Personally, I think this is another shot that’s going to be heard round the world and could have ramifications as earthshaking as America’s Revolution in 1775 or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. As one who benefited from Britain’s humanitarian hospitality while living there back in the summer of 1971, I was able to have a tooth filled for 1.16 £, a fraction of what it would have cost me in the U.S. So, as an outside observer today, I can understand how the Brits—who are already carrying crushing financial burdens to benefit their former colonies— don’t want the additional pressure to uphold the collapsing economies in the troubled EU nations…particularly those stretched beyond their resources by trying to care for the millions of refugees flooding in from the Middle East. However, having Britain leave will be a terrible blow. Tucked between Germany (#4) and France (#6) in the list of world’s greatest economic powers, Britain has the fifth highest GDP on earth, and losing their economic, military, and political strengths could (and I fear will) be disastrous for the stability of Europe as a continent…and the world at large. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. As Amos professed, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son,” but I can’t help but wonder if the time that the prophets wrote about is beginning to unfold. The Bible has long forewarned people that a day will come when the entire world will be thrown into such chaos that a ruler from the Middle East will gain global power by promising peace, although he will ultimately destroy much of the earth. I’m sure people must have wondered about Hitler (although he wasn’t from the Middle East), and now that the Middle East has become the primary source of unrest around the world, it seems conceivable that nations might rally round someone from that area who promises to “fix” everything. What will actually happen in the next few decades? I don’t know, but I do know the Lord urges us to “Watch and pray.” If this all sounds new and strange to you, most of the passages dealing with the “end times” come from the books of Daniel, the Gospels, and Revelation. Here are just a few verses to whet your appetite for further study, but also to offer hope:
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us” (1 John 2:17-19).
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3).
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:27-28).*I took all the photos in London during May, 2011 (some at the British Museum).