I am not one of those guys that studies biblical prophecy while pointing to current events in the newspaper going “See, this is what God said would happen.” That can set a dangerous precedent and sometimes you end up looking foolish. I remember listening to a preacher back in the 80’s, and I remember his name but won’t use it here, that said that if Michel Gorbachev was not the antichrist then he was certainly paving the way for him. He had a poster made up of the birthmark on his head in the form of a dragon and the smaller marks in the shape of three 6’s. This was before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev later taught an economics course for the University of Georgia and made a tv commercial for Pizza Hut. He is still alive but at 88 has yet to reveal himself as the antichrist, the Beast or any other figure in Revelation.
It makes me nervous when celebrity status preachers point to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the Asian tsunami a few years ago as acts of God’s judgement. Yes there is legalized gambling and lude acts taking place at Mardi Gras but there were also a lot of churches destroyed in New Orleans as well. We live in a world that was affected by the fall and then the curse. Good things happen to good and bad people, whoever gets to decide who they are, and so do bad things. We live in the age of grace; God will someday judge each individual but today the wicked appear to prosper (Psalm 73).
What I believe is that it will get worse before it gets better. Our society continues a trend of moving away from morality and the increase in violent crime, mass shootings, mental illness etc. is a result. Our culture will reap what it sows. Look at the stats on recent mass shooters that tell us they are generally young men with abusive or missing father figures. If every child had a mother and father living together that were married, and strived to live according to principles set forth for husbands, wives, fathers and mothers in Ephesians then there would be fewer broken homes, shattered lives, mass shooters, suicides and for that matter crime of every kind. But if I stand up in public and say as much that would be labeled hate speech. I’m a religious fanatic trying to cram religion down people’s throats. The nature of our problem is that people do not want to be told what to do. Students don’t want to be made to do homework, kids don’t want to be told to go to bed at bedtime, young parents don’t want to be told to quit going out and partying every night but rather stay home and parent their children. How many children are being raised right now by their grandparents? Who is going to raise their kids? And we’re really just scratching the surface of all the issues faced by our society. These are examples.
I don’t see a recession, a natural disaster or a war as individual acts of God’s judgement. But evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse (that’s the KJV I learned growing up, the ESV says this in 2 Timothy 3:12-13). The times they are a changin, for the worse, as the Bible said they would. Christians will be persecuted, the wicked will seem to prosper, there will be a great falling away. It will get worse before it’s get better… then Jesus will return and it will get a whole lot better, for those who have hid their life in him. As the world goes to hell in a handbasket Jesus offers a hand up. For those who have not, take it while there is still time. As long as you have breath there is still time. That is the Gospel; good news for people that realize all other news is no good. For the Christian believer take heart. Do not fear the world for Christ has overcome the world. (John 16:33) Things may appear from our point of view to be out of control but nothing is out of God’s control.