by Howard Green
No one knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. Time after time, people who have tried to pin point the day, month, or year…..are proven wrong. The Bible does instruct us to be ready for that day over and over again. Some of the words or phrases it uses to warn us are: to be sober, be alert, must also be ready, let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch. Many of these instructions are accompanied by descriptions of how people will be asleep, drunk, eating, drinking, marrying, and even scoffing about the Lord’s return. The spiritual blindness that envelops the world has them believing things will continue on as they have been. In this article, we will view deteriorating global conditions through the clear biblical lens that warns: people will say, “peace and safety,” then sudden destruction follows.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
Sin, spiritual darkness, moral decay, and decadence has blinded many of this world’s inhabitants to the fact that a day of reckoning is coming. This planet will see economic chaos, wars increase, natural disasters mount, and evil unhinged on every side as history reaches it’s final climax. The Bible warns us numerous times about how severe global conditions will be prior to Jesus’ return. I believe there are several reasons for the Bible’s warnings. One reason is the fact that…understanding the perilous times we live in will motivate us to live holy lives as believers. 2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…
Another primary reason for the Bible’s warnings is the fact that……a majority of the people in this world are blind to the fact that Jesus is coming soon and there are clear signs everywhere pointing to that climatic event. A biblical understanding of the times we live in should motivate every Christian to witness to others. We have been commissioned to go into all the world and preach the gospel. In my own heart…knowing that time is short creates a sense of urgency to tell people about coming judgement and salvation through Christ alone.
I can understand how people in the world are not discerning about the perilous times we live in, but what I cannot fathom, is the deep depth of apathy regarding Bible prophecy and the nearness of the Lord’s return I see as widespread in the church today. I explain root cause of last days apathy among many believers in detail in previous articles: Is Bible Prophecy Relevant Part One and Two.
It’s safe to say that many christians are clueless about how current geopolitical conditions point to the nearness of Jesus’ return because they don’t study Bible prophecy or simply ignore it altogether. That’s a shame because there are things happening all around us that point to the fact that….this world is growing darker, more volatile, and more desperate with each passing day. Let’s take a look at some of the news from just the last few days to get a realistic view of current global conditions:
The situation in the Middle East is unstable on every side. Tensions are rising in the region and Israel faces increased threats as never before:
Lt. Col. Steinberg, Commander of Battalion 931, said his forces do not encounter Hezbollah on the border fence daily, but that didn’t mean their forces and 100,000 rockets were not there. A considerable risk remains of an inadvertent conflict breaking out and escalating quickly. This could begin with a Hezbollah response to IDF action, with Hezbollah moving advanced missiles into southern Lebanon. -Jerusalem Post
Iran and it’s proxy Hezbollah are entrenched and empowered by the presence of the Russian military in Syria. Iran has operators in both Syria and Lebanon and their goal is longterm and united. Their ultimate goal is to destroy the Jewish State. Both Iran and Hezbollah have free reign in the region do continue gaining ground unimpeded, except for the Israeli Lebanese border where the IDF. keeps close tabs on weapons shipments and has conducted airstrikes to stop weapons convoys from being delivered into terrorists hands.
It is still unclear whether Russia has a plan on how its adventure in Syria might end and if its new military assets on the ground, like the modern fighters and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, will remain there. Given this, it seems the longer the Russian military campaign in the region lasts, the stronger Moscow’s alliance with Iran, Hezbollah and possibly Iraq will become. This alliance threatens strategic Israeli interests with regard to Iran and Hezbollah. –Jerusalem Post
It remains unclear what role the Russians will play in the short term, but Ezekiel 38 tells us that there will be a day when the Russian army will lead a vast invasion from the North to plunder Israel.
The situation in the Asia-Pacific region could certainly boil over at any moment.
Although I don’t believe China or the United States desire a large scale conflict…it may be inevitable. With all of the saber rattling in the region and influx of weaponry into the contested South China Sea arena…..conflict may ensue by accident, miscalculation, or calculated risk.
The Chinese military has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of its contested islands in the South China Sea according to civilian satellite imagery exclusively obtained by Fox News, more evidence that China is increasingly “militarizing” its islands in the South China Sea and ramping up tensions in the region. The imagery from ImageSat International (ISI) shows two batteries of eight surface-to-air missile launchers as well as a radar system on Woody Island, part of the Paracel Island chain in the South China Sea. It is the same island chain where a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed close to another contested island a few weeks ago. China at the time vowed “consequences” for the action. Woody Island is also claimed by Taiwan and by Vietnam. -Fox News
The United States and it’s allies including Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines all have a strategic interest regarding the ‘free passage’ of ships and aircraft in the South China Sea. China continues it’s military build up to counter what it refers to as “continued aggression by certain parties.” China has made massive military gains in size, scope, and technologically advanced weapons systems. The latter is certainly due in part to the PLA’s theft of US. military data and classified information. China’s ultimate role in the end times remains to be seen, but with it’s growing military aggression…it’s quite possible that it will have a major part to play in the Armageddon campaign as the Kings of the East cross the Euphrates River to join the battle.
