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The latest global firestorm of “wars and rumors of wars” to break out is taking place in Ukraine. This situation was sparked after Ukraine rejected a European Union deal and instead accepted a bailout from Russia. As most are aware by now, another set of mass protests resulted in another “revolution” in Ukraine and the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted and fled to Moscow. Power shifts so rapidly in today’s ever more dangerous and unstable world that millions are now daily wondering, which leader and which country is next? (Think of Thailand, Central African Republic, Syria, Egypt, Venezuela, mass terrorism and death now in China, etc.)
The crisis in Ukraine almost immediately turned into a showdown between East and West. Russia chose almost as immediately after the Olympics it hosted to test the resolve of the EU and the United States by taking control of the Crimea, a predominantly Russian-speaking area that Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave to the Ukraine in 1954 because both countries were part of the Soviet Union at the time.
The New York Times reported: “With small military standoffs around Ukrainian bases continuing in Russian-controlled Crimea and deepening anxiety about Russian intentions in eastern Ukraine, the British foreign secretary William Hague on Monday called Ukraine ‘the biggest crisis in Europe in the 21st century.’ Visiting the new government in Kiev, Mr. Hague urged Russia to pull back its forces in Crimea or face ‘significant costs,’ echoing comments made by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry…”
Ukraine has now turned into another country on the brink of full-blown civil war, and the situation shows no signs of slowing down or being resolved in the near future: “The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally under Moscow’s rule came as European Union leaders gathered for an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Russia to back down” (Reuters).
It was just reported last week that the Crimean Parliament has now illegally voted to join Russia. But who will enforce either international law or the blatantly disregarded Ukrainian constitution that has been trampled upon?
A prophetic “storm” is gathering just over the world’s horizon. The greatest events to ever strike planet Earth are now descending on all nations with the speed of a hawk diving on unsuspecting prey. Some observers and analysts recognize that things are not normal but do not know where it will lead or just how bad conditions will become.
Jesus Christ stated this in the Olivet prophecy, about our time: “You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers [various] places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:6-8). We could all wish it was the END of sorrows, but it is only the beginning of almost infinitely more horrendous events scheduled to continue and grow worse.
Focus on Christ’s specific warning about “wars and rumors of wars” before His Return. These are occurring—and on an ever greater scale. But the same Christ told His followers to not be “troubled” by them. The Greek word translated “troubled” can also mean “frightened.” In fact in Luke Jesus said, “Be not terrified!” (21:9). In this dangerous world, true Christians can have strong confidence in the knowledge of what is coming and the truth of prophecy. God’s people know what lies ahead for this world, and how God says we can “ESCAPE all these things” (vs. 36).
Another BIG development must be covered, regarding the ongoing and worsening relationship between the United States and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington recently to begin talks with President Obama over the negotiations with the Palestinians for their own state. President Obama is pressuring Mr. Netanyahu to “find a solution” within no more than “a couple of months” (his words) that forms the basis of a two-state solution.
Reuters reported, “Obama said if peace talks fail and Israel presses ahead with expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land in the West Bank, then Washington would have limited ability to protect it from ‘international fallout’” (emphasis mine). The Israelis are highly intelligent people, and can see what is more than an implied threat in these words. In just a few days, President Obama will meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, and this will almost certainly lead to an acceleration of pressure on Israel.
To learn more about the tumultuous times in which we live, read our eye-opening booklet Are These the Last Days? It reveals how you can know whether we are living in the time the Bible calls “the time of the end.” Request your free copy today!