Crime has increased dramatically in the last 50 years. For example, aggravated assault in the US increased from 60 per 100,000 to over 440 per 100,000 between 1957 and 1992 [FBI statistics], and violent crime has increased over 350% on 1960 levels. Terrorist attacks in the US show over 900% increase on 1970 levels, and 9-11 was the worst-ever act of terrorism. In Britain the 2009 total crime level was some 5,000% above the 1900 level (this cannot be due to population increase alone, which only increased about 60%). Read more at terroism.
Bible prophecy: "in the last days lawlessness will increase" (Mat 24.12)
Highway pollution: Public Domain Image
Air pollution fatalities now exceed traffic fatalities by 3 to 1 [Earth Policy Institute]. The view from space is becoming marred by smoke and dust [NASA astronauts]. Mercury pollution e.g. from coal-fired power stations, is rising and is a huge threat to health [UN report]. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.
In 1984 the Bhopal disaster in India was the world's worst chemical disaster. Toxic gas leaked from the chemical plant, and even now the polluted site bleeds poisons daily into the ground water of local residents. As of 2011, more than five million people still live in areas that are considered to be 'contaminated' with radioactive materials from the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
Some 400 tons of radioactive contaminated water is seeping into the Pacific every day from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant [Tepco 2013]. Experts say this contamination could reach the western US within a few years.
Bible prophecy: "the earth is also polluted by its inhabitants" (Isa 24.5)
U.S. Floods, June 2008
U.S. Geological Survey: photo Barry Johnson
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claim "the January-November 2010 surface temperature anomalies are the warmest (along with 2005) in their 131 year analysis period". The UK Met Office reports that "the UK has experienced nine of the 10 warmest years on record since 1990". And IPCC Model predictions of future temperature rise (based upon estimates of CO2 emissions) typically give a rise of 2-5 degree C relative to 1990 levels by 2100. Whilst the cause of warming over the last century is disputed (and is it now cooling?), the fact of climate change is not disputed. The climate is changing, sea levels have risen and future severe weather events can be expected. The crucial question is "can man control the climate, or is God in control?"
Bible prophecy: "the sea and the waves will roar (Lk 21.25) and the earth will be scorched with fierce heat" (Rev 16.9)
Drought: Public Domain WPClipart
Water tables are falling on every continent: e.g. they are falling 1.5m/year in China and 1-3m/year in India. Taken together, India, China and Pakistan pump about 400 cubic km of underground water for irrigation in a year - twice as much as is recharged by the rains. Aquifers are emptying.
In Africa, persistent drought since the late 1960’s has caused Lake Chad to shrink by 95% in the last 38 years. Deserts are expanding: in Tunisia up to 60 million people could migrate from sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and Europe by 2020; in Iran, thousands of villages are abandoned because of spreading deserts or a lack of water; in Brazil, some 250,000 square miles of land are affected by desertification, and in China desert expansion has accelerated in each successive decade since 1950.
Two out of every three people will be short of water by 2025 [National Geographic, Worldwatch Institute, and Tearfund].
Bible prophecy: "the earth will wither and fade" (Isa 24.4)
Old City of Jerusalem Free Israel Photos
The population growth of Israel corresponds to an amazing 1200% increase since 1900! In recent years Israel has had high economic growth (typically 3 or 4%) powered by exports. According to the CIA, Israel now has intensively developed agricultural and industrial sectors, with cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) being the leading exports. She is technologically advanced in computer science, electronics, genetics, medicine, optics and solar energy, and her agricultural sector produces about 70 percent of her food requirements. Typical Israeli fruits are apples, pears, peaches, apricots, bananas, mangos, dates, olives, grapes and avocados.
