“The Next War” is the title of a recent article in the Economist magazine (January 25, 2018) that examines the changing relationship between the United States, China, Russia, Europe and other nations, and how the U.S. seems to have overlooked or ignored those relationships. The article also notes how decades of neglected military research and development is placing the U.S. behind rising nations like China, Russia and North Korea, and it discusses how “powerful, long-term shifts in geopolitics and the proliferation of new technologies are eroding the extraordinary military dominance that America and its allies have enjoyed.” The authors of the article make a sobering observation: “Conflict on a scale and intensity not seen since the second world war is once again plausible. The world is not prepared.”
The statement “[t]he world is not prepared” alludes to the fact that dire events could take place suddenly and unexpectedly. The prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write in his dual prophecy regarding the Israelite-descended nations that their demise will come “suddenly” (Jeremiah 6:26; 15:8; 18:22). Jesus Christ stated that His return will come suddenly, and it will surprise many who are not paying attention (Matthew 24:44). This is why Jesus warned His followers to “watch” for specific signs that will announce the approaching “end of the age” (see Matthew 24:3-21). For more details on these future events, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.
While the followers of Jesus Christ watch for these signs to occur, they must also, like Jesus, be about their Father’s business and finish His Work (John 4:34). A significant part of that Work involves preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15). This is a mission that God’s Church will be striving to finish when Christ returns (Matthew 10:16-23)!