The world financial crisis
The world economic crisis and the return of Jesus
In the next few years there will be a period of deep financial depression. The economists call it a double dip recession. But it will be a lot deeper crash than a recession like the one we just experienced. It seems highly likely that Christ will return to the earth in times of prosperity and take believers away to the judgment seat just before the whole worldwide financial system will collapse.
Just like in the times of Noah when after Noah closed the door of the ark, God sent rain thundering down to destroy the world.
Just like in the times of lot when Lot and his family had safely crossed the plains, then God sent down thunderous fire and brimstone on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In our time, after God's sons and daughters (in other words, baptised believers) have been safely removed to the judgment seat at Mt Sinai in Israel, he will allow the whole worldwide financial system to collapse. And as Daniel the prophet says in the Bible, there will be a time of trouble such as never was.
So what has been happening in the economies of the world? And how will this lead to the greatest financial collapse the world will ever see?
Before I explain this we need to understand one economic term. When people talk about a financial bubble and the bursting of a financial bubble, what do they mean? It means something is given a price which is way higher than what it is really worth. On the stock market - companies are sometimes valued way higher than what they are actually worth. And it isn't until someone actually stops and analyses them that they discover this. Then the bubble bursts.
How the economic crisis of 2008 came about
So let's look briefly at the economic crisis.
Well, the 1990s were good financially to America. People were making money and some people were getting very rich. Then there were two disastrous events which followed each other quickly which changed the economic environment.
The first was the bursting of the dot.com bubble in 2000 and 2001. This was where the stock market crashed as a result of people losing confidence in internet-related companies. Then there was second massive hit to the US economy when there were terrorist attacks on the twin towers in September 2001.
The US government were left with a huge economic mess to clean up. So what did they do? They lowered interest rates, bail out the guys who had caused the problem and then invited speculation to help the economy quickly recover from the crisis. The US Federal Reserve lowered interest rates in 2001 from 6.5% to 1.75% to save companies near bankruptcy and to keep unemployment down. And then in 2003 it reduced it further from 1.75% to 1%.
As a result of these policies, many people took out loans and bought houses because the interest rates were so low. And also the US government through various policies was encouraging even people with low incomes to take out loans and buy houses. This was because they wanted higher home ownership in the US. The banks were granting loans to just about anyone who asked due to the support of the government. So even people with no income and no assets were getting loans. A lot of people purchased houses because they expected the price of houses to continue going up and they would make easy money.
But what the government were in fact doing was creating another financial bubble. In 2006 interest rates went up and people on low incomes started defaulting on their loans. And those who wanted to get new loans to replace the old loans couldn't get them. Prices of houses dropped. This impacted on the banks and financial institutions which caused some like Lehman Brothers investment bank to collapse. So banks in the US got into financial trouble and this had a domino affect on financial institutions right across the world.
So the financial bubble blown up by the government in the preceding years burst in 2008. All of a sudden governments across the world found themselves trying to save their country's banks and economies from collapsing.
Repairs to the economy
The US government has done two things to try and fix the economy:
In February 2009, the US congress passed a 787 billion dollar stimulus bill to help its economy which was about to collapse. They did this by putting most of the funds into the banks to cover bad loans and therefore stop the banks from collapsing. Other country's governments did the same to save their banks. For example, Germany, Italy, Canada, South Korea and Great Britain.
In December 2008 the US Reserve Bank reduced interest rates to practically zero to restore investor confidence. Other central banks around the world did similar. The central banks repeated the same strategy they had done earlier that decade of dropping interest rates. Once more encouraging people to get cheap low interest loans and go and spend their money on things they really don't need.
Worldwide economic stress
But these types of attempts at rescuing the banks put a lot of economic stress on many country's governments. During the economic crisis many governments around the world went into deep debt. Iceland was one of the richest nations in the world. When the World Financial Crisis happened the Iceland banks collapsed and the stockmarket crashed. For the first time in fifty years this peaceful country saw riots. In Greece the national debt is extremely high. The Greek economy is under great strain. There have been riots there over the national debt. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain are other EU nations with similar problems.
The US economy is also struggling. The US governments has launched bail outs, stimulus packages and guarantees to the value of 10,000 billion dollars. In addition, there has been the Iraq and Afghanistan wars which have used up huge amounts of funds. So the US is looking more and more financially unstable as time goes on.
So the economic crisis has mean't many governments around the world have gone into deep debt.
A feeling of deja vu
When you hear all of this, the disturbing thing is that it seems like we have been here before. We are getting a feeling of deja vu. It is like history repeating itself. I'll explain what I mean.
As we have just seen...
