Have the Experts Spoken on our Approaching Future – The Documentation – /Part 1
|By: John G. Weldon PhD, DMin, MA; ©2011|
|The views in this article are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the John Ankerberg Show. The purpose of this material is not to concern anyone unduly but to open the eyes of people who are currently unaware of potential eventualities.|
Have the Experts Spoken on our Approaching Future? – The Documentation
Disclaimer: The views in this article are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the John Ankerberg Show.
- “According to a June 8th  CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 48 percent of Americans believe that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year – the highest that figure has ever reached.”
- “Sensible people foresee trouble and hide [from it], but gullible people go ahead and suffer [the consequence]” (Proverbs 22:3, GWT).
- “We’re on the verge of a great, great depression.” — Market strategist Peter Yastrow
- “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by” (Isaiah 26:20. NIV).
- “The national debt now stands at just over $14 trillion, while net total liabilities are estimated at over $200 trillion. The government is insolvent, as there is no way that this massive sum of liabilities can ever be paid off.
- “I don’t think there’s ever been a time in American history where we see so many apocalyptic problems on our time horizon in the near future.” – Robert Gleason, Executive Editor, “End of Days”
The purpose of the material below is certainly not to concern anyone unduly; it is simply to demonstrate to people currently unaware that it is wise to be prepared for potential eventualities. This is especially true for the churches that will bear the brunt of caring for others should hard times emerge. (In all probability, in a worst-case scenario, government services simply won’t be able to help much.)
The recent political “debt ceiling” agreement was a positive step forward. Given Democratic power, the changes achieved by the Republicans were significant. No taxes were added, spending was cut and capped to an extent, and there will be a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. In addition, the Tea Party’s efforts are seeing results.
On the other hand, enforcing the second half of the deal will be more problematic and overall significant cuts in entitlements will still be required. Today, over 40 million people each are on Medicare and Medicaid, over 50 million are on Social Security, over 24 million receive earned income tax credit checks from the government and over seven million receive unemployment checks. In total, over 160 million people receiving money from the government. In other words, about 66% of government payments today go to individuals. In addition, fundamental structural change in how the government operates is vital if Washington is to function effectively. Candidates for the 2012 election cycle will offer their plans to do so, but only time will tell how much progress can be made toward what is a staggering level of debt. Our debt remains around $14 trillion and that without changes we were going to accrue another $7 trillion in debt over the next decade – despite budget cuts. The result would be $20 trillion of debt.
Change is clearly necessary to avoid a future catastrophe. To illustrate, some politicians might remember that in 1965 the poverty rate was 14%. Some 50 years later, after trillions and trillions of dollars have been spent on the poor, in 2011 the comparative poverty rate had slightly increased to 14.3%. As important as government is, despite what millions of Americans believe, big government is not the answer.
However, when numerous converging and interrelated signs are present that an economic or other upheaval is likely before long, wise people will at least prepare for the possibility by making appropriate plans. These could range form storing food and medicine, personal security, and even clothing. For those interested, there are many “survival websites” on the Internet which supply details (such as www.eFoodsDirect.com and Survival-Warehouse.com). In the “How to Plan” and “Tips” sections below, introductory information is also provided.
Of course, our future may not be bleak, or at least not as bad as some people think.
There is always hope. We never know what God may do. He may be letting us receive the results of our national turning from Him and our increasingly pervasive sins as per Romans 1, or He may have plans to bring about a spiritual awakening in our nation, perhaps a major one. To be sure, there are some who believe that we are on the verge of a fifth Great Awakening in this country, and it is also true that God is clearly working, even supernaturally, in Asia, Latin America and other places. For example, Islam as a religion is powerfully opposed to Christianity: conversion to Christian faith can bring the death penalty. Yet thousands of Muslims have come to faith in Christ through unexpected means such as dreams and visions of Jesus – and millions of Muslims have come to Christ in normal ways. “Saudi Arabian Muslim leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Qatanni recently reported on al-Jazeera television that every day, “16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity.” He claimed that Islam was losing six million a year to Christian faith. While he could be inflating his numbers to incite Islamic reaction against Christianity, it is clear that a significant Christian movement is occurring in the Muslim world.”
So, even though things look rather bleak now, it may not necessarily end up that way. In sum, no one knows what America will be like in 2-3 years. Regardless, it appears that too many Americans are unaware of and unprepared for the potential dangers this nation faces from at least a dozen fronts, which is why I have published this brief compilation illustrating a few of those dangers. I would rather warn and be wrong than not warn at all.
The point of this article is preparation in case there is a calamity of whatever type. For Christians, the most important thing is to be praying and working for repentance/revival within the Church, and spiritual awakening within the culture. Given our current state of affairs, perhaps nothing is more important. It may also be good to remember that if things get really tough here in America, they have been equally bad in many places around the world where people live in abject poverty, without electricity, under cruel and barbarous dictatorships, etc. (It is estimated that over 1 billion people in the world today live in grinding poverty, on a less than $350 year, with 200 million of those individuals being Christians.) People in America and the West generally are so wealthy that they really have no idea of how most people have lived throughout history. The biblical “if we have [only] food and clothing, we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:8) is something most Americans cannot relate to: even many ‘poor’ Americans, but that day may be coming. “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8) As the Bible teaches, in national calamities, the righteous will suffer along with the unrighteous; as Scripture also teaches, Christians are destined to suffer. (Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4; 1 Peter 2:21; 4:19) But even in this they may rejoice (1 Peter 4:13 Romans 5:3; James 1:2-3). Whatever happens, prosperity or poverty, life or death, the righteous will always have infinitely more. And even in this life, as Romans 8:28 declares, for the believer who loves God, all things work together for good and this is always true, no matter what happens, good or evil. The lives of the saints bear this out in innumerable cases historically and today. Consider Joseph the son of the patriarch Jacob, the prophet Daniel, the apostle Paul, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, or the amazing life of missionary Charles Brainerd – just a few of millions of examples which can also be duplicated in the life of ordinary Christians.
