Should believers try to bring back the good ol’ days in order to combat worldliness in our own day and make it easier to live in this world? I do not think there are any good ol’ days to bring back. There are no good ol’ days, except prior to the fall and even those days were not the best of days (Adam could, and did, fall into sin.). The best of days are yet to come. The end is, after all, better than the beginning (and the middle). As bad as our day may appear to be and actually be, in essence, it is the same as always, since the fall into sin.
The hope (i.e., confident expectation of something in the future based on what God has said) of the Christian is that better days, way better, are coming. But there’s more. We do not have to wait for help to come in the form of the eternal state of affairs after Christ’s second coming. There is help in the now. Our Lord Jesus entered into His glory at His resurrection. Human nature in a sinless representative Person was exalted to a status it had never experienced before. The virtue, the power, the glory of Christ becomes Christ’s people’s in installments. We receive some of the benefits of redemption – the forgiveness of sins, justification, adoption, and sanctification – now. We get consummated glory in our own persons when He comes again. In the mean time, grace from our exalted Mediator comes to souls via the means of grace (I am thinking primarily of the Word of God, prayer, baptism and the Lord’s Supper) instituted by God. The means of grace are conduits through which world-to-come blessings are delivered by the Holy Spirit from the exalted, glorified Mediator to elect souls now.
Should believers try to bring back the good ol’ days in order to combat worldliness in our own day and make it easier to live in this world? No. Easy living as a believer now is a myth. So what should we do? On the private level, we should read our Bibles and pray, then obey God in all spheres of life. On the public level, we should go to church (and join one), where the Word of God is sung, read, and preached, prayer is offered, and the sacraments are employed, then obey God in all spheres of life. The grace that comes through the ordained means is able to keep us from being consumed by consumerism, no matter how consumeristic our surroundings might be. The more grace we have, the more clearly we are able to see the world (and its trappings) for what it is and the more clearly we are able to see that the real problem is within not without. Growth in grace in the midst of this world is a slow but sure (and often painful) process. It is only possible with the due use of means. Our only hope for godly living now is God’s blessing upon the means of grace. The end (i.e., growth in grace) is God’s to give; the means (i.e., the Word of God, prayer, etc.) are ours to use.
In conclusion, 1) there are no good ol’ days, 2) this world (in the Rom. 12:2 and 1 John 2:15-17 sense) is essentially the same in all places and times since the fall into sin, and 3) believers, use the means of grace, praying God’s blessings upon them. In light of this, we urge any unbelievers to believe the good news of the gospel (i.e., that God has provided the way back into His favor through Jesus Christ) and join yourself to a faithful church.Richard Barcellos Grace Reformed Baptist Church Palmdale, CA .