB)

Acts 4 continues the story, and we see how the early Christians shared everything they had. Again, this protected them from greed, which was the downfall of previous societies. All these believers cared about was Glorifying God by bearing witness to the Lord Jesus and serving their fellow man. There were no needy persons among them, because they shared all they had. They bore each other’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

And don’t overlook the fact that they had everything they needed!! There was an “abundance” of grace at work amongst them all (verse 33). We humans don’t need anything other than that.

(32) The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say, “This is mine!” about any of their possessions, but held everything in common. (33) The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all. (34) There were no needy persons among them. Those who owned properties or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds from the sales, (35) and place them in the care and under the authority of the apostles. Then it was distributed to anyone who was in need.

Acts 4:32-35 (CEB)

What we see in Acts 2 and 4 is a Godly society. It may not look like what you expected one would look like. But it’s undeniably a Godly society. God is at the center of the society and the people’s lives—not themselves. They share all their possessions and avoid greed that way. And they fulfill the teachings of Christ by taking care of each other, and outsiders too. It’s a simple society, but one that’s fueled by God, Love, and by doing the Will of God.

If we have any example of what a Godly society would or should look like, it’s this.

To our modern minds, such a simple society as this may not seem like an advanced society. But who cares about having an advanced society with tons of technology and convenience if God isn’t at the center of it?? If God isn’t at the center of a civilization, it’s doomed to collapse, like C.S. Lewis said. So what’s advanced about that?? And what’s the point of that??

Besides, Joseph Tainter in his textbook says that simple societies are less vulnerable to collapse. This is because it costs less to keep a simple society going; it’s less complicated, so it’s easier to run. If we add the LORD to the equation, who is the infinite resource who never runs dry for those who believe in Him, then we’ve got the one civilization that can keep running forever. It’s simple, it’s humble, but it’s what God designed us for.

Remember the C.S. Lewis quote. Human beings are designed to run on God, and so is civilization. If we try to run civilization on anything else (money, greed, productivity, technology), it’s doomed to fail in the end, same as every other empire throughout history. And as events unfold during the End Times, we’re going to see the inevitable social collapse happen again.

No one should be surprised when it does. We’re using the wrong fuel for our machine. We, as human beings, need to come up with a society that fixes this issue. If we don’t, we’re going to be stuck in this same cycle of empire failure forever.

Well that’s all for today. If you enjoyed today’s post, be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!

Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,



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One comment on “Do Not Fear the End Times Part 104: A Godly Civilization

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