Does Revelation even consider such issues? The last several months have been quite a roller coaster ride, and a somewhat scary one at that. FDIC Chairman Ben Bernanke in a recent interview said we came close to a financial meltdown last fall. When pressed by the interviewer, “How close?” the reply was “Very close.”

We may have “dodged a bullet,” but it’s really too soon to say for sure—thee are still too many uncertainties that potentially could make things worse. But to come back to the initial question—does Revelation have anything to say about it? Revelation 13 does refer to a time when buying and selling can only be done under certain restrictions (not currently the case—more about that another time). More to the point would be Revelation 18 where it speaks of businessmen saying that no one is buying their merchandise any more. However, before we jump to conclusions, it is worth noting that chapter 18 seems to be at a time just before Jesus comes (see ch. 19). Chapter 16 has already talked of the 7 last plagues falling, and while we have seen many disasters, we’ve seen nothing of the scope and nature and description of the plagues listed there—at least not to this point in history. Since that appears to be a still future event, it seems likely that Revelation 18 is also still future. Keep in mind also that this country has seen worse situations than what see at this instant of time, such as “The Great Depression” with 25% unemployment.

Since I’m not a prophet, I can’t give a specific date when Revelation 18 will be fulfilled. Nor can I say with certainty that it won’t happen this year. The Bible was not designed as a manual on how to time the stock market nor to give us a date we can mark on our calendars when Jesus will come. Sometimes the prophecy is given simply so when it does happen we won’t be surprised or to remind us that God foresaw this and He was not caught unawares. See for example Matthew 24:25—“See, I have told you beforehand.” See also John 14:29: “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.” In the context of these cases He is describing coming events so we know what to expect, yet without giving specific dates or times. The consistent message of the Bible is “be ready, for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man comes.”

Are we getting close? No doubt. But time excitement should not be our primary motivation. Primarily we should be sure of our own walk with God and support others in finding a saving relationship with Him before their lives end and their opportunity to make a choice disappears. And after all, if we truly love God, naturally we would want to be with Him forever. Then we can know our salvation is not dependent on whether we are dead or alive when He comes. Our future is secure in Him.

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