WHEN Christ Jesus was asked by his disciples for the sign of his invisible presence in Kingdom power, Jesus foretold an “increasing of lawlessness.” (Matthew 24:3, 12) Is this prophecy being fulfilled in our day?
Indeed it is! The book The United Nations and Crime Prevention, published by the UN in October 1991, states: “Serious crime is an exceptionally severe problem for the majority of the nations of the world. Domestic crime has outstripped the control of most individual nations and transnational crime has accelerated far beyond the current reach of the international community. . . . Crime by organized criminal groups has expanded to alarming proportions, with particularly serious consequences in terms of physical violence, intimidation and corruption of public officials. Terrorism has claimed tens of thousands of innocent victims. Predatory trafficking in addictive narcotics has become a worldwide tragedy. Criminally reckless environmental destruction has taken such alarming forms and dimensions that it has become recognized as a crime against the world itself.”
Assaults: An increase from 150 assaults per 100,000 people in 1970 to nearly 400 per 100,000 in 1990.
Thefts: An increase from just over 1,000 per 100,000 in 1970 to 3,500 per 100,000 in 1990.
Intentional homicides: In developing countries, an increase from 1 to 2.5 per 100,000 between 1975 and 1985. In developed countries the increase for the same period was from less than 3 to over 3.5.
Drug-related crime: The book observes: “Major trafficking combines can literally outspend and outgun the Governments of small nations, and so far have been able to stymie the interdiction and law enforcement efforts of the industrialized countries.”
Overall crime rate: Expected to double from 4,000 per 100,000 in 1985 to close to 8,000 in the year 2000.
The global increase in crime is but one feature of Jesus’ prophecy indicating that we are living in “the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus said: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near.”—Luke 21:31.