Proverbs 29:16

When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

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Learn here about trends, polls, majorities, sin, the future, and a right worldview. God and Solomon want you to understand what is happening and will happen in the world. Each proverb was written to teach you wisdom, this one included. As the world gets worse, you should understand why and not be surprised, and you should know its certain future. Here is crucial wisdom for your life with a profound invitation buried in one single word.

The wicked love a majority – they need a crowd to bring their sins out of the closet into public view. They think numbers justify their opinions and practices. As trends develop, the wicked jump on the sin bandwagon, because their hearts and minds were always sinful. They crave the encouragement of a majority to make their abominations and rebellion public. The effect is a geometric increase in wickedness, as in today’s world.

Consider the rule. As the wicked increase in proportion to any population, the overall wickedness increases even faster due to the growing majority providing support for greater individual rebellion. It is hard sometimes to separate the growth in numbers from the greater degree of depravity, as you will often see them both increasing together. When a combination of factors comes into play together, wickedness can explode.

Wicked men multiply and wickedness increases for many reasons. Unknown to most, due to ignorance of the Bible, God hardens men’s hearts to greater wickedness by both prosperity and adversity, to justify His greater punishment of them for their sins (Ex 7:3; 9:16; I Sam 2:25; Ps 106:14-15; Jer 48:11; Rom 1:18-32; II Thess 2:9-12). Let the LORD be magnified! If you do not know this, you cannot even get started to see things correctly.

Corrupt governments and sinful rulers increase evil by the example of their folly and sin in high offices (Eccl 10:5-7; 3:16; Es 1:16-18), by legislating approval of sin (Dan 3:1-7; Es 3:15), by not punishing criminals appropriately (Eccl 8:11), and by not rewarding righteous citizens for their good (Es 2:21-23). Righteous authority in any segment of society can restrain wickedness by example and enforcement (Pr 20:8,26; Gen 18:19).

A decline in true religion increases wickedness. Pulpits are where men chosen by God are to preach forcefully against sin (Is 58:1). This was once a major influence in America’s moral uprightness. But sinners do not like such preaching, so they ask for a gentler message by false teachers like Joel Osteen or Rick Warren (Is 30:8-14). When this happens, as it is now around the world (II Tim 4:3-4), wickedness increases. Instead of a preservative of righteousness like salt, they are more like gasoline on a fire (Matt 5:13).

Humanistic education increases sin. When God-haters get the insane theory of evolution into the schools, they eliminate the restraint of a Creator with moral laws and the power of temporal and eternal punishment. Joined with the idol of existential self-love and self-esteem, children can do anything they wish, with the only guide of pleasing themselves. The fear of God creating a restraint is gone (Ps 4:4; 14:1-5; 36:1; Pr 9:10; Eccl 12:13-14).

Immoral entertainment increases sinfulness. The Beatles and Hollywood ruined morals everywhere, as they perverted their own. The shorthaired boys with white shirts and ties from Liverpool quickly degenerated to drug-stupefied, girlish devotees of Hamburg brothels and Hindu gurus. Consider the difference of Ben Hur (1959) and Titanic (1997). The entertainment industry is condemned before God (Ps 101:3; Pr 14:9; Rom 1:32).

The news media, which greatly influences society’s judgment of events, increases wickedness. They have not honestly reported a moral issue in decades – they are incapable of it for the factors above. They defend and promote the same insanity taught in the schools and glamorized in entertainment. Their slanting of all moral issues and blatant hatred for Bible Christianity reveals their devilish agenda. They are damned to fall.

Technological advances have increased evil. The influences above would have little effect without the modern ability to expose the earth’s population to them for little cost. Techno sins describes technology that allows or furthers wickedness. Witty inventions are good (Pr 8:12), when used for God’s glory, man’s righteousness, or a better standard of living. Every parent today faces threats to their children never imagined before.

Urbanization increases wickedness. The countryside is better than the city. As people leave rural areas of wise local ordinances, safe traditions, and fewer ways to sin for large cities, sinfulness increases. The more they pack together in a city, the more this proverb takes effect. God identified this factor when men united at Babel to rebel against Him (Gen 11:1-9). He divided nations and set boundaries for spiritual good (Acts 17:26-27).

