Why does the world seem to be crumbling into chaos? Can the forces of anarchy be restrained so we can solve our problems?
Why does the world seem to be crumbling into chaos? Can we restrain the powerful forces working global changes? Is it possible to correct our decaying civilization and solve our problems? Sadly, we seem to have no comprehension of the unseen spiritual forces arrayed against us. We either reject or ignore the God who offers the only sensible solutions to the mega-problems afflicting our troubled age.
Stay with us on Beyond Today as we examine the real power behind today’s New World Disorder.
Iran erupts in riots after a questionable presidential election. Hundreds of thousands march in the streets protesting what they claim to be a rigged election. North Korea continues its march toward building a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the western regions of the United States. Hawaii goes on a semi alert status in preparation for a possible missile attack from North Korea.
The world economy continues to struggle through the worst period in more than a generation. Governments are rewriting the way they do business in an effort to keep the financial crisis from escalating out of control.
It seems the world has entered a period where all the rules are being rewritten.
Where is the world headed? Such horrors should make us think: Where is this world headed? Did the Bible predict this remarkable disorder? If so, where are we in the biblical time frame of prophetic events?
Today’s secular prophets—clear-thinking authors and journalists—are sounding the alarm.
One educator soberly warns us: “At the start of the 21st century, humankind finds itself on a non-sustainable course—a course that unless it is changed will lead to catastrophes of awesome consequences. This could be humanity’s last century, or could be the century in which civilization sets sail towards a far more spectacular future” ( The Meaning of the 21st Century , 2007, preface: Author and educator James Martin, founder of the Institute for Science and Civilization at the University of Oxford).
Humanity’s options are narrowing sharply. Intelligent observers of the world scene recognize that man must alter his ways soon or face eking out a bare existence in a shattered and disordered world. We are fast running out of time. We may have already passed the tipping point. Clearly we are seeing conflicts increasing at a dangerous rate–more than at any time in history.
Hopeful euphoria proves to be only illusion
It has been twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which led to the break up of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. World leaders spoke hopefully of “a new world order.” The accompanying euphoria in the media closely resembled a similar atmosphere that followed in the wake of World War I (1914-1918)—supposedly “the war to end all wars.”
A new phrase was coined “the end of history”—with humanity presumably poised to move on into a liberal utopia. The United Nations, many thought, would finally assume its rightful place in the world with peacekeeping and peacemaking dominating a new age of harmony among nations.
But all this euphoria soon proved to be a deceptive illusion! If this period was a brief window of opportunity to create a new world order, it soon passed into history. Instead what the world would soon see were horrendous terrorist tragedies… like 9/11, the severe weakening of governmental authority and a growing intensity of religious, tribal and ethnic conflict—exacerbated by radical Islamic ambitions.
The late Harvard professor and political analyst Samuel Huntington (1927-2008) summed up some of our ever-increasing problems very well just over a decade ago in his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order:
“The West’s victory in the Cold War has produced not triumph, but exhaustion. The West is increasingly concerned with its internal problems and needs, as it confronts slow economic progress [now a severe world recession], stagnating populations [disturbingly low birth rates among Caucasians], unemployment, huge governmental deficits, a declining work ethic, low savings rates, and in many countries including the United States social disintegration, drugs [blatant abuse], and crime” (1998, p. 82).
How accurately prophetic this brief summary turned out to be. And how much worse world conditions have become since these sobering words were written more than ten years ago. But, as the popular saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
After describing chaotic world conditions to occur in the time of the end—which sound disturbingly like those we are beginning to see all around us—Jesus Christ said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).
The news we wish would go away
What I have said thus far is only summarizes. The specifics, however, are stark and scary.
Consider the current recession. The previously exalted symbol of U.S. capitalism, the giant automaker General Motors has gone into bankruptcy and is now literally controlled by the US government.
At the federal level, the president’s budget deficit levels reach into the $2 trillion range. Huge inflation and/or unwanted tax increases wait ominously on the horizon. We have forgotten the biblical proverb telling us that “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). At some point the day of reckoning must come.
Troubling news from North Korea
What about international news? “North Korea announced…that it was abandoning the armistice that ended the Korean War 56 years ago, and threatened war if there were any attempts to search its ships for weapons of mass destruction.”
A recent Hiroshima-sized nuclear warhead underground test, restarting of a reactor to produce nuclear material, test-firing of new missile designs—what’s next for this rogue state?
British author Max Hastings is known for telling it as he sees it. He recently wrote: “North Korea’s ruler may be mad. But his threats expose the impotence of America and the amorality of the Chinese.”
This veteran journalist goes on to highlight the sad truths that “most of North Korea’s 23 million people live on the brink of starvation” and “almost half of its national income is squandered on the armed forces and nuclear programmes.” “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people,” Proverbs 28:15 tells us.
Mr. Hastings continued with his most telling point: “The very fact that Kim Jong Il feels able to rattle his sabre at all speaks volumes about the shifting global order and in particular about the shrunken authority of the U.S. and her allies.” )
The leadership of the United States is being challenged–just as it has in the past. But will this challenge result in a different outcome? Will America’s role as leader of the free world remain? You and I better hope it does because our standard of living depends in large part on the stability America provides in today’s world.
What’s behind the general decline of the West?
Back in the mid 1960s political theorist James Burnham wrote a book titled Suicide of the West. He began by noting that between the years 1900 and 1960 the West lost considerable ground both in territory and population in comparison to the rest of the world. Mr. Burnham sought to understand why.
