Fallen empires

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast,” (Revelation 18:2).

One of the best known historical works is Edward Gibbon’s six volume The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, (1776-1778) where he blames such things as Rome’s culture of warped sex and violence, materialism and lack of discipline for the fall of history’s most storied empire. Once Rome had been known for virtues such as self-discipline and devotion to their country, but over the centuries that had changed.

Contemporary commentators have often pointed to the decadence of the West, and America in particular, and wondered if our culture might be facing the same tragedy.

Of course, Will Rogers had another explanation. “Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate. Now what’s going to happen to us with both a senate and a house?”

The same could be suggested of a religious fellowship, conceived and built with discipline and a sublime vision, but whose contemporary members are content simply to drift, “keep the doors open,” or rest on the accomplishments of their predecessors.

Have churches of Christ lost their missionary vision or zeal for seeking Bible answers to every spiritual question?

The key is to ensure that the creditable principles we have received will be passed on to the next generation. That is why it is so important to involve young people in activities such as devotional talks and teaching Bible classes.

That is why we need to remind them periodically of the great principles upon which the restoration movement has been founded. That is why we need to teach not only doctrine, but character as well, passing on not only Christian doctrine but Christian attitudes, too.

Teach them to love the Lord, love his word, and love his people!

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