The world has been witnessing one of the worst humanitarian disasters since World War II. The Balkans crisis has exacted a tragic human toll. According to NATO Spokesman Jamie Shea, over 912,000 ethnic Albanians have been made homeless or driven from the province of Kosovo. They've been subjected to oppression, atrocities, rape and murder. What will be the solution to their problem? What can the world learn from this? Where is this tragedy heading? Is it the beginning of the prophesied Great Tribulation?
The Kosovo crisis is not the only regional atrocity since the end of World War II. According to Newsweek Magazine, "The Genocide Convention outlawed 'acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part,' a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Postwar atrocities [include]:
Cambodia: 1 million dead, 500,000 displaced
Rwanda: 1 million dead, 3.5 million displaced
Bosnia: 300,000 dead, 2 million displaced
Will humanity continue to inflict genocide and cruelty? One commentator whose battalion liberated a death camp at the close of World War II wrote, "All these years later, it is sickening to me that there is a replay of Holocaust now taking place in the Balkans. Are we condemned forever to endure these horrors? Won't we ever learn?"
No, the human race will NOT learn its lesson until World War III and Armageddon take place. But the good news is that we are NOT CONDEMNED forever to endure these horrors! Bible prophecy reveals that a new world government is coming to rule this earth. It is called the Kingdom of God. Its ruler will be Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, and the One to whom all power in heaven and earth is given. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Yes, Jesus Christ will enforce world peace as King of kings and Lord of lords! There is hope!
In the meantime, a younger generation, 50 years removed from the end of World War II, is being given a wake-up call. We see continuing evidence of the historic and very predictable evil of man's inhumanity to man! Jesus warned the world in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." The Kosovo catastrophe is just a little introduction to the final evil man will bring upon himself.
Genuine Christians all over the world will agonize over human suffering wherever it occurs—and they will have compassion on all casualties of the Balkan war and the refugees of Kosovo. Christians will shed tears over the tragedy of oppression and the beginnings of another genocide. They will pray for God's mercy and intervention for the victims of war. And they will be watchful and understanding of geopolitical events leading to the climax of mankind's ultimate disaster. That's why we look forward to tomorrow's world. That's why we pray, "Thy Kingdom Come!"
I'm Richard Ames for the Living Church of God.