Remember this acrostic - P.I.I.G.S. This is an easy way to identify the five nation states that will soon be imploding because of their debt crises. The letters stand for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. These five countries are all drowning in debt that has been growing due to their penchant for socialism and all that a government can buy before their spending binges come to an end. Currently, Italy seems to be leading the pack, with an interest payment of over 200 billion dollars due soon - which it cannot pay. This is causing a panic in the European financial world because either someone bails Italy out of their mess - or they default on their loan and the nation basically goes bankrupt. The problem grows worse when you learn that all the other nations in this acrostic are in the same boat. They have accumulated debt to such a level that they cannot pay it back. Thus when one of these nations falls - the others are not far behind. It is a house of cards - and when one falls - the others will eventually follow suit. This brings us to see other problems as well.
The nations who hold the loans for these countries will suffer financial devastation as well. When Italy, Greece, or Spain (these three seem to be leading the pack for who defaults on their loans first) fails - these nations will be on the hook for their debt. They will lose billions of dollars. In Europe - Germany is the fall guy for most of this debt currently. But, there are also other players - the United States and China. Both of these countries will pay dearly for the defaults in Europe. China will fare much better because their economy is solvent. Our economy will most likely either collapse entirely or, will be pushed into another recession or depression.
What does this mean for all of us? I would like a comment on a couple of things. First - it means that this current financial world is bankrupt and is headed for a worldwide crash. Currently there is a situation that merits watching on this front. It is the fact that bank screens are reading 00.000 both for buying and selling all major currencies around the world. This is costing banks billions as they cannot do international transfers of money. Some believe that we are on the verge of a currency re-set that may pump potential trillions of dollars into the financial systems of the world. The problem is that this will not solve the financial problems the world is currently experiencing. The countries who are in deep debt are continuing on a path of socialism - where all problems are supposedly solved by the government spending their way out of them. All this had led to is governments spending themselves into financial crisis and ruin. The problem is spending - and unless socialism is renounced as a way of governing - we will simply spend through this infusion of cash - and wind up in the same situation again in a year or two - possibly even less.
The second thing I see is that this situation is building for a possible scenario that would fit the end-times. When there is worldwide financial crisis - it leads to worldwide political crisis as well. The source of wars according to James 4 is that we want and cannot get - so we fight and kill one another. It is easy to see that all the things that describe the great Tribulation period can be aided by a worldwide financial collapse. This will lead to wars, famines, and tumultuous times worldwide. Thus, we may be being set up for a time unlike any other in history.
The third thing I see is the rise of totalitarianism in the United States. When a country has financial devastation - it leads to political unrest. We already see some of this with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Currently, this group would have ceased unless the Democrat Party and the Mainstream Media had not propped it up and supported it. Amazing to me is the lack of reporting about rapes, murder, general lawlessness that runs rampant in this movement. Yet useful idiots are always helpful when a political overthrow is in the making. Already this current administration has trashed the Constitution as a governing document. The number of impeachment proceedings that should have already happened surpass all those previously carried out in history - yet they are not even being mentioned. The reason is because we are no longer a people governed by law - and we are also a people grossly ignorant of our own Constitution. This lack of knowledge is destroying our government as those who hold office routinely trample the Constitution without rebuke govern our land however they choose. What this will lead to is an eventual decent into totalitarian rule. I have begun to seriously wonder if we will vote again in a national election. All the laws are passed to prevent one from happening this fall. All that is necessary is an act of terrorism that leads our ruling class to decide that marshal law is needed. I do believe that if this happens - we will not recognize our nation as what she was previously (a Constitutional Republic) again.
What is a Christian to do in the midst of all this mess? Let me give you a list of things below that I would suggest in light of the current place we are in history.
1) Draw near to God - This is always the first thing on any REAL biblical list. Repent if necessary - return to the Lord with all your heart - and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Scripture reminds us of this in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33-34. We are told not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough trouble of its own. The question is this - have you sought the Lord and walked with Jesus today? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Are you living for eternity and the glory of God?
2) Move toward getting out of debt - If you can, be debt free (except the debt of loving one another). We are about to enter into a time where it will be very difficult to maintain much debt.
3) Cultivate relationships in the body of Christ - When push comes to shove - people are going to turn on one another in this world. That is why we need to have intimate relationships with the rest of the church. Build these relationships and seek to have them founded on biblical principles. You will need your brothers and sisters in Christ to make it through this time (geez, you'll need them to make it through ANY time in history). If you do not meet with a small group of believers in a local setting - START NOW! We may be facing a world in which movement over long distances will be restricted. You may need brothers and sisters nearby to fellowship with to maintain fellowship at all with fellow Christians.
4) Prepare for a financial collapse - Here is where some may think I've lost my mind. If a financial collapse of national proportion happens - you will see banks close left and right. Even though your money is insured by the FDIC - know this - even the FDIC will be bankrupt. That is why I would encourage you to eventually build up a week or two worth of funds to have on hand in such a situation. Some even counsel that we get physical gold and silver for this purpose. Another thing to do is to have a weeks worth of food in some kind of "freeze-dried" or other preserved kind of state. It also would not be too unwise of a thing to have some kind of tablets where you can purify water as well. I am not advising hoarding. This is just an emergency supply. (In all honesty such a kit is wise for no other reason than we live in a major earthquake zone).
5) Build Your Trust in the Lord / Prayer - Ultimately God is the One we will turn to if the world begins to crumble financially. I had the honor and joy of pastoring a small group of farmers who were in their 70-80's when I started being a pastor. I would talk with them and hear stories of the Great Depression of the 1930's. Their stories would focus on extreme need - and how God met their need. The one common theme in all this was that they knew the Lord - trusted in Him - and prayed for His provision. Are you living such a life now? Are you ready to lead your family in this way? Too many of us (myself included) are living more like the "American dream" than we are the "Bible Reality." We live a consumer lifestyle where we are living to consume - and do so often beyond our means. We need to return to a "biblical" lifestyle where our greatest teacher and example is Scripture. The life we live needs to be based on biblical principles - which will focus us on a life that trusts God - and seeks Him in prayer. This, more than anything else I've said previously, is what will prepare us to live in ANY TIME in history.
May God give us wisdom to see the writing on the wall - without Him having to write it in the midst of a party that precedes our downfall. These things ARE COMING. The true question therefore is are we ready for them - and ready to take the gospel to our culture in the midst of them?