A New Normal Is Coming
Is our world normal? It may seem so, but it’s not. We live in an upside-down world that just seems normal. But the good news is a new normal is coming!
In the mid-20th century Professor Theodor Erismann, an Austrian professor, conducted an interesting experiment with his student and assistant, Ivo Kohler. He fitted him with goggles that used mirrors to make everything he saw appear to be upside down.
So, the ceiling became the floor and the floor the ceiling. Up was now down, and down was now up. What happened was interesting and baffled scientists.
At first, it was very difficult for the student to adjust. Walking was difficult. He stumbled around to find a chair. When he meant to aim high, he would aim low. Seeing smoke falling from a match or water pouring upward gave him weird sensations.
But after a week of wearing these upside-down goggles, he started to adjust. After 10 days, it began to feel normal. He was able to do everyday activities as easily as he had been able to do them before. He was able to walk on a crowded street and even ride a bicycle. He could even drive a motorcycle!
This experiment showed that if the images that reach our eyes are consistent enough, our brains can adapt and perceive the images as normal.
Something similar is true for human perceptions in general.
We are born in this world, and it’s all we know. This world is our normal. If you were born around the year 2000, can you imagine a world without the Internet? What on earth did people do “way back then” without the entire Internet accessible in our pockets? Having access to all this information at all times seems normal.
The many things that happen in the modern world seem normal as well. Fires burn millions of acres, and earthquakes, storms, hurricanes and floods wreak havoc around the globe. Nations threaten one another; there is poverty; and people get sick and die.
It’s just the way the world is. It seems normal.
When something shocking happens, it doesn’t take us long to adjust. The next time it happens isn’t quite as shocking. It becomes our new normal. Take COVID-19, for instance, and how it has changed our world. At first, lockdowns were shocking. But now, over a year later, for many of us they seem to be just the new normal, even to the point we expect lockdowns to come. (Here in New Zealand, as I write, we are in our fifth lockdown.)
Our world isn’t normal
But many things we see in our world are not normal.
We have, in a sense, been born with upside-down glasses, ones that we wear in our minds. We are seeing an upside-down world that appears normal to us. Since the Garden of Eden, this world has been upside-down, and in this upside-down world mankind is hiding from our Creator.
Let’s go back to the beginning. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and the creation was at peace. It was so good that God described it as “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Since the Garden of Eden, this world has been upside-down.Adam and Eve walked and talked with God Himself. That was all they knew. That was normal.
Then entered the serpent, Satan. He deceived Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit. Afterward Adam also made the choice to eat (Genesis 3:6). Then their world turned upside down. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes became open (verse 7)—not open to God, but open to Satan’s influence, which meant they became closed to God.
Instead of trusting in God, mankind has continued to live in spiritual darkness and has trusted Satan’s distorted perspective. That has resulted in this upside-down world that we live in, but the most tragic part was found in what followed. When God walked in the Garden of Eden and called for Adam and Eve, they hid from Him. God called out to them, “Where are you?” (verses 8-9).
They went from walking and talking with God—to hiding from Him.
This same phenomenon continues to this day. Most people “hide” from their Creator. They do this by rejecting Him and His way of life. In this upside-down world, one of Satan’s greatest weapons is normalizing evil. He influences our world to call “evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). The flipping of good and evil, right and wrong, is getting far worse than some could have even imagined:
- Abortion is not called the murder of innocent children but a form of health care.
- Immoral sexual lifestyles are now called lifestyle choices.
- The two genders that God created are now considered fluid and subject to however one identifies oneself.
- People who are atheists can now lead “Christian” churches.
- Instead of believing that an all-powerful God created all things, many believe that everything we see came into being by accidental chance and evolution.
And on and on we could go.
Even for those who believe in God, all this can start to seem normal.
“Normal” during the end times
Jesus compared the end times to the days of Noah (Luke 17:26-30). Noah lived in a time that was corrupt and filled with violence and evil (Genesis 6:11-12). That world was normal to those who lived in it.
But Jesus emphasized another aspect of Noah’s time: “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38).
None of those things are inherently sinful when done in moderation. Jesus’ point was that people will be doing what they do every day. They will be living life as if everything is fine and normal.
They will be living in a collapsing world, but they will live their lives as if it’s normal. However, the end-time world will be anything but normal. Consider some of the things the Bible prophesies will happen around this generation. According to Revelation 6:8, a quarter of the world will die as a result of wars, famines, pestilences and natural disasters. You can read more about this coming time in our article “What Are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?”
There is coming a time when mankind’s normal will be wiped away and replaced. But how will people respond to this devastation? By continuing to live their lives as if it’s normal.
God will raise up two witnesses to prophesy and warn this earth. They will even have the power to bring plagues on the nations because of people’s sins and refusal to repent (Revelation 11:10).
What will mankind do? Continue to live life as normal.
The seven angels will blow their trumpets announcing seven plagues, causing the greatest physical devastation this world has ever seen. Again, we are told how people will respond: “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands” (Revelation 9:20).
What does mankind do? Again, continue to live life as normal.
A new and lasting normal is coming
This phenomenon of everything going on as normal will end when the seventh, and final, trumpet is blown. At that point, the curtain on the spirit realm will be pulled back, and Jesus Christ will be revealed. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him” (Revelation 1:7).
After He returns, the most dramatic change in this world’s history will occur: “The kingdoms of this world [will] become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
God has remained hidden from the majority of mankind since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and were thrust out of the garden. Since then, most of humanity has been disconnected from the Creator. People have created their own forms of normal.
But there is coming a time when mankind’s normal will be wiped away and replaced. God will no longer be a mystery to mankind. His way of life will be revealed and taught to all.
Yes, Jesus will return and turn everything right side up. With the assistance of the children of God, He will build a new world. That world will establish a new normal. Righteousness and peace will be the fundamental principles of this new normal (Isaiah 32:17).
That new normal isn’t here yet.
But the good news is that you can practice that new normal today. You can rebuild your life on the principles of righteousness and peace by turning to God’s Word and building your life on the way of life it reveals.
Why not get a head start today on the new normal of tomorrow?