NewsWatch | Tomorrow’s World — May/June 2024


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Mark 13:37 | “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

Abortion Now a Constitutional Right in France

Partly in reaction to the United States turning back the clock on abortion rights and with the encouragement of President Emmanuel Macron, the French Parliament voted overwhelmingly in March to amend the nation’s 1958 constitution (BBC, March 4, 2024). Abortion is now “enshrined” as a right of every French woman thanks to France’s 25th Amendment. France has become the first nation in the world to make abortion an explicitly stated constitutional right. The reaction of the French Parliament after the vote was jubilation, while the Vatican was quick to respond with a statement of protest: “There can be no ‘right’ to take a human life.”

Our modern, secular societies are increasingly self-centered. However, the practice of killing the unborn and even infants is not new. In contrast to God’s commands against child sacrifice, the ancient Israelites fell into this abominable form of worship practiced by the pagan nations around them. Today, children are no longer sacrificed to spiritual gods—they are sacrificed to the god of self. “My body, my choice” is the mantra so often repeated by proponents of abortion in their loathing of any children whose lives might interfere with their own personal desires.

The French are descendants of one of the ancient tribes of Israel. Will the decisions of French lawmakers pave the way for France’s brother-tribes to follow suit? The Bible states that “in the last days” people “will be lovers of themselves… rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). God specifically warns the modern nations that have descended from ancient Israel that, if they turn away from God and violate His commandments, they will face serious consequences (cf. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28).

Growth of Atheist Churches

It sounds like an oxymoron to call something an “atheist church,” but as mainstream church attendance continues to decline, atheist church attendance is on the rise (The Conversation, January 11, 2024). Atheist churches are an attempt to give non-religious people the sense of community and belonging often generated by attendance in traditional churches. Atheist church meetings often have group singing, a message or lecture on a topic of interest in place of a sermon, and social support programs. Some of these churches practice “debaptism” as a person renounces his or her former belief in God.

While the idea of an atheist church service may sound odd and counterintuitive, attendees laud their benefits and even claim their participation has been life changing. Happy members cite encouragement and a feeling of belonging as reasons for their continued attendance.

God directed His people to worship Him, coming before Him as a body of believers weekly on the seventh-day Sabbath. And God built into this worship many added psychological and emotional benefits. Most religions around the globe have a similar weekly practice, and worldly Christianity has held to this practice, even as it changed the day of worship from God’s Sabbath to the pagan Sunday. Satan, the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), is a master copycat and inspires people to put their own spin on their worship, doing it their own way. Such counterfeit worship should not be surprising. The Apostle Paul warned that “perilous times will come” at the end of the age (2 Timothy 3:1–4), noting that people will practice a “form of godliness” yet deny its power (v. 5). We see this today in the world’s Christianity, and even among atheists.

Europe Pushed to Grow Stronger

The “European experiment” has struggled over the last couple of decades with periods of strength and growth and periods of weakness and hesitation. While Bible prophecy reveals a powerful German-led European “beast” power will lead the world for a time in the years ahead, the continual vacillation among European leaders has raised questions about these prophecies. But, before the eyes of the world, something is happening on the continent.

Pressed by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the continuing need to feed its war machine, Russia’s military industrial complex is operating at full capacity and has created over a half-million jobs (The Guardian, February 15, 2024). Arms factories are in continuous operation. Russia now claims to spend 7.5 percent of GDP on its military, and its capacity is increasing—and Europe is responding. Recently, multiple European nations have increased their defense spending to the 2 percent minimum required by their NATO membership—a first for many NATO members. Germany just broke ground on a new munitions factory and has increased production of tanks and other military weaponry, as have many other European nations.

Recent comments by former U.S. president Donald Trump—threatening not to support non-paying NATO members in the event of a Russian attack—are not only motivating greater overall European military spending, but are pressuring Europe to seek a European nuclear shield. EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen made very direct comments in a recent interview about Europe’s defense infrastructure: “We have to spend more, we have to spend better, we have to spend European” (MSN, February 16, 2024).

Bible prophecy states that a core of European nations will coalesce in the not-too-distant future (Revelation 17:12–13), creating an economic, political, and military power that will drastically change the world as we know it. Events that are now unfolding could be profoundly connected to the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies. We need to continue to watch events in Europe, Germany, and the Middle East.

The Universe Continues to Baffle Scientists

For some, science is an all-powerful god of sorts that explains everything, and many scientists can arrogantly conclude that they have revealed all knowledge on some aspect of our universe. Yet, new discoveries often demonstrate how foolish such conclusions really are. As the Bible notes about godless human beings, “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

The BBC recently reported, “Scientists at the University of Central Lancashire have discovered a gigantic, ring-shaped structure in space” that is 1.3 billion light-years in diameter (January 11, 2024). This “Big Ring” is composed of multiple galaxies and galaxy clusters. It is “so big it challenges our understanding of the universe.” According to one of astronomy’s guiding principles—the cosmological principle—structures this large should not exist, because all matter is expected to be spread evenly across the universe. Yet, this is the seventh massive structure to be discovered in the universe in recent years. As the discoverer of two of these structures humbly observed, “their ultra-large sizes, distinctive shapes, and cosmological proximity must surely be telling us something important—but what exactly?”

A physics professor from the University of Warwick also commented, “It’s incredibly hard to conceive of any mechanism that could produce these structures so instead the authors speculate that we are seeing a relic from the early universe where waves of high and low density material are ‘frozen’ in to extragalactic medium.” While such a mechanism may be “incredibly hard to conceive of,” the God who created the universe continues to show those scientists who do not believe in Him that He is capable of surprises and contradicting their assumptions.

The God of the Bible says of the wise and mighty of this world, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). When you view the creation through the lens of the Bible, scientific discoveries often come into much clearer focus. As King David observed, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him… ?” (Psalm 8:3–4).

Germany Renews Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

In late 2018, Germany suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly by the agents of the Saudi government. But German attitudes toward Saudi Arabia are now more favorable. According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Riyadh has helped prevent the spread of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza by contributing to Israel’s safety (Deutsche Welle, January 10, 2024). In late December, Germany approved exporting 150 IRIS-T guided missiles, capable of air-to-air and ground-to-air strikes, to the Gulf state. The German foreign minister also wants to resume the sale of Eurofighters—the fighter jet Saudi Arabia recently used to shoot down Houthi missiles bound for Israel. The Saudi kingdom is viewed as an important market for German arms sales.

It is easy to conclude that Germany’s ailing economic state is the driving force behind the resumption of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. However, there may be more to this story. Scripture speaks prophetically of a temporary end-of-the-age alliance between Germany—referred to as Assyria in Bible prophecy—and several Middle East nations: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them” (Psalm 83:4–8). Germany’s involvement in the Middle East could easily expand further.


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