On Oct. 2 the European Union took another step toward a larger role in world affairs when Ireland ratified the Lisbon Treaty. Poland followed a few days later, leaving only the Czech Republic as the lone holdout on approving a plan that will create a potentially larger role for Europe. Then on Nov. 3 Czech Republic President Václav Klaus finally signed it. The treaty, when implemented, will create the post of a European president and give the EU the ability to create a unified foreign policy.
Europe has a long way to travel in becoming a power to rival anything like what the United States has been in recent decades. But it is clearly on the ascent, and Bible prophecy shows us Europe will play a key role in the events leading to the end of this age.
The second item of news also connects to Europe's rise. The talk about the decline of the dollar as the world's reserve currency continues. Rising levels of American debt have created fear among lender nations that their investment in dollars will one day collapse. Reports say that China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others have begun laying the groundwork for a currency arrangement that would supplant the dollar as the key currency in trading. Should this occur, and many experts say it is inevitable, it would make it extremely difficult to finance the U.S. debt. America would have to borrow euros or another currency to buy oil from OPEC nations.
The decline of the dollar is a critical national security issue. It would cripple the nation's economic foundation and limit its military capability around the world. Like Great Britain in its days of imperial decline, the far-flung navies and armies would have to retreat, leaving a power vacuum that others would rush to fill. The result would be something far different from the Pax Americana of recent years. I find that many are blissfully unaware of the consequences of the decline of the dollar on world financial markets.
The third issue is the growing menace of a nuclear Iran in the Middle East. Time is running out, as many believe it is only a matter of months before Iran has a nuclear weapon and the ability to deliver it, with Israel as the likely target. Diplomacy has not worked to end Iran's development program, and so the talk of economic sanctions or a military strike continues.
Israel is the most likely nation to intervene militarily to destroy Iranian facilities; and should this occur, an all-out war of retaliation would be launched. Oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz would be disrupted and prices would skyrocket, creating another round of financial crisis. A nuclear arms race among other Middle Eastern countries would be ignited. A nuclear Iran would destabilize the entire region and have a worldwide impact.
These events remind us of Christ's warning to "discern this time" (Luke 12:56 Luke 12:56You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?
American King James Version×). Christ's insistence that His disciples watch and understand their time in history is rooted in a need to repent and believe in the gospel of the Kingdom of God lest we perish (Luke 13:5 Luke 13:5I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
American King James Version×; Mark 1:14-15 Mark 1:14-15  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
American King James Version×). Our world is changing before our eyes, and God is gracious to give us warning if we only have the eyes to see. It is time we turn to the Bible for the understanding that can convict us. It is time to awake and prepare our lives for what lies ahead. WNP