In the book of Revelation we see some astounding things happening in the world prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Among them is a world leader who arises promising peace, but delivers something far different. We see war on a scale possibly unknown to mankind. We see horrific events involving famine and plague that seem almost out of the realm of possibility. We see a world system of finance that no longer involves a currency or currencies of the nations of the world. All these things seem so far fetched that many have written off Revelation as either a book that is to be interpreted non-literally – or as the rantings of a crazed prophet or worse.
Yet, as I read the news I cannot help but watch the stage being set for the return of Jesus Christ. We are watching our own nation on the edge of a financial Armageddon – not because of the debt ceiling debacle in Congress, but because we have $14.2 trillion in debt and actually think that more borrowing is not a bad thing for us. Because of our position in the world as the largest consumer nation, if we fall the world is coming with us. There is such an inter-connectedness in economies in our world today that a failure in the United States will bring down the world with it. But the debt crisis is not just in the United States alone. European countries who have embraced the lies of socialism are coming to their own day of reckoning as their ability to handle a debt explosion are coming upon them. Not only is the U.S. economy going to implode, but Europe’s as well – and they may get there first.
Consider the implications of all this. Two of the world’s largest economies are going to implode. With that we will see a collapse of the U. S. farming community as well – because without financial backing, the system we’ve maintained for our farming will fall apart as well. That will bring a lack of food the likes of which the world has not seen in modern times. With it will also come the looming specter of famine as one of the largest producers of food in the world suddenly will be struggling with feeding themselves as economics prevents the growing of food.
This coming economic Armageddon will also affect the nation that has done more to promote world health than any other on the planet. That work will come to a grinding halt as the companies that have pioneered much of the innovation and advance of medicine also implode. Medicines that have been readily available will soon find shortages popping up all over the world.
With this kind of financial meltdown will also come the inevitable showdowns between nations who are now facing dire choices as the shortages grow. Historically this has led to war between nations – because contrary to biblical truth – wars are primarily not engaged in because of political differences. James tells us that the reason for wars is because we want and we cannot have – so we argue and fight on a local level – but on a geo-political scale such arguments become wars.
Now add to this the growing problem of an Islamic radicalism that is wanting world domination and you have a recipe for a worldwide conflagration that is coming soon to a planet near you. Some will read this and commence hand-wringing as they try to figure out how to stop it. But the fact is that you will not be able to stop these kind of events when Christ’s return is imminent. When I look at the things that are happening now – I see two things. First I see that when a world sows to the wind, they will reap the whirlwind. Our world has been in rebellion against God since Adam’s fall in the garden. This rebellion seems to be reaching a critical mass in our day. The godlessness in our world only knows one other context historically and biblically – and that is the days prior to Noah and the first destruction of the earth by water. Just as the pre-flood world had to face the consequences for their sin and rebellion, so does ours – and that host of consequences seems to be knocking at our door. The second thing I see is possibly an engineering of all this as God is sovereignly working in our world. Please understand I do not see God as the author of such sin and wickedness. He is not responsible for the sin and rebellion – yet He is still sovereignly working through it toward the ultimate end of His eternal purposes. That eternal purpose has as its goal the summing up of all things in Christ Jesus – the ultimate punishment of the wicked – the ultimate reward of the righteous – and then the penultimate reign of His Son for all eternity.
So where does that leave us – you know, the ones who are still on this planet as these things hurtle toward their horrific conclusion? It leaves us where we have always been – redeemed ones of Jesus Christ who have a task before us. That task is to continue making disciples of all the nations – preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth – and preparing our own hearts for the return of our glorious Lord and Savior. The days and years will continue to be piled upon the past – until He comes and our salvation is completed as we are glorified in heaven. But no matter whether this end comes in days or years – or decades – or centuries – our task is the same as our brethren right after the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Preach Jesus – live Jesus – lead others to Jesus – disciple them for Jesus – and love Jesus until the end . . . whether it is an end as we die on this earth – or one where we greet Him in the clouds in a glorious reunion as He comes again!