If the Bible does not speak directly about a global economic collapse, why have prophecy teachers always taught there would be one? Because, just as the doctrine of the Trinity is never spelled out for us, it is undeniably there. An economic collapse is there too--by implication.
One only has to read the Book of Revelation to get a glimpse of what's coming. There will be wars, pestilence, famine and terrible natural disasters, like massive earthquakes, unprecidented drought, heatwaves, and humungus hailstones. Revelation 6 releases the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; #3 mentions food prices. "When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, "Come!" And I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And a voice from among the four living beings said, "A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley for a day's pay. And don't waste the olive oil and wine." This rider on the black horse takes prosperity from the earth and replaces it with famine and hyperinflation.
The Book of James doesn't mince words when it says in Chapter 5: "Look here, you rich people, weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh in hell. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you in the last days."
These scriptures (among others) paint a bleak economic picture, but Revelation 13:16-17 is the clincher: "He (Antichrist) required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave or free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything with out that mark..."
Well, we don't know about you--but most people would probably balk at giving up their money in exchange for a mark...unless, of course, their money didn't cut the mustard anymore. The Bible makes it clear these judgments will emcompass the entire planet. Who could have guessed 2,000 years ago we'd end up with a global economy?
This doesn't necessarily mean that our current global economic troubles are in any way connected to Bible prophecy. It's possible the world will recover, (or at least seem to do so).
In fact, some Scriptures imply things will appear to be humming along like normal just before the end. In Luke 17, Jesus says: "When the Son of Man returns, the world will be like the people were in Noah's day. In those days before the flood, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came to destroy them all..yes, it will be 'business as usual' right up to the hour when the Son of Man returns."
1Thessalonians 5 says that Day will come "unexpectantly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, 'All is well; everything is peaceful and secure', then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman's birth pains begin when her child is born. And there will be no escape."
Sounds contradictory until you remember that there are yet two comings of Christ:
- The rapture of the church. The church will be rescued, but the world at large will be caught completely off guard and left behind to endure the time of trial that will come upon the whole earth. (Revelation 3:10).
- The Second Coming of Christ. Comes 7 years later, when the world is neck deep in judgment.
So, if the Bible predicts a global economic collapse, are we seeing the beginnings of it now? We don't know. It could be just another economic cycle, or it could be one of those famous 'birth pains'. Only time will tell.
A wise man once said: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative."
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