This week marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, when Germany declared war on France.
Before the war, the ten European colonial powers effectively ruled the world. They stood at the pinnacle of an era of incredible technological innovation. Trains, autos, steamships, radio, gasoline, steel, electricity, and many other inventions of the industrial revolution transformed the lives of First World citizens. Trade and prosperity reached record highs and most imagined that the human progress would climb ever upward.
This week also marks the 69th anniversary of the final stage of the world wars which began in 1914, when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. The short span of 31 years from 1914 to 1945 had seen the overthrow of the European hegemony and the emergence of only two powers, the U.S. and Russia. Third world colonies of the great powers gained independence, and the nation of Israel was reborn. Prosperity finally returned to the First World and those new nations which had avoided the traps of socialism and communism. We have seen great technological advances and now, as in 1914, most imagine that human progress will continue its upward climb.
The Bible speaks of a time when the world would be ruled by “Ten Kings” (see Rev 17:12). Those ten nations, the European Colonial Powers, were used by God to break up the dominance of pagan religions in the world and create an opening for the Gospel to be preached (See Rev 17:16). From this opening has come the powerful revivals we see in Africa, Asia, and South America today.
Sadly, the ten nations have not participated in the Christian revival. Instead, most embraced secularism and attacked or marginalized Christianity. Believing themselves to be wise, they left their Christian belief and values behind. The result was a descent into brutality, atrocity, genocide, and destruction. Because they lost their faith, the Ten Kings also lost their place.
The message for America today is to be on watch lest we lose our way and lose our place. Our faith is the foundation of our place, and without our faith we can fall backwards into depravation as the Ten Kings did.
Let us pray for Christian awakening and a realization that our foundations must be restored if our nation is to survive.