The world has changed quite a bit since my most recent article. The United States and a coalition of Middle East countries have begun a war against ISIS in Syria and in Iraq (probably a protracted war that will make the situation in the Mideast even more chaotic) while the Ebola virus has finally caught the attention of the public.
I have focused a lot on end time topics in recent articles, so it may be time to change things up by discussing the time period we live in now. The purpose of this article is to give my thoughts about where the world is currently at and where I think the world is heading in the near future.
I believe that the world is undergoing the “sorrows” (also known as birth pangs) that Christ referenced in the verses shown in the following table. Christ said that we would hear about events such as wars, earthquakes, famine, and pestilence prior to His Coming.
- Widescreen view is best if viewing the following table from a mobile device.
|Birth Pang Conditions|
|False Christs||Wars & Rumors of Wars||Nation Against Nation||Earthquakes in Various Places||Famine & Pestilence|
|Matthew 24:4-7: (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.|
|Mark 13:4-8: (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5) And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (6) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (7) And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.|
|Luke 21:7-11: (7) And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? (8) And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. (9) But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. (10) Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: (11) And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.|
I do not believe the occurrence of birth pangs means that the end times have begun. In fact, Christ mentioned that we should not be startled when events associated with birth pangs transpire. However, we need to be cognizant about these events since they need to occur to prepare the world for the start of the end times.
The comparison of the time period prior to the coming of Christ to birth pangs is important due to the nature of birth pangs. Birth pangs increase in frequency and intensity as time progresses. Therefore, we should see an increase in the frequency and the severity of the conditions that Christ described, including pestilence.
The outbreak of Ebola virus is a development that has my attention since it is a form of pestilence. I do not know what the future holds with Ebola, but I would not be shocked if Ebola became a deadly global pandemic since that development would be consistent with the idea of pestilence increasing with severity over time.
Beyond Ebola, I do not see any reason to be optimistic about the direction the world is heading. I monitor economic and financial news and it seems like the next economic/financial crisis is approaching (recent months remind me of what took place in 2007 shortly before the crisis began). If the next economic/financial crisis transpires, then you will likely see a lot of political and societal turmoil in many countries. Interestingly, a recent Pew research study of global economic conditions found that most people around the world are dissatisfied with the direction their respective countries are heading. This means that many people are already unhappy with the way things are now. Imagine how much more unhappy people will become if/when the next major economic/financial crisis arrives.
I told my dad a few months ago that it is like we are living in 1914 just prior to the start of World War 1. I am not saying that a world war is about to break out, but the type of drastic change the world experienced from 1914 to 1919 is possible in this century given how fast events occur now. World events are accelerating as the world has become increasingly interconnected and as information flows instantaneously.
- I remember a time when most people had to wait until the morning newspaper to find out what happened on the other side of the world the previous day. Now people can monitor events on the other side of the world by checking out Twitter or a news app on their smartphones. I could not fathom living in a world like this when I was a child.
The speed that world events are accelerating means that it is possible that you may not recognize the world that we live in today five years from now.
I still believe we need to see a lot more chaos in the world before the start of the end times. I still expect the start of the seventieth week of Daniel to be preceded by a chaotic period of global economic, political, geopolitical, and societal turmoil that will be far worse than what we have seen in recent years. Given the speed that the world is changing, we might see the acceleration of sorrows sooner rather than later.