"... Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgement has come." (Revelation 18:10)
The rapture of the church will usher in a seven year period of time on the earth known as the tribulation period. No one knows the exact day or hour of the rapture or the tribulation period that is to follow (see Matthew 24:36). But Jesus did tell us that there will be signs indicating that the time is near; "Now learn from the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door." (Matthew 24:32-33)
One sign that He is near may be the deterioration of the world's economic and financial systems. We are told by the so called "experts" that we came very close to a world-wide financial meltdown in the last few months of 2008. Last year was a pretty good year for Wall Street, but not very good for Main Street with many people losing their jobs and the equity in their homes. Our national debt has exploded to over 11 trillion and is on track to reach an unsustainable 20 trillion by the end of this decade. If nothing is done, unfunded liabilities like Medicare and Medicaid could add an additional 50 to 100 trillion of debt. Most of the other national economies are in even worse condition than ours.
It is hard to belive that a national debt of anywhere near 20 trillion, let alone, 50 or 100 trillion is sustainable. The interest on the debt alone will exceed all of the federal government's tax revenues. This leaves only two options and neither one is very good. We will either default on the debt and declare national bankruptcy or monetize the debt. Monetization of the debt (the more likely option) requires printing even more money further reducing the value of the currency and ultimately leading to hyper inflation. During the early years of the tribulation period, hyper inflation is rampant with a days work (one denarius) only sufficient to purchase enough food for one person. Only the rich will be able to feed their families, let alone afford the luxuries; "...A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:6)
Obviously, an economic and financial judgement day is coming and I think soon. In Revelation chapter 18, we have the destruction of the world's false religious system and the final collapse of the world's financial system. This is just two of the judgements God pours out on the godless people left on earth during the tribulation period. The economic collapse will happen quickly; "...For in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!" (Revelation 18:10)
Thankfully, the church will be removed from the earth prior to the tribulation period. But if the Lord tarries, we can still expect some very difficult days ahead as the world's very fragile, interconnected economic and financial systems begin to unravel. Until then, Jesus said; "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-20)
It is exciting to see the gathering economic storm clouds because it is just one more sign that our "Lord is near, right at the door!" An exciting sign for those of us who are looking forward to His return and a warning sign for everyone else. Before it is too late, it is His desire and ours that everyone hear and believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) Maranatha!