Terrorism. Middle East unrest. Earthquakes. Corruption in high places. The world news is filled with stories like these, and they seem to be escalating. What will it take to stop them?
Herbert W Armstrong used to use the phrase “a strong arm from somewhere” to describe what was needed to turn this world around. Of course, he was referring to the return of Jesus Christ to put down the escalating rebellion before the armies of this world blow it up, literally. The study of the Book of Judges points to the inability of carnal man to control himself and the history of ancient Israel points out that ungodly leaders don’t exert the controls necessary to contain evil. Jesus will provide that external and righteous control – finally.
However, Satan always has a counterfeit. Mankind, on the other hand, is always willing to believe he can solve his own problems. Satan builds upon this lie and tempts mankind to set up governments and systems that oppress other people.
I have written post-9/11 about how fear will cause people to willingly give up their freedoms for safety. The continued tightening of controls at airports is a minor example. Privacy concerns are only voiced by a few, while the others believe what they are told about it all making them safer. The truth is that until people change their nature, the threat is always there and creatively evil people will find loopholes to get around security. Yet, what will people rely upon?
History is full of examples of rulers coming to power and exerting excessive controls upon people. How is it that they come to power? Who backs them? You ever really think about it? If the masses didn’t believe in the leader, then either it would fall apart if they quit following or the leader would be forced to exert yet even more control. We have seen examples of these in history as well. Revolutions, failed or otherwise, are also part of our history. The recent ouster of President Hosni Mubarak is mild compared to some of the bloody revolutions of the past.
Yet, unrest, terrorism in some form, earthquakes and corruption are going to continue. People will get tired of this and want solutions. People talk about one-world governments, global economies, world courts and international standards. The one-world government is coming, but it won’t be what people expect.
It will seem like a good idea. It will seem like the solution. The only thing is that nothing mankind does lasts forever. Even the “good” solutions turn ugly!
Someone will see all that power and crave to be at the top. Someone will want it and pursue it. That person will eventually literally declare himself to be “god”. He will be charismatic and charming. He will appeal to the masses. And people will follow him!
If you don’t grow close to God, you too can be deceived by the system that has been in place since Babylon.
Of course, it will turn out that this strong leader is just a man and not a god. His system will begin to fall apart. The relative peace that endured for a while will turn into the largest war ever since the beginning of mankind. It will be a war so full of carnage and emotion that only Jesus Christ will be able to stop it. He will stop it, but it will have to be by force.
The difference is that Jesus’ reign will not fall apart. Once people start living the correct way, they will see what has been wrong all along. They will see that their very nature needs to change from the inside out. They will see that without God’s Holy Spirit, mankind is incomplete. They will see that the only way to peace for all is to submit to God.
The irony is that through this strong arm tactic, Jesus will actually bring freedom to mankind. Removing evil and wickedness from the world means removing the cause of all suffering. It means people, individuals and nations alike, will finally be able to reach their God-given potential.