This is what we have seen mostly in the US. But now we are seeing the whole same thing repeat but this time not just in the US, but in the whole world. All of the rescuing of the banks cost a lot of money. This time the world is in a financial crisis.
The techniques used by the US government to fix the first bubble are now this time being used by countries right across the world. Lower interest rates and the resultant massive debt are the very same things which led us into the first financial crisis. Also, this time governments around the world are trying to stimulate their economies by dumping money into the system to keep it going
So this time there are bubbles being inflated all over the world. But the difference is that this bubble is much, much bigger as it relates to the whole world. As one economic analyst said - "all bubble burst". As to when this worldwide bubble burst it is not known, but it will eventually burst.
Last time the bubble burst in 2008 it was the banks who were in trouble so the governments of each country could step in to save them. The next time the bubble bursts it will be the world's governments in economic trouble. Who is going to save them? When the next bubble bursts you can't use the same emergency measures that were used in 2008 - you can't lower interest rates as they are already at rock bottom and you can't stimulate the economy with money if the country is in deep debt. If a bank collapses then the government can stand in. But what happens if a whole nation collapses - what happens then? And as we saw before some nations have already started to fall.
The current situation
Currently everything in the financial markets of the USA looks like it back to normal. Many of the US banks are reporting record profits and the stock markets of the world have gone up. So the financial markets are breathing a sigh of relief. But ultimately there will be price all around the world to be paid for this massive current bubble. As one high profile economic analyst said "people don't want to believe that the worst is yet to come".
The world financial crisis and prophecy
From a prophecy viewpoint, it is possible that Jesus will return just before the worldwide economic collapse. This is because it seems highly likely that Christ is saying believers will be taken to judgement in times of prosperity. So this couldn't apply to a time of deep depression where people maybe struggling to get their next meal.
So, it seems highly likely that Christ will take his servants (believers) away in times of prosperity and whilst they are at the judgment seat, the whole worldwide financial system will collapse. As we see the signs of the worldwide economic collapse getting closer we should also think that this also may be bringing that day of Christ's return closer and closer.
The times of prosperity
How do we know that we will be taken in times of prosperity and not in times of a depression? Because this is what he said back in the first century.
"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left." Luke 17:26-35
Some church's and people think that there would be terrible times of tribulation and trouble before Christ's return. And this is when Christ would take the believers to judgement. But this is not correct. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us that he will come in times of prosperity when everyone is caught up in their own lives and do not care what you believe or what you do. These will be times of eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building.
So people including believers just drift along in times of great prosperity. Most people have a roof over their head, own a car, can afford to go on holidays and can put food on their table three times a day. So life is easy for most of us. So the words of Luke chapter 17 (above) is the Lord's warning for you and me and for our generation. This is the Lord Jesus Christ's exhortation to us.
So, Christ will return in a time of prosperity. And that is what he is concerned about as he knows that prosperity can draw his fellow believers away from God. Maybe he was thinking the city of Sodom. This city was destroyed by God because of it's terrible moral problems and wickedness. But what caused this wickedness to grow in this city? This is what Ezekiel the prophet said:
49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. Ezekiel 16:49-50
So the iniquity of Sodom was pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness. They had times of prosperity like we do. But what is of interest is that there is no reference in verse 49 to the awful moral condition of Sodom at that time. So the question can be asked, What produced the moral condition of Sodom? Well verse 50 tells us. Because of the prosperity mentioned in verse 49 it lead to moral corruption and degradation. And it is exactly the same thing which has happened in our world. Christ is concerned that prosperity may lead us in the same direction that Sodom took. So he wants to warn us.
The believer's preparation
Christ is concerned about the believer's preparation for his return for, through prophecy, he is telling us what it will be like in the days before his return. Returning back to Luke chapter 17 and verses 26 to 28 he tells us of the prosperity in those last days. He doesn't want us to fall into the same traps that those in Sodom and the days of Noah did. he wants us to be prepared for his return and the time of judgement. That is why he has given us prophecy so that we can look at the world around us and know that the return of Christ is near.
So we need to be prepared now. This is what Jesus says:
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Luke 17:34
So one night when the baptised believer is at home, at a time when he doesn't expect, a angel will turn up at his home and tell him it is time to go. What will be his reaction - will it be tears rolling down his face as he says how glad he is to see that angel. Or will it be panic as he realises he is no where near ready for the time of judgment. If we are a believer then let's start working, now, today, to ensure that we are fully ready for coming of our master. If we are still thinking about whether we believe then take action so that you don't miss out on the great kingdom to come!
This is a serious and urgent warning which Jesus left for believers:
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:42-44
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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013