• We Are Moving Toward a One-World Government
• Freedom Is Eroding
• It’s Time to Live by Biblical Conviction
• Ten Precursors of the Tribulation Are Evident Today
• We Can Live With Confidence in the Lord’s Triumphant Return
While writing this introduction, I’m watching the grim recovery efforts in Surfside, Florida, where the Champlain Towers South condominium collapsed in the dead of night, one floor pancaking onto the next, burying scores of people under tons of concrete. Most were sleeping in their beds, unaware of the suddenness of the coming catastrophe.
There had been signs, including warnings of water seeping beneath critical parts of the structure and weakening its integrity. But the alarm sounded too late.
Three thousand miles away, residents of San Francisco’s lavish Millennium Tower absorbed the news with apprehension. Their fifty-eight-story skyscraper with its dazzling views and luxury amenities has sunk eighteen inches into the soft downtown soil on which it was built. It’s tilting, and some view Surfside as a warning to the new Millennium.
I’m concerned about the new millennium too—our trembling twenty-first century. I’m burdened for the underpinnings of our culture, our eroding foundations and structural cracks. Like you, I’ve studied the signs of the times and believe we’re approaching a global cataclysm—one predicted in our Scriptures and unfolding before our eyes.
We Are Moving Toward a One-World Government
All this came to me in a sort of rush months ago as my wife, Donna, and I were having breakfast. We made the mistake of watching the morning news. Every story was more distressing than the one before. We sat there viewing the burning cities, backbiting politicians, runaway infections, heated elections, social upheaval, racial tensions, skyrocketing crime, shouting pundits, deafening lies, eroding sands, and cracking foundations.
I looked over at Donna and said, “You and I are watching the dismantling of America.”
This book was born in that moment.
I began to look at these crises and controversies in a new way. I realized they are not isolated movements, philosophies, or events. They are as interconnected as a spider’s web. COVID-19 seemed like an arbitrary crisis as it unfolded, but it didn’t occur in a vacuum, and the world’s response revealed our souls. Add to that emerging globalism. We’re only one existential crisis from a one-world government.
Freedom Is Eroding
And what about our worldwide economy, hanging by a strand?
Think of the degradation of our culture. It seems as if every member is a lover of self, a lover of money, a lover of pleasure—and eager to cancel anyone who disagrees with them. This translates to extreme persecution for the church in much of the world and to eroding religious liberty at home. Across our country, an unprecedented spiritual famine is causing an epidemic of emaciated hearts. In the process, many professed Christians are abandoning the faith. This has created a vacuum for the rising tide of socialism to flood into our land.
Simultaneously, events in the Middle East are turning Jerusalem into the powder keg of history. Again! Throw a pandemic in the midst, and there you have it—a world in chaos.
I’ve told you all that to say this: I refuse to be discouraged, and so should you!
It’s Time to Live by Biblical Conviction
This is no time to retreat. It’s time to live by conviction. When Moses sent the twelve spies into the promised land to reconnoiter the territory, ten of the spies were overwhelmed with fear and despair. They were daunted by the giants they saw. But two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, said, in effect, “Let us go forward! We can take the land!”
Years later in recalling the event, Caleb told Joshua, “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions” (Joshua 14:7 NIV, emphasis added).
Well, in this book I’ve explored the territory of our times, and I am bringing back a report according to my convictions. This is not bravado. I’m speaking as honestly and as humbly as I can when I tell you we cannot be still, we cannot be silent, and we cannot live by lies. We must live by our biblical convictions. We can no longer ignore the warnings or sleep in beds of ignorance. I believe we’re approaching the consummation of the ages.
For as long as I’ve had a Bible, I’ve studied scriptural prophecy. I’ve preached and written about the last days from the beginning of my ministry. Perhaps you’ve read some of my previous books regarding the Bible’s message on the end of the world and the return of Christ. I love writing about biblical prophecy because it’s God’s transfusion of hope to our hearts.
Ten Precursors of the Tribulation Are Evident Today
But I’ve never written a prophecy book like this one. In the pages that follow, I’m going to deal with ten prophetic issues as current as the morning news. In each chapter, I’ll tell you where we are, what it means, and where we go from here. We’ll thread our way through problems that Jesus predicted—precursors of the tribulation—and we’ll learn how to do the next right thing.
The Lord told us about this epoch in advance, and it’s a privilege to be His agents on the crest of history. We are not helpless, and our world is not hopeless. Even as the world collapses, the Lord is building His church. We can say something, do something, pray something, preach something, and live by the convictions of Christ.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in The Gulag Archipelago, “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future.”1
God’s people are more than conquerors. We have a way forward. I urge you to study the marching orders at the end of every chapter in this book. Put into practice the things I’m going to recommend. Set your mind fully on the hope you have in Christ, and be ready to pay any price, challenge any foe, and confront any lie for the sake of the gospel.
We Can Live With Confidence in the Lord’s Triumphant Return
At any moment, Jesus Christ will descend from heaven for His people. We haven’t long to wait. But until then, we need to understand what the age requires—and we need to do what the Lord commands.
In one of the strangest stories in the Bible, the Lord grabbed the ancient prophet Ezekiel by the hair of his head, transported him in a vision from Babylon to Jerusalem, and dropped him into a scene of unimaginable evil (Ezekiel 8:3). Ezekiel saw the depravity and decay of his own country, a country which he deeply loved. His nation was disintegrating. But God gave him a work to do. He commissioned him to be a watchman on the walls.
God may not grab your hair, but I pray He will grab your heart. I pray He will show you afresh the triumph of the gospel and call you as His watchman to sound the alarm and to proclaim the truth.
Remember what God later told Ezekiel, “I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one” (22:30, CSB).
I want Him to find at least two! One you, and one me.
Come, join me in dedicating the rest of your earthly life to living by biblical convictions, exalting in the triumph of the gospel, and doing all you can to repair the structures of society and to stand in the gap before the Lord on behalf of the land. Don’t be fearful, and don’t let the times overwhelm you. This world will not end in rubble, but in His return! Our risen and exalted Lord Jesus Christ, our enthroned Savior—He knows the way forward.
He will show us where to go from here.