WORLD WIDE TIMES OF TERROR
Western society has changed! That change is founded on fear–a fear that things have spun out of control. Indeed, from the perspective of the daily–or should we say hourly–news, headlines seem to have a shorter and shorter “shelf-life” as new events flood onto the scene. Lead stories for the morning news are replaced by the time the evening news is reported.
Individuals, families, crowds and even whole nations are caught up in a time of terror. A case in point occurred this week in Great Britain. From reuters.com, 1/8/03, “British police were searching for a deadly stockpile of ricin Wednesday after discovery of traces of the poison in London heightened fears around Europe of a chemical terror campaign.”
Commenting on the efficacy of the poison as an agent of mass death, the article points out that, “Experts said an attack, even if unsuccessful, would generate a climate of fear.”
Speaking of a time that the Bible refers to as the Day of the Lord, the prophet Isaiah cites God’s warning of an “overflowing scourge” that will punish the rebellious of this world (Isaiah 28:18). Continuing in verses 18 and 19, “Then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; For morning by morning it will pass over, And by day and by night; It will be a terror just to understand the report.”
In Luke 21:25-26, Jesus also reveals sure events that will descend on this earth and its inhabitants: ” ‘And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ “
These imagination-defying times of terror that are ahead will come upon this world step-by-step–even as they now begin. For Christians, coupled with this forewarning, we must remain ever vigilant–watching and praying. The really good news is that God will cause His Kingdom and His peace to put an end to these days of fear–these times of terror!
EUROPE AND THE POPE
As the Irish Times reported on January 4, 2003, European Parliament President Pat Cox met privately with Pope John Paul II to discuss “a variety of EU issues, including enlargement and the future European constitution… During the audience, Mr. Cox invited the Pope to address the European Parliament.”
EUROPEAN ARMY — COMING SOON
It was reported this week that Hans Eichel (SPD), President of the German Bundesrat (the second chamber of the German Parliament), and prime minister of the province of Hesse, has called for the formation of a European Union army, replacing the national armies of the member states. He was quoted as stating, “Why do we still need purely national armies? One European army is enough.”
IRAQ — A FRIGHTENING PROGNOSIS
Der Spiegel Online reported on January 8, 2003, that the German government confirmed its position that they will not participate in any war against Iraq. “Such a war cannot be justified,” a spokesman for Joschka Fischer’s Green Party stated in an interview.
Bild Online ran an article this week, pointing out that a secret UN report estimates that within the first few days of a war with Iraq, 500,000 people would be injured, followed by a massive famine. Der Spiegel Online stated on January 5, in quoting from a research paper of a medical organization, “medact,” that about 260,000 people would die in a conventional war with Iraq, followed by a civil war in Iraq which would lead to the death of another 20,000 people. The organization, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, predicted that within the first several months after the end of the war, another 200,000 people will die of war-related causes, such as injuries and diseases. Medact also stated that 3.9 million people would die if nuclear weapons would be used in the war. In either scenario, most of the “casualties” would be civilians. Medact pointed out, too, that the costs associated with the war and the subsequent necessary reconstruction would reach 200 billion dollars.