Introduction: A Snapshot of World Affairs

There is only one true superpower in today's world: the United States. At present no other nation can globally project power, in any form, like America. Yet there are many challenges to America maintaining this lofty and important status. Will another power—another true superpower—emerge from the nations and replace the current world order?

China in the last three decades has developed into a regional Asian power that's spreading its influence around the world. It's absorbing oil and other vital resources from the Middle East and Africa. It's a manufacturing center for much of the world, and it's developing a navy with ships that could, in time, challenge the American Navy in the waters of the Indian Ocean or the Persian Gulf. Many wonder if China will become a large enough power to dominate the world.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has had to redefine itself among the nations. It no longer has the size or reach of the U.S.S.R., but it does have vast supplies of oil and natural gas. Along with a large military and a nuclear arsenal, Russia is still a factor in world affairs.

A recent Stratfor bulletin discussed the potential for Europe to rise to the level of superpower. It said: "Taken as a single geographic entity, Europe has the largest economy in the world. Should it choose to do so, it could become a military rival to the United States. Europe is one of the pillars of the global system, and what happens to Europe is going to define how the world works" (Stratfor, January 2013). A lot would have to change with the current configuration in Europe, but the potential is there for it to become a replacement to America.

Some do not factor Bible prophecy into predictions of the world economy or power status. That is a mistake. The Bible does have something to say about today's world scene and what the future holds. Revelation and Daniel reveal the future will see a new kind of power to emerge among the nations that will astound everyone. It will have, for a time, the ability to "solve" some big problems that threaten order and stability. Everyone will be amazed and happy that it does. But in time the benevolent mask will be removed to reveal a power with a heart bent on bringing people under its control. This, in the end, will not be well received. But the trap will be shut, and it will be too late back out.

Thankfully, God has revealed that that last and evil superpower of men will only last a short time before Jesus Christ will return. He will establish the final superpower: His Kingdom on Earth.

Considering the prophetic future of the earth, the apostle Peter said, "What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (2 Peter 3:11)? The purpose of prophecy is to give us a glimpse of the future, a hope for God's promises, and so that we may draw close to him today .

Read on to understand what the Bible foretells of events to come leading to Jesus Christ's return. But use this understanding to motivate yourself to draw close to God today. Pray, fast, and study the Bible now, so that when these things take place, you may not be caught unaware.

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