Widespread societal division is not limited to America. We’re seeing it throughout the world—particularly in Western nations such as U.S. allies Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. And the upheaval is made worse by the rifts in America leading to its mishandling of global politics and economics, resulting in loss of respect on the world stage.
What will this mean for the world going forward?
Loss of confidence in the world’s policeman
Over the last three centuries there have been two primary leaders of the West—the British Empire and the United States. Through these great national powers, law and order have been promoted and to varying degrees maintained throughout much of the world.
For example, slavery of all forms was first outlawed around the world by the West—Great Britain and shortly thereafter by the United States. And we have seen the flow of global trade made free by these two great powers enforcing open sea lanes and gates in critical locations around the world, facilitating the transport of food, goods and services to all nations.
The prosperity of the 20th and 21st centuries has in large part been enabled by these two global “policemen” putting down threats of war, threats of naval blockades and threats of terrorism. This has allowed free trade and the world’s nations to prosper.
But what happens when we defund the police? What happens when global policing is weakened and seen as powerless? Crime, instability, terrorism, hunger and chaos ensue.
Respect for U.S. power and intervention is quickly waning. The monumental bungling of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan—with Americans and supporters and many billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment and a vast airbase left behind to the Taliban and their Chinese allies—was a turning point in history for the worse.
Enemies of the West no longer feel so strongly the need to avoid confrontation with America and its allies as they don’t fear swift retribution or resolve to see it through. Nations disobey the global rule of law almost with impunity. They feel freer to do as they please. The global policeman has been defunded—in an ideological sense.
This is rooted in U.S. division at home. The political divide that is causing chaos across the U.S. electoral system has migrated into cities and towns throughout the nation, causing unrest, spiking crime, violent protests, rioting and murder. And this has been followed by increasing instability and chaos among Western allies.
In 1953 political cartoonist Daniel Fitzpatrick drew what has become a famous piece titled “As America Goes So Goes the World.” Two outstretched arms are depicted on each side of the U.S. Capitol Building reaching out over the world, one holding a torch of freedom shining with the words “Civil Liberties” and “Civil Rights” and the other holding a ball and chain. The message is that as the United States promotes freedom, so will the world enjoy more freedom. But as America becomes oppressive and personal liberties and freedoms are taken away, the effect will be felt around the globe.
Failure in leadership bringing severe repercussions
Chaos in the world is quickly increasing because of a lack of godly American leadership. The abolition of biblical values stateside is causing ripple effects around the world.
Many pundits have concluded that with stronger American opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it wouldn’t have happened. Russia would not have risked such involvement against the West. But America is now seen as weak and ineffectual.
The conflict has exacerbated an energy and food crisis around the world. Since the United States recently adopted policies abandoning its energy independence and making it more dependent on other nations, it’s no longer in a position to successfully discourage war—but rather has to buy more oil from despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela. And with Europe depending heavily on oil and gas from Russia, it also is hamstrung in deterring the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
All eyes are now on China’s possible moves to take over Taiwan—taking advantage of America’s weakened role. Besides diminishing U.S. ability and determination to act as needed, America is effectively over a barrel, with so many supply lines of critical goods based in China. It even appears that a number of leading U.S. politicians have been personally compromised by the Chinese, making the nation less likely to take needed actions or go beyond a show of resistance.
Worse still, much of the military help and intervention we see in Ukraine and perhaps Taiwan and other venues may not be so noble as proclaimed but engaged in to drag out conflict for financial gain in supporting the increased power and wealth of the military industrial complex—or even to further aims of those seeking international turmoil to upend global political systems.
In any case, sanctions against Russia are not constraining its invasion of Ukraine. Energy exports continue. Weakness, confusion and short attention spans strengthen the view that the West lacks the resolve to oppose military aggression.
The global energy crisis—caused in part by Russia thumbing its nose at America and the West—has directly translated into increased inflation and the spiking costs of food and basic supplies. The shortage of fertilizer, needed to grow crops, is a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine—as is the lack of sunflower oil needed for cooking across the globe.