In just the past few months we had ebola and now the zika virus, and other outbreaks that continue to increase with time. In many parts of Africa and Asia, famine and drought dominate people who are desperately hungry and thirsty.
Islamic terrorism is at the doorstep here in the West:
It seems as though people, especially here in the West…forget that the threat of terrorism is very real and it posses a constant danger to everyone everywhere. For the most part…I believe people have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to the dangers we face.
The lives of the rich and famous, the Kardashians, and the silly musings over sports teams seem to dull memories of the bloodbath that terrorists brought to Paris last November. People forget about the beheading in Oklahoma, the murder and injuries of Canadian military members in Ottawa recently, or the shootings in a Lindt Chocolate store in Sydney that left two innocent people dead and several others injured. Islamic terrorism is a threat that cannot be ignored, although many people including Christians seem lulled to sleep by endless entertainment and complacency that mirrors the sentiment…peace and safety. Here is a report from just this week:
Top U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that ISIS was likely to attempt direct attacks on the U.S. in the coming year and that the group was infiltrating refugees escaping from Iraq and Syria to move across borders. ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016,” Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday. -CNN
In light of the dire economic situation in the world today, here are some current realities we are facing:
We are seeing signs of some sort of major market correction, large scale crisis, or total collapse in the near future. In just the past year we have seen the plunge of the markets in Asia and most notably China….along with the tanking of the Russian Ruble Oil markets and their major players like OPEC, Venezuela, and Russia are all dealing with the repercussions of the sinking oil prices. People are rejoicing at the gas pump, but it seems as though much more is at play, and only time will tell what desperate nations will do to gain their economic footing. No one knows exactly where all this economic news is heading and how things will play out. Many of the best economic minds are warning that we are in for a tumultuous ride and the end result could be catastrophic for the global economy.
This week….a famed investor is warning that financial Armageddon is just around the corner, and it’s being fueled by moronic central bankers. “We’re all going to pay a horrible price for the incompetence of these central bankers.” The Singapore based American investor said central bankers are doing everything they can to prop up financial markets, but it’s all for naught. He predicts their unconventional monetary strategies will lead to a stock market rally in the near future, but deep trouble later this year and into 2017. “This is going to be a disaster in the end,” he said. “You should be very worried and you should be prepared.” -Jim Rogers interview by CNN.
In Revelation 13:16 …the Bible tells us there will be a day when no one can operate in the global economic system without the mark of the beast. Make no mistake, this will be a system of worship. The Antichrist will institute total global economic control by requiring everyone to take the mark in order to buy and sell. No one can buy food, water, gasoline, electricity, medicine, clothing, or anything without having the mark on their right hand or forehead. This will be a time of total economic control. It brings the evil or the Nazis and Stalin to mind. The horrific and total control they wielded to oppress people is but a foreshadowing and microcosm of what the Antichrist will bring on the entire globe. We don’t know for certain, but it isn’t hard to believe that we are seeing the very tip of the beginning of a global economic crisis that will one day result in total domination by the beast.
Revelation 13:16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Despite all of the economic woes, threats of terrorism, geopolitical tension, and natural disasters…..many people are still lulled, entertained, or fooled into a sense of peace and safety. It is critical for every believer to be ready to give others a reason for the hope we have in us with gentleness and respect. As global conditions continue to deteriorate, some people will be looking for answers and hope. We know the God who gives hope…..not just when things begin to unravel, but for eternity! If you are a Christian, it’s not the time for apathy and business as usual. It’s time to be a bold witness for Jesus.
If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior…..you are in eternal danger. One day soon, the holy God of the universe will send His Son to judge everyone. There are only two possible outcomes you will face. One is eternity in heaven with Jesus and unsurpassed Joy. The other is an eternity in hell without anyone to help you. It doesn’t have to be that way for you. Today is the day of salvation for anyone reading this article, if you will repent and trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You can learn more about what it means to follow Jesus and salvation by clicking: Are You Saved.
Be alert, sober, and living holy even as much of the world is saying, “peace and safety” then sudden destruction.
All for Him, Howard