Much, much more could be said about these factors that cause wicked men to multiply and increase their transgressions against God’s laws. Wise men that understand the times will consider these things soberly and research them out even further (I Chr 12:32; Esth 1:13; Eccl 8:1). These are the perilous times of the last days, which the Bible foretold (II Tim 3:1-17; 4:1-4). Hear God’s warning: prepare to stand against even greater sinfulness.

Once this snowball starts downhill, it gathers speed and size. As wicked men increase in number and individual rebellion, the result is a compounded increase in evil. If there are several factors working together at once, as presently; when all parts of society are rushing into sin under many influences, and God is allowing it to occur; you can count on a catastrophic event to occur soon to destroy them all for the righteous to see. Amen!

Consider the lesson illustrated. For 1500 years after creation, the wicked multiplied numerically by polygamy (Gen 4:19; 6:1-2). This increase in numbers brought greater boldness in sinning, which God saw (Gen 6:5). In holy anger, God destroyed them all, suffocating them in a worldwide flood (Gen 6:6-7). He saved righteous Noah and his immediate family, who saw the entire earth’s population drowned (Gen 6:8; Heb 11:7).

Consider another illustration. Wicked men gathered in the watered plains of the Jordan about 2000 B.C. Their cities were Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim. This conflux of wicked men led to one of man’s most abominable perversions – sodomy. What an increase of transgression! God had made the perfect Eve for Adam, not Steve (Gen 2:18-25). But these perverts abused each other (Gen 19:1-7; Rom 1:24-27; I Cor 6:9). God burned them all to ashes. Abraham saw the smoke of the fall of the cities (Gen 19:27-28).

It is similar today. Wicked men and their sins have increased by all the factors above in the last two generations. Two men in a bed is not a marriage in the Bible or in hardly any time of human history. Yet the rabid hatred of these perverts against the Bible, Christians, and traditional cultural and legal norms is shocking. Get ready. A fiery inferno is coming to burn the universe to destroy them (II Thes 1:7-10; II Pet 3:10-14; Rev 20:7-15). If you believe in opposite sex marriage out of fear of God, you will only watch the judgment.

Christian reader, do not let the increase of the wicked and their perversion of everything good trouble you. Jesus Christ – the coming Judge of the world – told His apostles, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). A new heaven and earth are coming for you, rejoice and live soberly (II Pet 3:10-14).

Do not let increasing iniquity in the world and in most churches cause your fear and love of God to turn lukewarm or cold, as it did for many following the Jews’ crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 24:12). Just forty years later, the righteous saw God’s vengeance on the Jews for the death of His Son, through more horrific tribulation on that nation than has ever occurred at any other time (Luke 21:20-24; Matt 22:1-7; I Thess 2:14-16).

While the wicked take comfort in their swelling ranks, remember that God has already declared that anything they highly esteem is an abomination to Him (Luke 16:15). He has already declared the world’s wisdom to be foolishness (I Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20). He has already declared them His enemy (Jas 4:4). If you choose God’s side and His righteousness, you are part of a large, totally victorious kingdom (Heb 12:22-24; Re 7:9).

What is the coming catastrophic event, when the righteous will see all the wicked fall? It is the second coming of Jesus Christ, as Lord of heaven and earth, when the great Day of Judgment will occur, and every man will give an account of himself to the holy God of the Bible (Eccl 12:13-14; Rom 14:10-12; II Cor 5:9-11; Rev 20:11-15). All the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire for eternal torment (Matt 7:21-23; 25:41,46; Jn 5:28-29).

The proverb taught several lessons about societal changes and coming judgment. But do you see the most important lesson? There are righteous men and women in the proverb! They are different from the wicked! They only see the destruction of the wicked – for God will spare them in His fury (Ps 37:34; 58:10-11; 91:8). Are you one of the righteous? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and start living His righteousness today (II Pet 1:5-11).