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Every day, conditions around the world resemble in an ever greater way the “perilous times” the apostle Paul foretold would arrive in the end-time. This passage sets up this month’s news report: “…in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (II Tim. 3:1-4).
It could be said that as the age draws to a close, these traits are being seen in vivid color and “high definition”—every one of them! Crime grows much worse, with human beings committing acts of violence unheard of in previous decades. Mob beatings in the United States are becoming more frequent, and some are predicting race riots in the streets this summer. (In this context, just think of the worldwide protests—translate this violence, destruction and general mayhem—on May 1.) Corruption in companies and governments is rampant. More perversities in the Western world are being tolerated, all under the banner of “freedom of expression.” And obviously ever greater numbers worldwide are dying of war, famine and disease, just as Christ foretold in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.
Of course, the European economy continues to reel from one financial problem to the next. Spain just officially slipped back into recession on May 1. In the United States, one effect of the economic recession is a rise in things like domestic abuse, a trend not normally recognized as a problem that worsens in bad times. According to a recent survey of law enforcement agencies, “56% of the 700 responding agencies reported that the poor economy is driving an increase in domestic conflict, up from 40% of agencies in a similar survey in 2010” (USA Today). In Camden, New Jersey, 7,500 calls were made to the police reporting domestic violence in 2010. In 2011, this number increased to 9,100. Scott Thomson, Camden’s police chief, described it this way: “When stresses in the home increase because of unemployment and other hardships, domestic violence increases…” (ibid.). And this is only one condition being impacted by America’s struggling economy. How many more unintended consequences of the financial crisis go unreported?
Then there is the usual “Mid-East grows worse” report that can be made. The rise of conservative Islam in this region, specifically in Egypt, is shocking the world. Although some still claim that “democracy is breaking out all over” in these Arab countries, more are admitting the true nature of last year’s “Arab Spring.” Here is a longer excerpt from a recent Los Angeles Times article (italics mine): “The rise of the Brotherhood mirrors a pattern of Islamists coming to political prominence, most notably in Tunisia, since the uprisings of the ‘Arab Spring.’ This narrative is reshaping the Middle East, but it is revealing internal friction, political missteps and failure to put forth a vision that transcends Islamic designs and speaks to Christians, other non-Muslims and liberals. These challenges epitomize the campaign of Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, a conservative pressing for sharia, or Islamic law, to be embedded in the country’s [Egypt’s] new constitution…Many Egyptians wonder whether Morsi can fashion a political Islam to solve the country’s deep economic problems.”
Just last week, a report appeared that Israel has called up six battalions of soldiers, putting 16 more on immediate reserve, to serve on Israel’s Egyptian and Syrian borders due to continued and increasing unrest in these regions. The report speaks of conditions that are “extremely combustible” on the Syrian border. Think. Israel is also now building TWO MORE WALLS to protect itself—one on the Lebanese border (this just came out last week) and the other on the Egyptian border because of so many rogue elements penetrating Israel to bring destruction. These join the long security walls that meander all around and separate the Palestinian territories from Israel proper.
In an unprecedented move, Egypt just recently cancelled a key gas supply deal with Israel that provided the tiny nation with 40% of its natural gas. Israel responded by stating that Egypt’s cancellation violated an economic annex of their peace treaty signed in 1979. Interestingly, the gas pipeline deal with Israel was always unpopular among Egyptians, but was held together for years by the strength of former President Hosni Mubarak. But this is only the front edge of the souring relationship between these two nations. Prophecy and history reveal that Egypt will not only distance itself from Israel, but will ultimately turn against America and other modern nations descended from Israel.
Finally, in a frightening new trend in Australia, superbugs born in hospitals are now finding their way into neighborhoods. The Sydney Morning Herald reported, “The state and federal governments are so concerned by the rise in infections they have commissioned an expert group to try to stop it...” The chairman of the newly created group, John Turnidge, stated, “…Strands of E. Coli are carrying a form of resistance which we never wanted to see in the community…We have gone from virtually none of these kinds of resistance in the year 2000 to now, where it’s commonplace” (ibid.). It was also revealed that some of the bacteria are resistant to all hospital drugs.