Ukraine is the world’s biggest exporter of sunflower oil, but the Russian invasion has made farming, producing and shipping of its cooking oil all but impossible—sending global prices higher and shoppers from all corners of the world scrambling for limited bottles.
Everyone is being impacted by the failure of global leadership by the United States and its Western allies.
Amid the crisis the “solution” steps forth
A coming solution to worsening global crisis in the absence of wise and stable Western leadership is not what you may think. A “fix” is going to be found that will seem marvelous and wonderful. The world will find a “savior” to heal the chaos.
Who will step forward as that longed-for savior? As Bible prophecy reveals, a “beast”—a political power with the characteristics of a fearsome animal—will come to the fore. The world will then seem to be back in control under the hand of this new global policeman.
The charismatic leader of this political power, also called the Beast, will be supported by a vast religious system led by a false prophet that “performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13). “Those who dwell on the earth will marvel . . . when they see the beast” (Revelation 17:8).
It will be amazing! This new global superpower will bring what seems to be stability and economic security. “The merchants of the earth [will] have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:3). But the rule of this Beast and the accompanying false prophet will be short—just a few years. What seemed to be the savior of mankind will suddenly go horribly wrong. Instead, it will turn out to be an oppressive, dictatorial global government that makes things even worse. In the end, it will have to be stopped by Jesus Christ to save the world from total destruction.
The fall of this beastly rule will be sudden: “‘For in one hour [a very short time] such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate’” (verses 17-19).
This corrupt system—with its evil political ruler and associated great false prophet and global church—will be judged by Jesus Christ and brought to a sudden, destructive end. The true followers of Jesus will be vindicated, having suffered terribly under the cruel hand of the Beast: “In her [the Babylonian Beast system] was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (verse 24).
The real solution will at last arrive
Yes, Jesus Christ will return to remove this ungodly world leader and all resistance to divine rule to provide the real solution to mankind’s suffering—the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ return to establish His Father’s Kingdom is beautifully described in Revelation 19:11-16:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself . . . And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses . . . And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
And so, to bring peace, joy and hope to humanity, through Christ and His heavenly forces, “the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image” (verse 20).
Further, the apostle John explains the glorious future of those once persecuted and murdered under the Beast’s evil global rule: “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
Yes, those faithful to Christ who do not show allegiance to the Beast’s evil economic system and false religious edicts will be vindicated and receive immortal life at Jesus’ return.
The whole world under the leadership of its true Savior, Jesus Christ, will then have the opportunity to enjoy lives filled with peace and hope—they, too, being offered immortal life in the family of God with access to the water of life, symbolizing God’s Spirit and unending blessing. God will then say: “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:6-7).
This is our exciting destiny! You, too, can inherit all things that God the Father and Jesus Christ have to offer. It’s an eternal, immortal life with no more tears or sorrow. May we all continue to pray “Your Kingdom come” and live righteous lives in preparation for that day!
Worlds Apart: Nations Aligning East vs. West
Besides physical, geographic divisions, our world is beset by political, racial, religious and ideological differences that set the nations apart from one another.
Wikipedia’s entry on the “East–West Dichotomy” states: “In sociology, the East–West dichotomy is the perceived difference between the Eastern and the Western worlds. Cultural and religious rather than geographical in division, the boundaries of East and West are not fixed, but vary according to the criteria adopted by individuals using the term . . . Conceptually, the boundaries are cultural, rather than geographical, as a result of which Australia is typically grouped in the West (despite being geographically in the east), while Islamic nations are, regardless of location, grouped in the East.”
This dichotomy is very easy to see in our world today. And each side of that is further subdivided. The West has the Anglosphere nations that cooperate in what’s called the Five Eyes alliance (FVEY)—with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States as parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence, the origins of which are traced to World War II. Another giant alliance in the West is that of the European Union, which is greatly challenged by nations to the east living in accordance with Eastern ideology.
The great divide between East and West has huge implications when it comes to a footing for war. We are seeing this barrier becoming more pronounced through the war in Ukraine, with Ukraine supported by the West and Russia supported by China and other Eastern nations. And this divide grows deeper and more dangerous by the day.