His conclusions are no surprise for those who truly understand the Bible: “The contraction of the West cannot be explained by any lack of economic resources or of military and political power … We must therefore conclude that the primary causes of the contraction of the West [which continues on into the 21st century] … have been internal and non-quantitative, involving either structural change or intellectual, moral and spiritual factors … in a way ‘the will to survive’” (1965, p. 23-24).
This is the heart of the problem. “moral and spiritual factors” imply belief in God and a set of standards such as the Ten Commandments. Loss of belief in a divine Creator combined with situation ethics has played a big role in the declining influence and authority of the United States, Britain and other nations in the Western world.
Our free booklet Is There Really a Devil? shows how far these root causes reach back into the past. “Starting several centuries ago, and prompted by the theories of men such as Charles Darwin—who fabricated a way to explain creation without the Creator—many people began directly challenging the authority and inspiration of the Bible. They began to ridicule, as a mere myth and superstition, the existence of a spirit world, long accepted without question by those who believed the Bible.
Having cast away the revelation found in God’s Word, people cast away the knowledge that sheds so much light on the current tragic state of our world.
The Bible reveals the existence of a spirit world headed by God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, who rule the righteous angels in the angelic realm. Our free booklet Is There Really a Devil? explains the story of the angelic world.
So request your FREE copy today! Call toll-free 1-triple-eight-886-8632. That's, 1-triple-eight-886-8632, or go online to beyondtoday.tv.
The zeitgeist afflicting mankind
The book of Revelation, written by the apostle John, contains one of the most pivotal passages in the Bible. Revelation 12:9 tells us, “That serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, … deceives the whole world.”
Stop a moment and think about this one single verse. It tells us that the vast majority of the inhabitants of this world are out of step with God. Most people believe things that are simply not true. They are taken in by false and lying philosophies of all kinds.
Another biblical passage also penned by John expresses this same basic spiritual deception: “We [true Christians] know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).
Much that happens in this world is due to a struggle between powerful spiritual forces. “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against [unseen] powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I said at the top of today’s program that the human race as a whole has no real comprehension of the spiritual forces arrayed against it. I was speaking principally of the invisible demonic realm that has power to influence the minds of human beings and to trigger massive world events.
There is a term… “the spirit of the age.” Most fail to realize that the real source behind that spirit, the basic attitude of the age, remains the unseen demonic realm headed by Satan the devil, “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Revelation’s Political Beast
Both the Old Testament book of Daniel and the New Testament book of Revelation describe the future emergence of a great geopolitical power described by Daniel) headed by two charismatic individuals whom the Bible calls “the Beast” (its political leader) and “the False Prophet” (its religious leader).
Speaking of the human race at the time of the end, God’s Word tells us that “they worshipped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” (Revelation 13:4).
You’ve heard of “devil worship!? But nothing like this!
Such is the amazing extent of this absolute deception that this world’s inhabitants will actually worship the devil and his chief human cohort, who blasphemes God (verse 6). But so complete is this satanic deception, backed up by misleading signs and wonders (verses 13-14), that the vast majority will have no inkling of what’s really happening to their world.
People are asleep!
Take a quick look at a magazine newsstand sometime. Most periodicals are simply a waste of valuable time. You often search in vain for something worthwhile to read. Today’s massive obsession with the lives of celebrities, people who often drift from one meaningless experience into another, defies right logic and rationality.
Even today most people are simply not interested in God’s warnings from the pages of the Bible. When awesome events demand urgent action, when frightening world conditions require the soberest contemplation and the deepest introspection, the many millions doze.
Human beings cannot rescue themselves
Today we have quoted a number of secular sources from books and newspapers. Most were written by men who have studied world trends for many years and their contributions to human understanding should be deeply appreciated. Yet most of them think that if they could just get world leaders to follow their particular recommendations, things would turn out all right in the end.
Wisdom from a deeply respected American founding father will tell us otherwise. After their presidential terms ended, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson carried on a lengthy correspondence . In a letter dated July 9, 1813, President Adams told President Jefferson:
“While all other sciences have advanced[,] that of government is at a stand[still]; little better understood; little better practiced now, than three or four thousand years ago. What is the reason? I say, parties and factions will not suffer [allow], or permit improvements to be made.
“As soon as one man hints at an improvement, his rival opposes it. No sooner has one party discovered or invented an amelioration of the conditions of man or the order of society, than the opposite party belies it, misconstrues it, ridicules it, insults it, persecutes it”.
This is the Achilles’ heel of democratic government—rife with party spirit and strife. Adversarial opposition parties focus mainly on attaining high office rather than helping those in power rule wisely.
Imperfect human governments (including multi-state organizations like the UN and the EU) are not going to get a handle on this disordered world’s megaproblems. A new president will not change the direction the United States is headed. A change of administration will not halt our seemingly irreversible decline in morals and character.
Human efforts may fail but there is coming a different government at the hand of God.
Don’t believe it? Stay tuned for more and find out.
Questions for Beyond Today guests
1. What is the prime cause of conflict and disruption between nations? Why can’t governments get to the root of problems with a solution?
2. What does it mean “we wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places?
3. How will the world ever be turned around? Can it be saved?
4. Is it impractical and unreal for us to talk about and look for “the kingdom of God”?
What’s behind the chaotic conditions we see in the world around us? Why can’t we solve the longstanding problems that threaten to overwhelm us? You need to understand where this world is going and why—and why we need God’s divine intervention to save us from destruction
The Bible tells us Christ will bring “the times of restoration of all things”–the godly government and kingdom that mankind has always hoped for.
Only God can rescue humankind by sending Jesus Christ back to earth to save us from the chaos we have created. He will restore right government. As Revelation 11:15 says of that coming time, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
Be sure to watch us next time on Beyond Today. Thanks for watching!