If you aren’t a Christian, while time remains, I entreat you to commit your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and to receive and inherit the love, forgiveness of sin and eternal life God so freely offers. He is not willing that any should perish: “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Now is not the time to gamble with one’s eternal destiny – it never is, but especially now. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
No man is guaranteed even a single additional hour of life, something that is but a vapor anyway. Life goes by in a blink, while eternity is forever. Another hour, day, week, month, year or decade, and we will all be standing before God to give an account. Who among us can stand with our thousands of sins before an infinitely holy God? Only those having genuine trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins will survive before the tribunal of God, because Christ alone died for sin. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) In what theologian’s term “the great exchange,” God placed all our sins upon Christ and reckoned Christ’s righteousness to us – true believers, those “in Christ,” become as righteous as God is righteous!
It’s an amazing thing. A God of infinite love and righteousness, infinitely glorious and perfect in all his attributes, freely offers forgiveness of all sin (past, present and future, Colossians 2:13) and perfect peace, righteousness, joy, love and glory forever – such that multiplied wonders will never end throughout an eternity of eternities. In fact, I believe with Jonathan Edwards in The End for Which God Created the World (because of the infinite distance between finite beings and an infinite God) that the redeemed will experience eternally increasing knowledge, joy and love. (Edwards may be best known for Hell, but he actually knew more about Heaven.) After all, if God did the most for us when we were sinners (Christ’s atoning death on the cross), how will he do less for us when we become his own dear children? (Romans 5:10; 8:32) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Indeed, God has all eternity to show his love to his children in ways unimaginable and unfathomable. (Ephesians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:9)
Trust in Him! The Gospel is better news than a cure for cancer and all known diseases – infinitely better. It is infinitely better because it ultimately cures all disease and death (forever) and grants infinitely more: God himself. In Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life one of John Piper’s devotionals is titled, “The Greatest Thing in the World is to be Saved,” – indeed, apart from God Himself, it is the greatest thing in all eternity. As Piper says, “The reason that being saved is the greatest experience in the world is because GOD is the greatest Person in the world, and being saved means being rescued from sin and damnation so that we can know and enjoy God forever. If God were not the greatest Reality in the universe, being saved to be with him [forever] would not be the greatest experience in the universe.” (See the JAShow.org homepage for details on becoming a Christian.)
But back to Earth, our habitation for a while longer. Below we provide declarations from leading experts who cumulatively document the need for preparation, both material and spiritual, depending on who is now reading this material.
- Gerald Celente, “Trend Alert: COLLAPSE — IT’S COMING! ARE YOU READY?” subscriber email June 16, 2011
- “US economy on verge of ‘Great Great Depression’?”: Rt.com, June 2, 2011
- “Bloomberg: Default Now, or Suffer a More Expensive Crisis Later: Ron Paul, ” Gainesville CoinsJuly 22, 2011; http://www.gainesvillecoins.com/news/322/Bloomberg–Default-Now-or-Suffer-a-More-Expensive-Crisis-Later-Ron-Paul.aspx.
- “Prophets of Doom,” The History Channel, June 2011
- President Obama has spent a mind-boggling $6 trillion dollars in just two and one-half years; US debt and additional obligations are almost unmanageable (cf. USDebtClock.org), US credit is at risk, and so is the dollar. In any real mega-crisis, the government will have its hands full dealing with just a minimum of problems. The government response to, by comparison, relatively minor issues such as Katrina and the Gulf oil spill are suggestive.
- The Journal Editorial Report, July 30, 2011.
- The O’Reilly factor, July 27, 2011.
- James C. Denison, PhD, “The Fifth Great Awakening and the Future of America,” Informed Faith, 2009 p. 1
- Nuclear terror, clearly the most serious threat according to many experts, especially terrorist originated; drought and famine; currency collapse, a “greatest depression” and hyperinflation; nuclear war ignited by the Middle East, North Korea or a future Islamist Pakistan; radical Islam which desires global domination and which has not been sufficiently prepared against; viral and other epidemic diseases from a variety of sources; cyber terror against Wall Street, the military, intelligence services, etc.; a pulse bomb attack that destroys much, most or all of the electrical grid (this is even possible through natural means such as a solar flare and some scientists have suggested one may be headed our way in 2012-2013; other massive environmental disasters; human nature which always seems to wait until it’s too late to act; if matters deteriorate precipitously, Civil War (cf. due to austerity measures, the current major riots in Greece); resource and energy crises (food, oil, water: most people are unaware, but the world is all too quickly running out of water); convergence and interrelatedness (most of these crises seem to be coming at the same time and many are interrelated; government bureaucracy, corruption and oppression; lack of time, civic ignorance and apathy; divine judgment which could encompass any of the above or something else. A study of the Bible and US spiritual and moral conditions indicates that America is under divine judgment headed toward divine wrath. Finally, the fact is that America is a global Empire and historically, all empires fall sooner or later. That doesn’t mean we fall now, but given the circumstances, it may be suggestive.
- Jonathan Edwards, The Life of Charles Brainerd.
- John Piper, Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life, Meditation 25. p. 85.