As A.D. 2009 dawns, it is imperative for believers everywhere to keep firmly in mind what the A.D. means. Anno Domini. The year of the Lord, the year of the risen and exalted Lord Jesus Christ.
The world about us is currently in great turmoil—a swirling mass of trouble, conflict, and distress. Battered economies strip men of jobs, savings, and homes, with no end to the financial difficulties in sight. Bitter religious conflicts continue to break out into violent attacks. Terrorists strike, inflicting death and destruction. Unending civil wars and tribal conflicts lead to genocide and atrocities, heartrending atrocities of man against man. Death and starvation stalk the poor in lands with brutal, self-serving rulers. Crime continues unabated. These and so many more problems confront the world in 2009.
The problems are vexing. Individual groups and governments struggle in their own countries, but seem to make little headway. Increasingly the world recognizes that the problems are not national, but international. When governments and organizations around the globe are wrestling with similar or even identical problems, and not overcoming the difficulties, what is the solution? The obvious answer of natural man is this: one world government. All nations must work together, with one purpose, one voice, and one power. Without that unified effort, the solutions to the world’s problems will remain elusive.
The year 2009 will see the world take another step towards the one world kingdom of man. The tower of Babel revisited. The healing of the great wound inflicted on the Beast.
Is it not obvious how global are the problems man faces? When the sharp drop in stock prices in the United States leads to immediate instability and tumbling stock prices in Japan, Great Britain, and elsewhere, it is obviously one world market. When a major surge in building and industry in China leads to shortages of cement in the U.S. and sharp increases in world market prices of oil and cement, it is obviously one world market. When much corn committed to the production of ethanol fuel in the U.S. contributes to spikes in food prices in many countries and riots among the poor in these lands, it is obvious that the world is one. Is it not also obvious that the solution to the problems of shortages and destabilized economies is one world government?
Terrorism is a global problem. The world saw the twin towers in New York City crashing to the ground in September of 2001, and discovered that all the participants were members of al Qaeda, and all from the foreign land of Saudi Arabia. This hydra-like organization reappeared in Iraq, with members trained in neighboring countries. Recently it struck again, this time in India, with members (it is reported) trained in Pakistan. What can be done to stamp out terrorism, which so easily crosses borders to inflict destruction and death? One world government.
The world faces serious issues regarding human population. In some areas of the world, notably China, the population threatens to explode, placing huge demands on resources, beyond what China can produce. In other places, notably Europe, countries face serious depopulation and the possibility of having no workers for essential jobs. Would not one world government be better able to distribute the population of the world and avoid war and the dreadful social consequences?
In various countries, especially in Africa, wars and revolutions drag on. Genocide and horrible atrocities are recorded by news media, and the nations stand helplessly by, wringing their hands, issuing one toothless ultimatum after another. One world government could put an end to such senseless killing.
Some peoples and lands are afflicted by inhuman despots, determined to suck the wealth of the country and indeed the very life of the people from them, only to enrich themselves. The world knows of these evil rulers. But it cannot stop them. One world government could.
Illegal drugs ravage the youth of rich countries. Governments battle the importation of the drugs, but are stymied by the fact that dirt poor farmers in foreign lands will continue to grow these cash-crops in order to feed their families. Could not one world government deal with these problems that cross national boundaries?
There are places in the world where people are starving to death. The world produces enough food and could feed them, but the rulers of the region refuse to allow the food to reach the dying. One world government would eliminate this needless suffering.
Likewise, one world government could prevent criminals from slipping over national borders to escape arrest and punishment. It could put an end to international trafficking in slaves, including children. And could it not unite the efforts of the nations in technology and medicine to conquer so many more diseases?
And last, but hardly least, the world is convulsed by violence caused by religious differences. Conflicts between Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Christians, Muslims and everyone else, results in much bloodshed across the globe. What is the solution? One world-wide church, backed up by the one world government. This will be the solution of man.
