Rushing to the Future
Years ago, as a young Christian attending a large Midwestern university, I slipped into the meeting of a radical group on campus to check it out. A speaker talked about the leftist revolution he envisioned in America once a “critical mass” (enough momentum to make success inevitable) of citizen support was achieved.
Recently, as I finished my work with Tim LaHaye on our next futuristic novel, Brink of Chaos, I couldn’t help but remember that day and recognize that, unless God steps in to stop it, global convergence is coming at us like a bullet train. And it will impact us all.
Media Technology. Several years ago at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, communications experts predicted that, in this decade—from China to Iceland to America to Africa—we would be using handheld devices that bring together every aspect of communications. That trend is here. Today tech companies, broadcasters, and congressmen are discussing ways to install radio receivers as basic features in cell phones.
The growth of communications technology has been revolutionary, and so has its effect on commerce. According to Money, in the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple Inc. alone accounted for half of the entire growth in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.
Economics and Currency. Global financial interdependence is a fact. Not only do we see international markets for stocks and commodities, but we also see trade, manufacturing, and investment markets crossing borders at an unparalleled rate. America’s hand-wringing over Europe’s financial crisis is evidence that when Europe’s economy sneezes, we catch a cold.
Earlier this year, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso turned that argument around, alleging that U.S. bank failures caused the debt crisis undermining Greece and Spain. Either way, the interdependence is beyond dispute.
And, according to many pundits, so is the inevitability of a one-world currency. A Pew Research poll shows that 41 percent of Americans expect a single currency by 2050. The likelihood is that it will come sooner. Money-watcher and author David Wolman, writing in Wired, made the intriguing suggestion, “The seed for that universal currency has already been planted.”
The Internet and Global Surveillance. In 2012 governments and technocrats from around the world convened in Dubai to consider having the United Nations or one of its agencies control the flow of information on the Internet. The implications, especially from a prophetic viewpoint, are staggering—and disconcerting.
All modes of communication in our world are continuing to migrate to Web-based platforms, whether it is newspapers, magazines, school curricula, books, movies, or news media outlets. Ceding to a single global agency the worldwide power to control the flow of ideas and messages ought to ring bells like a five-alarm fire.
Closely related is the rise of electronic surveillance. The companies that control the Internet systems we use on our computers often use “behavioral tracking” to catalog our every mouse click and Web search so that marketing pitches tailored to our preferences either pop up or stream across our computer screens. Google is being investigated by Swiss authorities (and here in Washington) for its Street View project in which special Google cars drive around photographing our planet, street by street. It turns out these auto-mobiles were also harvesting private data, like e-mails and Web postings, from the houses on those blocks. Google claims such activity was inadvertent. However, technology will soon make it possible for media platforms, governments, or other mega entities to connect to, trace, and communicate with every citizen on Earth.
Read Revelation 11:9, and ask yourself whether the ability to view the same event simultaneously around the world is not a prediction of our current global media technology. Further, prophecy is replete with pronouncements about a future, global, economic Babylon (Rev. 18:3, 11, 15).
Yet there is a practical aspect to all of this, as well. Scripture gives us a description of the future, as God has proclaimed it in His Word. Knowing what lies in store, the apostle Peter posed this question: “Therefore….what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11).
Our eschatology and knowledge ought to bring us to our knees in worship of the King and impact our walk with Him. It should also cause us to communicate His eternal truth to those around us, making the most of our opportunities while there is still time.