The Current Scene
The dominance of America becoming a world power is a misfit in history. It has generally come to the ambitious conqueror. For close to two hundred years England was the world’s policeman. Trouble spots were called singeing the lion’s beard. England’s demise, along with France and Germany, created a vacuum that was an invitation to the adventurers — Communism in particular. America was the only power capable of defending the weakened and weak. Now, like all administrators of discipline and order, America has become the bad guy even among the European beneficiaries. The principle catalyst to cause this is the placing of missiles in strategic places. Satan may want to see Europe fragmented again. In spite of the contradictory outlook Europe is destined to unify and become the protector of Jerusalem and more than counterbalance Russia. The potential is there; it only needs the political antichrist to achieve the necessary consolidation.
Again we observe America entering into something that amounts to a near alliance with Israel, thus furthering hatred from the Arab world. The formidable array of sea and land power in the Lebanon theatre reveals how important it is to preserve Lebanon’s independence from Syria. Assad, Syria’s leader who is backed by thousands of Russian personnel and the latest weaponry, appreciates the importance of Lebanon in his antipathy against the Jew. America is blocking this takeover for the present. Assad and Reagan seem to have staked a lot of their reputation on Lebanon’s outcome. With suicide terrorism in the struggle the fight is going to be nasty. This at least gives our weary Israel a breathing spell. Apart from the American presence in the Middle East things could look even more bleak for Israel. The original covenant with Abram guaranteed blessing to those that blessed the Jew. In that case America is on the right side. However, Israel will not be ultimately safe until they see Christ their Messiah coming from heaven on that white horse (Rev. 19), and they shall say, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39).
With the election a few months off the fever for such is breaking out. The democratic party is fielding for their man. It seems that they are recoiling from the present administration’s conservatism. Mondale appears at present the front runner. His party, as it ages, can logically only develop further toward socialism. The windup will be a defenseless welfare state. In the event of their winning, it will be because of the present millions of mindless voters whose “me too” instincts are all that counts. On the other hand, President Reagan appears to be saying, “I need another four years to fulfill what I believe is my destiny.”
The masses today insist on being heard. If they lose out they are all too ready to take to the streets. The prophecy of Daniel spoke of Nebuchadnezzar’s image with its feet and toes, obviously relating to conditions before the second coming of Jesus Christ. The feet are seen to be composed of iron and miry clay (2:42). Most interpret the iron as conservatism and the clay as the turbulent masses. Whichever becomes victor must resort to some form of despotism to maintain such a position. This is the only alternative to inevitable anarchy. Does America still have a strong, self-disciplined minority sufficient to safeguard our freedoms? The coming elections will be interesting.
Speaking of the circumstances that led up to the French Revolution, the historian wrote, “Millions of fierce and ardent natures were intoxicated by dreams of an impossible equality and a complete social and political reorganization.” A long ago president of Princeton, Dr. Patton, wisely observed, “The only hope of Christianity is in the rehabilitating of the Pauline theology. It is back, back to an incarnate Christ and the atoning blood, or it is on, on, on to atheism and despair.”
The United Nations
This institution has been around since the close of World War 2. It houses representatives from nearly every nation in the world; large or small. Regardless of size or importance each has one vote. Their building, a mini-skyscraper, is situated on the East side of Manhattan Island. Outside and inscribed in marble are the words of the prophet Isaiah, “And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares — neither shall they learn war anymore.”
The subsequent history of the United Nations tends to make a mockery out of the prophecy. As to being influential in stopping wars, the United Nations has fared no better than its predecessor — the League of Nations, ironically set up after World War 1. That war, it will be remembered, was a war to end wars. Hitler in turn made short shift of the hopeful moralizing of the League of Nations. Now there are those in the United States who feel that the United Nations does not serve our interests. They want out!
The United Nations has been described as the pinnacle of mankind’s hopes for peace on earth, but its influence matters little when it comes to stopping wars and maintaining the peace — just a deluge of words and debates. Unfortunately, like all institutions that have such high moral goals they become easy targets to be judged in the light of their failures. The higher the standard the more one is exposed to criticism. The Church of Jesus Christ fares in a similar way. The United Nations’ special agencies are providing emergency relief, education, nutrition and medicine to millions of displaced people. Then also it gives a valuable window on the Third World.
It is no doubt man’s best attempt to maintain peace in the world. We can count on the United Nations doing all that it can to prevent hostilities before they reach the boiling point. Personally, we hope it and its most dedicated members merit the benediction, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9). While enemies have a place and are encouraged to air their differences, they at least are not shooting at each other.
Getting back to the Scripture, “Nation shall not lift sword against nation” seems to justify the atheist’s retort, “What has Christianity in its long history done to bring about the peace Isaiah describes.” “Dispensational truth,” as it is commonly called, has the best answer, if not the only answer to the problem. Christianity is not a world-changing religion — the proof of this is two thousand years of church history. The good effects that Christianity has had upon the world are but byproducts. The true church is in the world but not of it. “The powers of the age to come” (Heb. 6:5) do not characterize this present church age. Isaiah’s prophecy awaits the next dispensation and a literal fulfillment.