God has an eternal plan He is working towards. The crescendo of that plan will be accomplished through the physical return of Christ. The complete dimension of the curse will finally be removed, the earth renewed, Satan bound, true believers rewarded for what they have done with their lives (1 Cor. 3:14), and the wicked punished.
As we look at the world today there is much to be concerned about. We are to remember that, yes; we want to do everything possible to alleviate the suffering and difficulty around the world. Yet, this world is not ours, nor their home. We are all pilgrims in search of the city of God.
It is a world of great pain and hardship. In the midst of the difficulty, the Kingdom of God is being established. The New Testament lays this out as the consistent way the Kingdom of God is actualized. It is a Kingdom in raging conflict with forces of darkness and often appears to suffer defeat.
This Kingdom faces opposition at every corner and this will continue to increase. Simultaneously believers provide a powerful witness of Christ globally and cooperate with God to speed the return of Jesus Christ, the true King (Matthew 24:14).
Let’s consider the eroding of religious freedom around the world:
- In the last 10-15 years religious freedoms have been deteriorating very fast
- Religious freedom is highest in countries with Christian and Buddhist roots
- It is in Islamic nations where religious freedom is at its lowest
- In the last 2,000 years about 70 million Christians have died for their faith. Half of these have been in the last 115 years
- Over 160,000 believers will be killed for their faith this year
- Nations with the worst persecution include Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Laos, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan
What about conflicts taking place in the world and their impact?
- The number of major conflicts in the world has risen dramatically in the last 50 years
- The vast majority of these conflicts have been in Africa, Asia and the Middle East
- 90% of casualties in these conflicts are civilians
- 77% of total deaths from conflicts have happened in Africa
- Global military spending was well over a trillion dollars US just a few years ago
How are children doing in the world?
- Child mortality and primary school enrollment have all improved dramatically since 1960
- Over 11 million children under five years of age die each year from preventable causes
- Over 260 million children are working today instead of being in school
- 5.8 million Children are mistreated by pedophiles annually and 625 million are victims of child abuse.
Question – How can you contribute to minimizing the negative effects related to the above issues?