The international 24 hour cable news networks have provided compelling viewing these last number of weeks. Dictators across the Arab world falling or about to be toppled; oil prices shooting through the roof; food prices at historic highs; weather anomalies of weather extremes; earthquakes in diverse places; animals mysteriously dying.  Apocalyptic headlines which at first glance will provide the usual televangelists from America with their usual prophetic topics for preaching: The Antichrist is coming! The End Times are upon us! Rapture Ahead! (seen on a bumper sticker “Jesus is Coming…look busy!”). These “prophetic” ministries are as incapable of foreseeing the coming fall of Islam as they were of seeing the eventual fall of Communism in the 1980’s as they are incapable of seeing the ongoing fall of Wall Street capitalism and the American empire after 9/11.  These events do not fit their ongoing teaching paradigm of the Devil taking over the world and the defeat of the Church and its subsequent Dunkirk style rescue in the form of the Rapture.

For those of us who preach the victory of the Kingdom of God here on earth in historical time these tumultuous events in the Islamic world are not a surprise. Isaiah 40:23 tells us that our Lord “brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.”  Especially those rulers who prevent the preaching of the Gospel in their lands…and that includes Israel! God is no respecter of persons. God is a respecter of His Word and that Word states that nations will flow into His Kingdom because His Kingdom will grow until it fills the earth. So get ready for Habakkuk 1:5, “Look at the nations and be utterly amazed…for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.”

So lets look at the nations and see if we can discern what the Lord is doing in our day…

Nations Die

Like every living thing, nations and civilizations are born, grow and die. The only Kingdom that grows and does not die is our Lord’s eternal Kingdom. People respond to the death of their nation, civilization or way of life as they respond to their own impending death. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross the noted researcher on the dynamics of dying people noted five stages that a dying person goes through when learning of their impending death: Denial leading to Anger, leading to Bargaining, leading to Depression, leading to Acceptance.

I raise the issue of the death of Islam here because that is my analysis of what is happening in the Middle East. This is not apparent yet, especially to news commentators across all the media who are in raptures at the mighty demonstration on the streets of Arab nations of “people power”. To them the people are rising up and throwing off the dictators who suppress their democratic aspirations. In reality the riots started because of rising food prices and massive joblessness. They are in the first stages of the death of their nations and their Islamic civilization; denial and anger. They are in denial as to the end result of their Islamic faith upon their national economies…poverty.  The Imams in control of national education policies have set up thousands of Maddrasses where the education is centered on memorizing the Koran. What is desperately missing to create modern competitive economies that can compete in the world market place are technical skills, engineers, freedom of thought and freedom of movement, secure property rights, the rule of law, representative government…all these were the key ingredients to the wealth creating industrial and scientific revolution of the west. And these came directly out of the Reformation of 1517.

Watch next for the Bargaining phase. “If only we can have better government, if only we can open our markets, if only we can train our workforce.” But it is too late. Oil is the lifeblood that keeps the Islamic world alive and growing. It buys the consumer goods for these nations and it pays for the food that the hundreds of millions need. But like a human body with a mortal wound that is bleeding out, so is every barrel of oil leaving the shores of Arabia. The lifeblood is flowing out and within the next 20 years it is finished. But long before that, as production declines so will come the onsetting great depression that will grip the Islamic world. They will realize it is too late. They cannot create the new economies they need to replace oil, they will not be able to produce the products for the world market they need to pay for their huge imports of food to feed themselves. A billion people with no resources left and no technical economies with which to create wealth to make their way in the world.

What will be the outcome? A desperately poor and hungry Islamic world will be confronted in the decade ahead with a world where the sources of food and wealth will be in nations and regions where massive charismatic evangelical revivals have broken out, Africa, North and South America and China (yes China!, 100 million home church evangelicals already and 200 million in the next decade!). The Islamic world will have a choice…Acceptance. Acceptance of the death of their nations and civilization or open their nations to the preaching of the Gospel and Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord! With it will come aid and food…without it will come eventual death.

Watch the ongoing drama on the streets of the middle east and north Africa nations. The euphoria of revolution and new governments will soon turn to the sobering reality of their predicament, the dictators are gone but still no jobs and no food at affordable prices. But also watch our Lord in action and His promise of Habakkuk 1:5.

The death of the West…

But it is not just the Islamic world that is in denial as to their impending implosion and death. The riots will come in America. Wisconsin teachers are just the beginning. Americans are in denial about the death of their way of life. America is bankrupt. Pensions are not going to pay out. Boomers will retire with nothing. The oil is running out. That means suburbia is dying. The sprawling suburbs were built on the predication of endless cheap oil supporting an economy based on endless growth. As that illusion evaporates Americans will take to the streets demanding the return of “the American way of life”. They will bargain with politicians who promise the return of the good old days. The economy is dying. It is on life support with constant infusions of new debt and massive imports of cheap goods to keep giving the illusion of fully stocked retail stores. But the factories are gone and with them the high paying manufacturing jobs. And like an old man whose brain cells are deteriorating and memory is fading, the institutional memory of old technicians and engineers who still remember how to make televisions, electronics, shoes, textiles, capital goods, and consumer goods are disappearing with the death and retirement of the boomer generation. Replacing them is younger generation who really don’t know how to make anything. As the economic base crumbles so will the infrastructure of the nation crumble with it for lack of maintenance funds. The capital stock of the nation is run down and not replaced. The coming great depression will result in the final acceptance by the evangelical community that they need to come out of sinking Babylon and recreate the vision of America as “a city on hill” shining to the nations which was the vision of their Puritan founders. This new commonwealth will not be based on the 1776 Revolution of “We the people…” but the Bible based constitution of “We the Church of Jesus Christ…”.

Watch other regions of the world dying.  Japan, Europe and Russia are dying a demographic death. There are no babies to replace the aging populations. They are all aging rapidly. There are no future young people to either care for the burgeoning elderly population or new taxpayers to pay the retirement pensions of the elderly generation. They are finished. There is no “Antichrist” coming out of Europe to rule the world. Europe is in terminal decline. Bankrupt, aging, and dying. They tried to form the European Union to desperately cling to each other for support. It did not work. The Euro is finished and so is the European project.

The 2010-2030 Great Transition…

We are now well into the great 20 year transition of 2010-2030. This transition period you will see the dying dramas of nations and civilizations going through the Kubler-Ross five step process of dying. It is not going to be a pretty sight. Get out of the dying systems. Get into a Christian community of believers. The only thing that will grow in the years ahead is the Church of Jesus Christ. As nations die, the meek will inherit the earth. Jesus was right. After the great plague of the 14th Century that wiped out nobility and nations in Europe, the peasants were liberated from their dying oppressive overlords and inherited empty lands, cities and castles. When the Roman Empire collapsed the average peasant worker was delivered from the oppressive taxation of Rome and village life thrived.

We are going through the great transition over the next two decades of the death of nations and civilizations. But the Church of Jesus Christ will emerge from the coming great disruption the only viable world wide organizing power. Not based on arms or coercion but the love of Christ in the hearts of men and women of all nations and peoples.

“Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told” Habakkuk 1:4.  Except that I have told you what the Lord is going to do but I know you don’t believe me yet…but keep watching this space.

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