Today’s news headlines ought to read “JESUS IS COMING!” because that’s the real story behind what’s happening. Wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes ?”distress of nations”?and dramatic increases in technology and scientific knowledge are all among the signs that Old Testament prophets and Jesus Himself said would herald His return (Matthew 24:3-12; Daniel 12:4; Luke 21:25).
One of the next world-changing events that we can expect is an economic crash far worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. You can hear the first rumblings in the news all the time.
The total federal U.S. debt is quickly approaching $8 trillion. In 1981, when the federal debt first topped $1 trillion, then President Ronald Reagan declared that sum “incomprehensible” and likened it to a stack of $1,000 bills 67 miles high. Today the stack would be over 500 miles high. To finance its current account deficit with the rest of the world, the U.S. has to import or borrow about $2.6 billion every working day.
More and more economists are saying that an economic crash is inevitable. Stephen Roach, chief economist at the international investment firm Morgan Stanley, has long warned that America’s increasing reliance on foreign lending puts it at risk of a major economic crisis. A sudden drop in the value of the dollar could trigger, among other things, a stock market crash, a plunge in the real estate market, a deep recession, or all of the above. “The funding of America is an accident waiting to happen,” Roach wrote in a report. The International Monetary Fund warned that the colossal U.S. trade deficit was like “a noose around the neck of the economy,” emphasizing that the once-mighty dollar could collapse at any moment. Alan Greenspan, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, has warned that the deficit in U.S. trade with the rest of the world can’t be sustained indefinitely.
The U.S. can’t go on living on borrowed money forever, saying, “I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow” (Revelation 18:7). As economist Paul Krugman put it, “Things that can’t go on forever, don’t.” America’s financial preeminence is based on the dollar’s role as reserve currency, a role threatened by the dollar’s long downward slide in value as the result of trade and budget deficits. The dollar’s 30 percent tumble over the past few years has stirred concern about a potential dollar rout that could destabilize the global economy.
This is much more serious than a simple decline in the value of the dollar. Any decision by Asian central banks to move significant parts of their foreign exchange reserves out of the dollar and into the euro or other currencies in order to protect themselves from dollar depreciation will likely produce a meltdown of the American economy. Already reports indicate that two-thirds of the world’s 65 central banks have “begun to move from dollars to euros.” A falling dollar also causes global investors to get nervous. After all, who wants to be stuck with investments in a currency worth less and less? If major global investors start pulling out of dollars, there could be a run on the dollar. Accordingly, most economists agree that a severe economic downturn in the United States would drag the rest of the world down with it. Economist Josh Bivens says, “If a country as big as the U.S. gets sick, everybody’s gonna get sick.”
Another problem is that if the major oil producers convert from the dollar to the euro as the currency of payment, the American economy will sink almost overnight. If oil is traded in euros, then central banks around the world would be compelled to follow and America will be required to pay off its enormous $8 trillion debt. That, of course, would be doomsday for the American economy, and the economies of other nations would fall like dominos.
When the crash happens, it could be the ideal opportunity for the coming Antichrist world government to take power. The world will be in such dire financial straits that they will welcome the Antichrist rule and hail him as a hero, since he will cunningly persuade the nations to cooperate with his plan for solving the economic situation (Daniel 11:21,24).
Eventually the world’s present cash-based economic system will be replaced by the “mark of the Beast” economic system, under which no one will be able to buy or sell unless they receive the enigmatic mark of the Beast in their forehead or right hand (Revelation 13:16-17). This will be made mandatory halfway through the Antichrist’s seven-year reign (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15,21). Then, after the next three and a half years under the Antichrist’s oppressive rule?a period known as the Great Tribulation?Jesus will come “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” to rescue His own out of this world (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 1:7), and return a short while later with His army of saints to destroy the Antichrist and his evil forces in the great Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:11-21). Jesus will then set up His kingdom on Earth, and there will be truth, love, joy, peace, and plenty for all in a world without money and without marks (Daniel 7:18; Revelation 20:6; Isaiah 2:4; 11:6-9; 14:7; Habakkuk 2:14).