"Inching Christians had a reputation for running toward the plague. Not Away from it today. There's a new plague. That demands are responsible for the Colson Center. I'm John Stonestreet. This is break. Point between nineteen fifty nine and two thousand sixteen life expectancy in the US rose from sixty nine point. Nine years to seventy eight point nine years. Most people know that. But did you know that since then it's reverse course. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Paints a portrait of a society in deep trouble for the third year in a row now the average life expectancy in the. US has declined the last time. American life expectancy CONSI declined three years in a row war one and the Spanish flu pandemic killed six hundred. Seventy five thousand Americans. Now percentage wise that would be the same as losing two and a half million Americans today of course in the early nineteen hundreds there were no antibiotics viruses. Were unknown. Never mind antiviral all drugs. The germ theory of disease only recently been widely accepted in the US in the kind of public health and sanitation measures that we now take for granted. We're we're still in their infancy and today the. US spends a far larger share of its GDP on health care than any other nation yet. Other wealthy nations are not experiencing the same reversal in life expectancy in fact people in some less wealthy nations like Costa Rica have significantly longer life expectancies expectancies than Americans. So whatever is causing Americans to die younger and younger has nothing at all to do with medical science or technology as a recent Washington. Post article describes the causes behind. This dramatic shift. Are things like suicide. Drug overdoses liver disease and dozens of other causes. These causes are summed. Up in a phrase deaths from despair that was coined by researchers and case and Angus Deaton and other words we are facing an epidemic Amac of young people giving up on life sometimes before it ever really even starts for them as a public health expert told the Post people are feeling worse about themselves and in their futures at leading them to do things that are self destructive and not promoting health was the study shows. They're giving up a younger and younger age. The same hopelessness US leading to the uptick and deaths from despair is also driving what I call acts of desperation that we also see in our culture in this category add put acts of mass violence or abuse in the increasing number of young people willing to self mutilate in a pursuit for their identity. This sad story brings to mind Matthew Nine thirty six when Jesus saw the crowds. He had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. The Greek word that it is here translated compassion describes visceral reaction not a mere sentiment. In other words it's like Jesus felt this one in the gut. His response to their plight was to tell his disciples pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in to his harvest starting with themselves. Our current opinion of dying young should elicit a similar response from us as Chuck. Wholesome like to say it's time for the church to be the church like our Lord? We must see the harassed Aston Helpless around us. We must feel they're suffering as if it were our own and we must pray that God would show us how he'd have US respond. If as Paul told the Athenians got his determine the time and place where we live we cannot be spectators in this cultural moment to the unfolding tragedies around us God God has placed us here to act A. This doesn't mean we'll solve the problem anymore than those who ran toward the plague in ancient Rome could stop it. The restoration of all things will only be complete when Christ returns and glory but we can offer a preview of that restoration. Here now. That's what we and only only we have to offer the world if we can't bring ourselves to do this and something else is terribly wrong. This time with us"