The Coming hour of our Lord and the preceding signs and events have been spoken about throughout all of history.


Recent history has shown that the rich continue to get richer while the poor keep getting poorer. Our world suffers from incredible disparities of wealth: 1 per cent of the world possesses 40 per cent of its wealth. In fact, the wealth of some individuals is almost equal to that of some sovereign countries! The numbers on poverty vary depending on how it’s measured and the availability of statistics, but regardless, the majority of poverty-stricken countries are African.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) is a huge and resource-rich nation, but it was ranked poorest by the International Monetary Fund in its 2011 list of the world’s poor countries (it was replaced by the Central African Republic last year). A reporter writing in Newsflavor said, “The Congo has diamonds, uranium, cobalt, tantalum, copper and other valuable minerals. The wars, besides being caused by ethnic hatred, are inspired by control of the nation’s wealth. . . . As a kleptocracy (corrupt nation), whatever can be appropriated by the government and its agents, is.”

Lovers of money

As we enter the final days of earth’s history, economic disparity, which is most often caused by exploitation of the poor by the rich, will worsen. The apostle James wrote, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days” (James 5:1–3, italics added).* And James went on to explain that these rich people had gained their wealth by keeping back the wages of those who had mowed their fields (verse 4).

Don’t misunderstand. The Bible isn’t opposed to wealth or rich people, but it does teach against hoarding and not assisting those who are in need. The biblical prophet Moses instructed the Israelites to help the poor and needy. He said, “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from [him]” (Deuteronomy 15:7).

Jesus said, “You have the poor with you always” (Matthew 26:11) and when a wealthy young man asked Him how to be saved, Jesus told him to “sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21).

Continuing this advice, the apostle Paul said, “I have shown you in every way . . . that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35).

Unfortunately, Paul said that this advice would not be heeded in earth’s final days. Writing to his young associate pastor he said, “In the last daysperilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud . . . unloving, unforgiving, . . . despisers of good, . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–4, italics added). This description of social conditions in the last days of earth’s history emphasises the selfish qualities of our human nature. For Paul, these “lovers of money” will be a sign, and maybe even the cause, of the terrible times ahead. That isn’t hard to understand. After all, hatred and violence, revolution and war, are often incited by economic disparity.

Root of all evil

Describing it in broad brush strokes, Jesus gave His disciples a picture of the world at the end of time, both the natural world and the society. He said that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). In other words, as people become hardened in sin and wickedness, they will grow callous and indifferent toward the needs of others. And one of the main ways we express this is through our indifference toward the economic hardship of our fellow humans. That’s why Paul warned that people “who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:9, 10).

Remember, it’s important to note that the Bible doesn’t speak about wealth as bad. Rather, it speaks about the evil of greed, exploitation and miserliness—and these traits, when displayed to excess, become one of the signs of the end of time.

One leader of a very rich nation, speaking about the economic disparity in the world, said, “There are millions of us, and billions of them, and they want what we got, and we’re not going to give it to them!” No, but the poor might just decide to come and take it, which is one way the turmoil of the last days could play out.

The Greek insurance windfall

The economic crash of 2008 delivered terrible financial losses across the economic spectrum—but not to everyone. Many rich people became richer and some did so by manipulating the market while others cashed in on its downward spiral, greedily lining their pockets at the expense of everyday, hardworking people and their pension funds.



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