Friday, October 30, 2009

A European Union Doesn't Automatically Mean the End of the World

It’s happening again: some prophetic ministry is currently predicting the end of the world based on another conspiracy to unite the world’s governments into a One World Government. This time it’s supposedly scheduled to happen in December this year.

Such predictions come in cycles. Last time it came around, a new currency was apparently already in print and the New World Order was supposed to begin by early 1980.

Of course it didn’t happen. And similar failed predictions can be traced back through the ages.

But here’s a question: even if the whole of Europe does unite under one Government in December, how can that be a basis for asserting that Christ must return in our generation? Similar unions have happened before, and it didn’t mean the end of the world.

In fact, such unions haven’t always been a bad thing. For example, the United States of America began by a union of 13 independent colonies and grew over 172 years to become a union of 50 States. And in the process it unified over 500 indigenous nations.

Despite all its imperfections, was that union a bad thing? In many ways it enhanced the spread of the Gospel. It certainly didn’t mean the end of the world.

Similarly, The Commonwealth of Australia began by a Federation of six independent colonies and grew over 88 years to comprise of a total of 16 States and territories. It also unified over 400 indigenous nations.

Despite its imperfections, was that union a bad thing? In many ways it enabled the spread of the Gospel. It certainly didn’t mean the end of the world.

Go back further in history. The formation of the United Kingdom united at least three separate Kingdoms, kingdoms which had already united several separate nations and tribal groups before them.

The Union may have begun with hostility – but it became the largest empire in human history and many of its citizens cooperated to perform the strongest centuries-long missionary movement in history. The union certainly didn’t mean the end of the world.

So unions aren’t necessarily a bad thing, and they certainly don’t automatically indicate the end of the world - even if they happen in Europe.

Europe currently consists of about 50 or so nations. Equally large and far larger unions have already taken place in Europe, without eschatological significance. So another European Union won’t automatically mean the end of the world either.

Even if such a union ends-up being a bad thing - we still can’t assert on that basis alone that it automatically means the end of the world, because some similarly not-so-good unions have already come and gone without it meaning the end of the world.

Like the Soviet Union. And Nazi Germany. The Ottoman Empire. The Byzantine Empire. And of course the Roman Empire. Some of these unions were pretty bad; and each of them – not to mention Genghis Khan’s enormous Mongol Empire – took place in exactly the same locations that are today given so much eschatological significance – and yet they didn’t mean the end of the world.

So why should it be the end of the world now, just because some European leaders in October discussed some sort of a union for the purpose of dealing with climate change?

If you are going to assert that ours must be the last generation, you’re going to need a stronger basis than that. Otherwise your prediction might be at risk of being added to history’s long list of fizzled end-times predictions.

Why do men keep getting it wrong? Because Jesus said:

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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