- America faces an uncertain time. Across the political spectrum, people are talking about a “Second American Civil War.”
But what’s happening in the United States is happening everywhere. From North America to Central and South America. From Europe to the Middle East. Africa stays in a state of perpetual turmoil. India and Pakistan. Ukraine and Russia. Yemen and Saudi Arabia. North Korea and South Korea. China and all of its free neighbors.
Conflict boils over.
We have entered a period of worldwide political chaos. It’s exactly the situation that the Bible says will bring about the Tribulation period of the last days. That’s the time when the Book of Revelation will come to life. It will include a series of unthinkable disasters – natural, environmental, political, and spiritual.
This is not politics as usual. And it is not confined to a single political party.
In Mark 13:8, Jesus said that in the last days, “Nation will arise against nation.” When we go back to the Greek, we see that the word for nation literally means “people group.” It’s not just talking about war between countries, but also war within them.
And that’s what we’re seeing in America – and the world – right now.
But an even sadder war is unfolding — the war of parents on their children.
In just recent weeks, we learned about a Georgia man who left his 22-month old son to die in a steaming hot car.
A Texas man who slit the throats of his 8-year-old son as he pleaded, “Daddy, I’m sorry!” and his one-year-old daughter as she cried.
A Colorado man who confessed to killing his pregnant wife and probably killed his two young daughters and buried them in a crude oil well.
A Jordanian Muslim man living in Texas who tried to kill his daughter because she shamed him by leaving Islam. He managed to kill her husband and her best friend.
In 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul says that “in the last days… men will be… unloving….” (2 Timothy 3:1-3 NASB) The King James Version says that “men will be… without natural affection….”
“Natural affection” is a translation of the Greek word, “stergo.” It refers to the love that binds parents and children together.
The word actually used in this scripture is “astórgous.” It adds an “a” to the beginning. The “a” is a negative. A “theist” believes in God. An “atheist” does not believe in God.
“Stergo” means the “natural affection” we feel toward our children or parents. “Astórgous” means “without natural affection.” It’s not just “unloving” or “unkind,” as so many translations say. It refers specifically to people not having the affection that is natural for their own kids or parents.
In the United States alone, about 500 children each year are murdered by their own parents.
Of course, that figure is dwarfed by the 60 million unborn babies who have been murdered by their own mothers since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
But these sad statistics — each representing an even sadder story — just prove the reality that we are in the “last days” that Paul described.
Lauren Geoghegan and her boyfriend Jay Austin, both 29, believed in a world filled with goodness and light. In fact, in April Jay wrote: “Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own.”
Were he alive today, Jay might not think “evil” is such a benign thing. But he is not. Neither is his girlfriend.
In July of 2017, Jay and Lauren set off on an around-the-world bicycling adventure. It ended tragically in Tajikistan when they and two other cyclist-tourists were brutally run down by five terrorists in a car. The young men then jumped out of the car and stabbed Jay and Lauren and two others to death. A fifth cyclist survived the attack.
Later, ISIS released video of the young men smiling and posing beneath an ISIS flag.
Sadly, Jay met evil face to face and learned that it is not a “make-believe concept.” Evil is real and the father of evil roams the earth desiring to ultimately destroy all of us.
Britain, too, is learning the hard way that evil is real. London is witnessing an explosion in stabbings, as well as car and acid attacks. There’s a section of London known as “murder mile.” In fact, in the last few years, violent crime is exploding all across Europe.
London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, blames the crime wave on “government cutbacks.” But, increasingly, others are beginning to realize that the real source of London’s increasing terror problem is radical Islam.
In fact, it’s happening across Europe.
In Sweden, for the first time in more than a century, it looks like the socialists may lose their lock on the Parliament. The Sweden Democrats are poised to become the largest bloc in Parliament after the September 9 elections. Though the mainstream Swedish media paint them as “racists,” they are not. They are pro-traditional-Sweden and this year’s elections are being primarily driven by concerns over rampant immigration.
When interviewed by a local TV news program, an unidentified Swedish citizen asked the question apparently on the minds of many Swedes: “Why should Sweden become a Middle Eastern country?”
But it’s not just Sweden beginning to fight back. Six European countries, including France, have now enacted nationwide bans or partial bans on the wearing of face veils. Three others have bans in local cities. And four countries, including Germany, have legislation against veils pending.
It is a safety issue since the police need to see faces. Also, the EU’s fight against terror increasingly depends on surveillance cameras that can’t see through veils. These cameras are hooked up to computers with facial recognition software.
But it’s more than just a safety concern. Europeans are finally beginning to realize that they are losing their historical cultures.
Revelation 1:5 calls Jesus, “The ruler of the kings of the earth.” (NASB) Knowing that, you might wonder why this world is in such a mess!
But it’s important to understand that, even though Christ has the right to rule the earth, He isn’t exercising His authority over the kings and kingdoms at this time. Satan won a temporary legal right to rule the kingdoms of the world when Adam foolishly relinquished his God-given authority to him in the Garden of Eden.
When Satan tempted Jesus by offering Him “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory….” (Matthew 4:8-10 NASB), the Lord did not dispute Satan’s temporary legal claim to those kingdoms — and the right to offer them to Him.
But Jesus knew that when His work on the cross was finished, Satan would be, too! In John 12:31, Jesus said, “The ruler of this world shall be cast out.” (NASB)
It’s only a matter of time until Christ comes back to earth and claims His rightful role as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! What a day that will be!
But the Apostle John assures us that, in the meantime, we have not been left to ourselves. He proclaims that right now – just as we are – we are loved with the continuous and pure love of Christ. Sometimes we’re tempted to think that the love of God had its highest culmination in the past, when God gave His Son to die for mankind.
But the case is just the opposite. God’s love then was for His enemies. Now, it’s for His friends. Then God’s love reached out to man in all his ugliness and sins. Now it floods believers who have been washed from their sins and clothed with Christ’s robes of righteousness!
Revelation 1 says, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6 KJV)
He has “washed us from our sins” – past tense. It’s already done. If only we could get it through our heads that we have been cleansed from our sins and their eternal judgment! He “has made us kings and priests” in Him. Again, that’s past tense. It’s done!
The fullness of God’s great love is a present reality and His forgiveness of our sins is a past fact. We don’t have to wait and work to be forgiven. The work was fully accomplished when Christ shed His blood for us two thousand years ago. All that remains is for us to accept the pardon, which God is so eager to give us and to delight in the realities of His ever-present love!