“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be ratified, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”
The above quote sounds like the rant of a “mean-hearted, right-wing extremist” in the halls of our own Congress. But this warning came from Cicero to a declining Rome some 55 years before Christ was born. The truth is that no one can give away what they don’t have without paying a huge price. Rome just wouldn’t listen. Rome fell because of fiscal and moral decline. It seems that we will do the same because people just don’t listen.
The rise and fall of nations are what fill history books. We analyze their plights in retrospect, but fail to learn from history or apply the lesson in our present day To fail to apply is a failure to learn. Therefore, we will repeat history all-the-while convincing ourselves that somehow we have evolved enough so that we will succeed where other have failed. What is that which comes before a fall?
There are more important lessons than what Cicero taught. These lesions have to do with more than just the continuance of a nation, but they have to do with eternity. The world will say that eternity is simply the continuance of nations unless we destroy ourselves by “planet-poisoning” or the asteroid hits us. But Jesus says something much different.
He says that every person will exist forever. There are only two destinations in eternity; heaven and hell. The world laughs; they won’t listen. Jesus knows; He died on a cross to give us a choice. The world ignores; thinking He will go away, or simply not return. They won’t listen. But Christ still says, “Come, and I will give you eternal life.”
If Rome fell because they refused to hear Cicero, how great will their fall be who refuse to hear Jesus? The world’s warnings are for only temporal life. Jesus’ warnings have eternal significance. The world will not hear. Do we?-- Ben