Will History Repeat Itself?

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Will History Repeat Itself?

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As we enter the year 2000, millions of people are making New Year's resolutions. Isn't it too bad that we can't simply resolve our way to world peace? Nevertheless, when we pause to take inventory of our lives with the onset of another year, will we collectively examine the carnage we have brought on ourselves over the past century—the bloodiest in history—and resolve to do better? Or will we watch history repeat itself?

Much has been written about 2000 and whether it will bring peace or destruction. The Smithsonian (July 1999) reported on mankind's perception of the year 1000. In those days some were prophesying cataclysms that would bring an end to civilization.

As we enter 2000, thinking on the subject hasn't changed much. A recent cover of Newsweek (Nov. 1, 1999) trumpeted: "Prophecy: Millennial Visions, What the Bible Says About the End of the World." The cover articles noted that visions of the Apocalypse have fired the imagination of the Westerners for centuries. Forty percent of American adults, reports Newsweek, believe the world will end in an fiery holocaust reminiscent of the Armageddon of the book of Revelation.

Could those 40 percent be right? Does the Bible say that's how our world will end? The Good News reveals the amazing and comforting truth of the matter.

With technology phenomenally advancing (along with matching egos), and history tending, as always, to repeat itself, is it only a matter of time until the major powers precipitate the apocalyptic holocaust that many fear?

Who's to prevent it? The United Nations was meant to resolve international conflicts. Although it rightly denounces prejudice and war, it cannot stop either. Events of recent decades have shown that when a regional war develops it often takes the Western nations—the United States, Britain and others—to forcefully end the shooting. Kosovo is a recent case in point.

But how long will it be until another regional conflict expands into a continentwide or worldwide conflagration? When will a rogue nation or a terrorist group settle its score with nuclear weapons or spawn a chemical- or biological-weapon epidemic? Can we save ourselves, or will history repeat itself?

The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) defined peace as "not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."

Speaking before Congress, Gen. Douglas MacArthur pointed to a similar path to peace: "The problem basically is theological and involves a spirit of recrudescence and improvement of human character. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."

The Bible pinpoints the cause of strife, including war: "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?" (James 4:1 James 4:1From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
American King James Version×
). God tells us our minds must be transformed (Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×
). If such is the key to domestic and global peace, how will it happen? Who can change man's warring nature?

The Bible shows that God not only can bring this phenomenal change about, but that He will do it. He guarantees that mankind will experience world peace (Isaiah 11). Notice how He will accomplish this great thing: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a new heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you ..." (Ezekiel 36:26-27 Ezekiel 36:26-27 [26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
American King James Version×
). To paraphrase Gen. MacArthur, God will change our spirit, and God will save our flesh.

You hold in your hands apublication unlike others. It is a magazine of spiritual understanding. The Good News examines past, present and future events in light of the Bible. Read in this issue and every issue about mankind's future salvation from its destructive ways and how you can confidently resolve to change the quality of your life for the better.

Someday history won't repeat itself. This Almighty God resolves—and guarantees. GN