The Apocalypse: Right On Schedule
If I were to script a pathway to the fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecy, it would go something like this: rapidly declining natural systems place huge pressures on human society globally, with droughts and storms placing pressure on water and food resources. Further significant pressures in the near future look assured. Conflicts ratchet up globally as so potential conflicts in search of a trigger point. The EU begins to unravel. The Pope gains power, prestige, and influence. Meanwhile, the US becomes a more and more politically radicalized, more hostile to minorities (especially religious minorities) and more and more hostile to the institutions that assure freedom and stability. Finally, the world becomes more and more, well, worldly, and becomes more and more aggressive in denying God and His law.
I didn’t write such a script but just the same, everything in it is happening. Everything. Let’s look at the elements of the script one-by-one.
Our natural systems (our atmospheric system, our oceanic system, our climate system, etc.) continue their rapid and accelerating decline. Our cryospheres at each pole are in extraordinary decline. This has weakened our jet stream in the northern hemisphere and set it so far off course that it often loops over the north pole or peters out altogether. We see tropical heat being delivered to the polar regions by a dysfunctional jet stream. We see upper level winds reverse course near the equator – something unheard of. As a result of system decline we are seeing the thermo-haline currents of the ocean disrupted and are seeing droughts and severe storms as a result. We see ocean levels accelerating in their rise. We see, in sum, our planet becoming more and more hostile to life. This means it is progressively more hostile to human society.
As the planet grows more hostile and as resources are used up (notably water, energy, mineral and soil resources) we see factions in human society more and more willing to engage in conflict to get the resources they want or need. What we’re seeing now is something like the wind beginning to pick up ahead of a storm. In other words, it is just beginning. Consistent with Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 24:6&7 that we would see nations (states) against nations and kingdoms (people groups) against kingdoms, we are seeing increased levels of violence that has state, ethnic, tribal, religious or economic aggressions at its root. Many examples are a mixture of the above list, such as the recent aggressions between India and Pakistan. One thing we do know is that as water becomes more and more scarce (through desertification, drought, glacial dissipation and shifting of weather patterns) we will see more and more water refugees and more and more conflict over water resources. We are seeing this now in India and parts of China.
As for the EU beginning to unravel, we’ve seen that with the UK voting to exit. We’re also seeing some small cracks in the remaining states. If they have a banking crisis in the next year, which is a very real possibility, then those small cracks will become yawning chasms.
The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church as a whole continues to gain credence and influence. This pope has tremendous credibility on environmental matters (see his Laudato Si encyclical). In his encyclical the pope said that the earth itself, as well as human relationships (such as between nations in conflict and between kingdoms in conflict) could be healed by practicing the Eucharist. The Eucharist, he said, is particularly powerful on Sunday. So, yes, this part of the script is very much fulfilled.
Who can argue that the US is not becoming much more politically radicalized? Not only is the nation as a whole feeling more threatened, but a substantial minority is willing and eager to tear down national institutions. In the meanwhile, racism and violence have risen along with interest in nationalist, white supremacist, and Nazi organizations that make the surging “alt-right”movement. For more on all of this, read this article in today’s LA Times.
Finally, who can deny that the world is advancing rapidly in its rebellion against God and His law? That is self-evident.
Prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes, and the end-times are directly ahead of us. The storm winds are already picking up. Is your relationship with Christ whatit needs to be to see you through these times? There is nothing else – nothing – for us to cling to. Is your fidelity to Christ sufficient that you are turning away to the world and turning more and more to Him? Are you proclaiming Him and salvation through Him?
The apocalypse is right on schedule and most of the church is asleep – just as Christ said it would be in Matthew 25:1-13. Time to wake up.