World News in Review—What It Means
PEOPLE who really think about what is in the news these days know that something has gone wrong with the world—seriously wrong. There have been times in the past when great empires have experienced turmoil and decay, but never before has the entire world been so gravely afflicted at one time.
Significantly, what is being reported in the news corresponds strikingly with what was foretold in the Bible to mark “the last days,” the “conclusion of the system of things.” Parallels show up, not merely in a few respects, but in all the details. The following are excerpts from those Bible prophecies, along with news reports from recent months.
● “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” That is what Jesus Christ foretold.—Matt. 24:7.
“The countries of the world last year spent the staggering sum of £212,000 millions ($455 billion [U.S.]) on various forms of military activity . . . On an average they invested £8,000 ($17,000) a year on each of their soldiers compared with £130 ($275) a year on education for each school-age child. . . . In sheer tonnage, for example, there is more explosive material on earth than there is food, and investment in war machinery is running at 2,500 times that of the machinery of peace.”—The Guardian (London), Oct. 21, 1979.
● “And there will be food shortages.”—Matt. 24:7.
“An estimated 450 million people—probably nearly 500 million—suffer from severe malnutrition, according to U.N. food specialists. . . . More than 500 million others don’t get enough to eat to go about their daily activities . . . The numbers are increasing steadily.”—Associated Press (AP), Oct. 15, 1979.
● “And earthquakes in one place after another.”—Matt. 24:7.
“San Franciscans Stunned as Quake, Worst in 68 Years, Strikes the City.”—New York Times, Aug. 7, 1979.
“Italy’s worst earthquake in three years . . . The quake and its 300 aftershocks yesterday jolted central Italy, killing at least five people and injuring more than 5000 others.”—United Press International (UPI), Sept. 21, 1979.
“An earthquake [in Iran] killed hundreds of people . . . only 300 miles [480 km] from the scene of a tremor that killed about 15,000 people last year.”—UPI, Nov. 15, 1979.
“The most powerful earthquake to hit Colombia in 20 years left 44 persons dead and 600 injured.”—AP, Nov. 25, 1979.
● “And you [who are followers of Jesus Christ] will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name.”—Matt. 24:9.
“The report by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, submitted to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, now meeting in La Paz, Bolivia, cited . . . the suppression of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious movement [in Argentina].”—New York Times, Oct. 31, 1979.
Of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Canada’s “United Church Observer” said: “They are a courageous group and probably endure more persecution for less offence than any other religious group in the world.” In all nations they experience persecution. At present, their activity in announcing the rulership of Jesus Christ is officially banned or restricted in about 50 lands. Nevertheless, it is continuing.
● “Because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off.”—Matt. 24:12.
Terrorism (assassinations, kidnappings, bombings) has grown from 206 incidents world wide in 1972 to 2,662 in just the first nine months of 1979.—The Conference Board, a nonprofit business corporation, Nov. 1979.
“Increases in every kind of major crime have contradicted some experts’ predictions of a year ago that the [U.S.] national crime rate would begin to decline.”—New York Times, Oct. 28, 1979.
Disregard for the law of God is especially outstanding. The Anglican Church granted permission for publication of a recommendation by a working body of the church that “bishops should not refuse to ordain a man because he is a homosexual.” (Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 20, 1979) “The National Council of Churches’ Commission on Women in Ministry” recently expressed its “solidarity” with one of its members who had announced that she was a lesbian.—The Christian Century, Nov. 7, 1979.
How do many persons react to all of this? “The vast majority of Canadians have no active connection with any religion.” (Toronto Star, Sept. 8, 1979) “Those who have thrown Christianity by the board give reasons for rejecting the Christian religion completely as disillusionment and entire disbelief in the existence of God.”—Zimbabwe Rhodesia Herald, Nov. 5, 1979.
● “In the last days . . . men will be lovers of themselves.”—2 Tim. 3:1, 2.
“I doubt that we have ever experienced a more self-centered period in our history. [There is] overwhelming emphasis on self-understanding, self-awareness, self-gratification.”—Director of U.S. International Communications Agency.
● “Disobedient to parents.”—2 Tim. 3:2.
“Authorities say that [juvenile] gang violence in Los Angeles County is growing at an alarming rate and that clashes between rivals may claim 300 lives this year . . . officials testified at day-long hearings on juvenile gangs by the State Senate Select Committee on Children and Youth.”—UPI, Nov. 7, 1979.
● “Without love of goodness.”—2 Tim. 3:3.
“The most horrifying aspect of the entire [Hawaiian juvenile crime] situation is that most of the young criminals are pathological—they truly do not seem to realize that the acts that they commit are wrong. In many cases, when tried and questioned by a judge, their response is an honest shrug of the shoulders—‘So what?’”—New York Times, Nov. 21, 1979.
● “Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”—2 Tim. 3:4.
A recent survey reveals that from 1940 until today, auto registrations in the United States are up 327 percent, telephones are up 671 percent. At the same time, (with disregard for the law of God) divorces per 1,000 married couples are up 150 percent and illegitimate births are up 473 percent.—U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 10, 1979.
“Society has affluence and what it wants, so [turning a deaf ear to God] it produces its own, easy theology, a theology of ‘me first’ and ‘me too.’”—Anglican Archbishop of Canada Lewis S. Garnsworthy.
● “On the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out . . . while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.”—Luke 21:25, 26.
“This episode [involving Iran and the United States] is, as it were, the shocking prologue to an equally tense drama that stands poised to unfold in the decade ahead. It promises to be an absolutely ghastly period.”—The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 26, 1979.
“The atmosphere of trouble and fear of the future [in France] is real. Some people . . . seem almost relieved at the idea that there is nothing to be done but resign themselves to coming disaster.”—New York Times, Nov. 17, 1979.
● “And this good news of the kingdom [of God] will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness.”—Matt. 24:14.
During their 1979 service year, 2,186,075 of Jehovah’s Witnesses devoted 318,974,347 hours to this public preaching activity in 205 lands. Their principal magazine, entitled “The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom,” published in 106 languages, is one of the most widely distributed magazines in the world.
What is reported here are only the events of recent months. The pattern has developed prominently since 1914 C.E., the year that World War I began. Check the record.
Millions of persons around the world have become convinced that these events are highly significant. They realize that, since what the Bible says about all these matters has come to pass, there is good reason to put confidence in what it foretells for the near future. And what is that? “When you see all these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near,” now to take full control of earth’s affairs. (Luke 21:31) Under God’s kingdom, his government in the hands of Jesus Christ, it will not be the proud, the selfish and the violent who will prevail. Instead, “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth . . . and they will reside forever upon it.” (Ps. 37:11, 29) You can be one of them.
Does life under such conditions sound good to you? Then learn more about it now, while there is yet opportunity.