Bible prophecy: "Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone ... and bring them into their own land ... And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field" (Ezek 37.21, 36.30)
Weather satellite Public Domain
For 6,000 years man was limited to travelling at 40 km/hr (on horseback); now he can travel at 40,000 km/hr by rocket. A hundred years ago, commercial air travel was unheard of; now there are typically 100,000 commercial flights each day! On a global level Travel & Tourism indicators continue to show strong annual growth. But also note the rapid increase in scientific knowledge. For millennia man has worshipped the sun; now he understands it is a nuclear reaction turning hydrogen into helium. Only a few hundred years ago man communicated by drums and smoke signals; now he brings back images from the planets and monitors our weather from weather satellites. Only a hundred years ago a person died if their heart failed; now they can have a transplant.
Bible prophecy: "in the last days many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase" (Dan 12.4)
The EU Parliament building, Strasbourg
Image courtesy Lukas Riebling
Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Gorbachev, George Bush, George W. Bush and Gordon Brown have all called for a "New World Order" or "World Government". Kissinger has said: "There is a need for a new world order (NWO)". There are many organisations working towards World Government: the UN, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the World Bank, the IMF, the Illuminati, NATO and the WCC. Whilst the move to create a NWO probably started in America during the early 1900's, Bible prophecy points to Europe.
The prophet Daniel saw four great beasts arising from the 'sea' of humanity (Dan 7.1-8). The fourth was not only the historic Roman Empire, but a future revived Roman Empire based in Europe, and it will seek to control the whole world:
Bible prophecy: "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things ..." (Dan 2.40)
Computer motherboard Public Domain Image
For 6,000 years man communicated at 50 bits/s (by speech); now he communicates at Giga bit/s by optical fibre. Computer control or algorithmic trading has now overtaken the world's finance industry; computer code is now responsible for most of the activity on Wall Street. Universal product codes (UPC's), electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) in shops, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT), biometric and RFID - radio frequency identification, all herald the cashless society. Financial transactions of every person will be totally computer controlled.
Bible prophecy: (at the end of this age) "no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark" (Rev 13.17)
Westernised nations in particular are struggling with increasing national debt, forcing more and more state interference in the economy and higher taxes. The national debt as a percentage of GDP of many western nations is around 80%, and increasing. That of Greece is around 130% and that of Japan is around 200%. The dangers of large national debt are well known: a growing level of debt increases the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis during which investors lose confidence in a government's ability to manage its budget, and the government thereby loses its ability to borrow at affordable rates. This is well-illustrated by the eurozone crisis. In 2012, the global national debts summed to around $50,000,000,000,000 - and were rising rapidly! Is the world heading for a global economic meltdown?
Bible prophecy: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great ... for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!" (Rev 18.2,17))
Asteroid 21 July 2006
Norris Wong: Creative Commons License
The asteroid belt is the origin of virtually all the asteroids in our solar system. The vast majority of these range in size from small rocks to the size of cars. However, there are estimated to be up to 2 million "large" asteroids - those with diameter greater than a kilometer. A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) has an orbit such that it has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and a size large enough to cause significant damage in the event of impact. These asteroids are larger than 150m in diameter and could get within 7 million km of earth [NASA].
The known number of PHAs is growing! In October 2008, NASA listed 982 PHAs, and by January 2012 there were some 1,280 known PHAs. It only needs one to hit!
On February 15th 2013, an asteroid some 45m in diameter passed the Earth at a distance of just 27,700km. This is nearer than a geostationary satellite! Scientists believe that if it had entered Earth's atmosphere it would have exploded causing widespread devastation like the Tunguska event in 1908.
Bible prophecy indicates that an asteroid type object will land in the sea: "And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea" (Rev 8.8)
Certainly, at the end of this age, just prior to Christ's return, it seems that there will be cosmic disturbances:
Bible prophecy: "there will be dismay among nations, with men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Lk 21.25,26)
The Bible is more up to date than tomorrow's newspaper, and predicts:
The Bible also says
"the gospel shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world and then the end of this age will come" (Mat 24.14)
Time is short, since over 99% of the world’s 7 billion people can hear broadcasts of the basic Christian message if they have a radio or the Internet. Here it is again:
"God loves us so much that He gave us His Son (Jesus), so whoever trusts in Him won't suffer destruction, but will have everlasting life" (Jn 3.16)
Bible quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, or are a paraphrase of the NASB