This “prediction” that the nations will soon see the need for one world government is not based on some conspiracy theory. Such theories abound, namely, that some powerful men are secretly plotting the takeover of the world.
Rather, we know this one world government will appear because the Bible so instructs us. Man, in opposition to God, seeks worldwide federation, imagining that his kingdom can prevail. This was man’s solution at Babel. God, after allowing there a glimpse of what men will always seek to attain, fatally divided that kingdom with the confusion of tongues. All through history, Satan has been striving to overcome God’s dividing of the human race. Satan is working now. He will have his one last moment of “success” in the kingdom of the Antichrist.
This one world power will arise, the Beast out of the nations (the sea, in Rev. 13:1 and Rev. 17:15). The nations will voluntarily give their authority to the Beast (Rev. 17:12 —These [kingdoms] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.) They will do so because they are convinced that the Antichrist is the savior who can solve all the world’s problems.
This answer (one world government) is obvious to wicked men because they reject the only other alternative, the way of true peace—repentance and submission to Jesus Christ. God is not in their plans. Christ is their enemy. Their only hope of “salvation” is a kingdom united against God, a kingdom of man. And the man they want for their king is not the Son of Man, the Man of Sorrows, but the man of sin (II Thess. 2:3).
But this is a kingdom of frail men, not of the sovereign God. The number of this kingdom is 666, not the perfect 7 of God’s everlasting kingdom and covenant. It is doomed. Christ is coming, and He “shall consume” the Antichrist “with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thess. 2:8). The answer of the ungodly to all these global problems is no solution.
What is the answer of the believer?
The believer always starts and ends with God. In the face of all the troubles, his confidence is that God is God. God is sovereign. God is in control, also over all these vexing problems. He reminds us: “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Is. 46:9-10).
All these troubles, all these problems vexing the world, are from God Himself. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Is. 45:7). As he testified through the prophet Amos, “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6).
When the ungodly rage against Him and His Christ, God shall laugh them to scorn (Ps. 2). The Son whom God has set upon the throne testified to His church, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). The book of Revelation reveals the activity of this omnipotent Christ, directing all and executing God’s counsel perfectly. Man will erect his kingdom, as God has planned, but the Christ will destroy that kingdom and set up the eternal, heavenly kingdom.
The response of the believer in 2009 is guided by this certain knowledge. His response is not world flight. It is not time to flee to the mountains, though Jesus warned that that day is coming (Matt. 24:16-21). As believers, our response will not be either to engage in culture wars, though our Lord does call us to live antithetically (II Cor. 6:14-18). We will not be involved in political battles to take America for Christ, though He commands us to wage a spiritual battle (II Cor. 10:3ff.; II Tim. 2:3ff.; Eph. 6:10ff.). Nor ought believers to strive for any earthy kingdom, since our Lord clearly taught us that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), though believers must pray and work for the causes of God’s kingdom—the church, missions, the Christian schools, etc.
Resting confidently on the solid foundation that God is in control of all of 2009, we are called simply to be faithful in whatever calling God has given. Faithful parents, faithful husbands and wives, faithful children and students, faithful workers, and faithful officebearers we must be. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing (Matt. 24:46). Faithful must the church be to preach the gospel to all the world—especially that (Matt. 28:19-20).
Confident we must be. The victory is ours already by faith, for Christ has accomplished it in the cross and resurrection. He will return to destroy the kingdom of men and take His chosen people unto Himself.
It is of utmost importance that we have our treasures in heaven, and not on the earth. If our treasures are on the earth, we will likewise be taken up—filled with anxiety—with all the troubles of the globe. The bad economy, terrorists, evil rulers, laws of supply and demand—all these can rob us of our earthly treasures. But our treasures, being heavenly and spiritual, are totally unaffected by all the turmoil and distresses that 2009 contain.
In the year of our Lord 2009, let us be constant in prayer, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:13). For our Lord is in full control. And He is coming.