By Merrill Olson
As we look at world events and the call by the UN and the world leaders for peace and safety, prophetic Scripture takes on a fresh emphasis.
The Bible says, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape”
(1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
This present time, as stated, is one where world leaders are calling for “peace and safety.” The UN also has a goal to bring about this “peace and safety” to the world. Even the current unconventional Pope Francis has apocalyptic characteristics whereby he wants a UN alliance controlling Jerusalem. In this way, his mind and thinking are focusing on this same objective of “peace and safety.”
However, in spite of this call for “peace and safety,” it will never totally happen until Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom (Ps. 2:1-12; Isaiah 11:1-13; Isaiah. 35:1-10; Amos 9:13-15). From these verses in Amos, Israel will be characterized by fertility (v. 13), prosperity (v. 14), and security (v. 15) with permanently possessing the land God promised her (Genesis 15:18-21). This is going to happen no matter what present threats any nation makes, like Iran, to destroy Israel. Her future is in God’s sovereign hand. She is still going to go through a time of trouble (Zech. 12:1-9) but will experience a spiritual salvation (vv. 10-14).
Nevertheless, the Bible does say that before the Lord returns in judgment (Matthew 24:27-31), world-wide chaos and disorder will increase. Jesus said that there will be “wars and rumors of wars…famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various place” (Matthew 24:6-7). These will occur immensely during the Tribulation period even though we are presently experiencing shadows of them. But, right after the Rapture
(1 Thess. 4:13-17) when millions of people are suddenly missing, the power of the world leadership will shift from the United States to Europe. It will be shortly after that a world leader, empowered by Satan, will arise and proclaim, “I can bring world-wide peace, prosperity, and stability. There will be no need for anyone to be afraid” (Rev. 13:1-18).
Tragically, many people are going to be deceived and follow him and lose their souls for an eternity in hell (Rev. 20:11-15). The Bible calls him “the Antichrist” (1 John 4:3). He is also called “the man of sin [lawlessness] the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3).
Yet, when the unsaved world will be enjoying a time of false “peace and security,” the cataclysmic events of Revelation will occur but will be finalized when Jesus comes in judgment at His Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-21).
Still, we are living in a time of evil as the “spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:3) is very active as he was in ancient times. But, for us who have been redeemed in Christ, we are to look up for the “day of [our] redemption” has to be drawing near (Eph. 4:30).
Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He and his wife, Jan, reside in Minnesota and have two daughters and four delightful grandchildren.
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