I know; that’s a cheery title for this essay. Unfortunately, the facts bear out that our time of financial prosperity is short. As has been cited by many writers besides me who look at the world’s condition through a Biblical, prophetic lens, regardless what the pundits may say, conditions on this earth as we know them aren’t going to remain this way much longer.
Actually, there are two views in America that seem to prevail right now. The first is by those who hate President Trump, among them the mainstream media, the progressive/liberal elite, those who desire the downfall of this nation such as Antifa types or Islamic sympathizers, and the political class, either Democrat or Republican, that love the Deep State. This group prognosticates doom and gloom in every scenario they encounter because they want the uninformed masses to believe the lies they continue to promote, whether it’s to turn good economic news upside down or to twist the truth of their involvement in the attempted overthrow of a duly elected president.
The second group is the cheerleaders, often believers, but typically those who don’t understand the prophetic implications in the Bible. Too many Christians of this stripe have apparently embraced an existing scenario that ignores deep, underlying financial issues in this country, or have bought into the belief that the Church will turn this nation around through their efforts at evangelizing via extreme Spirit-led ministries (i.e. those involved with the New Apostolic Reformation).
Scripture tells us what is really going to happen. It doesn’t give us an exact timetable, but it does indicate seasons and signs. One such sign is the actual financial condition of America, the leading light in the world for peace and prosperity because of our wealth, military power, relative social stability and political sanity. The season that we’re in is the calm before the storm. If these four pillars of our country were to collapse, where would we be? What would happen in the rest of the world? The answer in a nutshell is chaos.
There are well-known names in the financial world who write from a macro view. In so doing, they examine conditions and trends and report on them rather than the detail of individual stocks. In an article one such expert recently wrote, he outlined the trouble our nation is in because the financial foundation, not only in the U.S. but around the world, is crumbling.
Despite his being secular, what I’ve seen, however, is how much this man’s ideas (and those of others of like mind) match Biblical themes. To illustrate, I’ll paraphrase some of his quotes from this article along the way.
Within the next two years, the world will see increasing numbers of bankruptcies, people losing jobs, banks collapsing, and financial devastation around the world.
This will lead to a plunging stock market and the probability of a recession.
Why such joyful news?
I’ll give you a quick summary.
World debt is increasing at an astronomical rate versus world income. It is currently three times the amount of the global gross domestic product (GDP). Eventually this kind of debt catches up with you. A reckoning is coming.
Federal debt in the United States versus what we take in via federal tax receipts is about four times greater. That’s a recipe for going broke.
An ongoing dilemma is how rapidly our nation is aging, which places increasing strain on Medicare and Social Security. Who will pay these bills?
When we examine America’s federal debt versus our GDP growth, we see that it has grown twice as fast over the last ten years. This has been the result of the super-charged government stimulus programs.
Government stimulated debt cannot cause real economic growth—that’s an impossibility.
The path paved by debt leads us down the road to Venezuela, where we have to print more money until the point is reached that a wheelbarrow-full is needed to buy a loaf of bread.
As that disaster hits the common man and the poor get poorer, amazingly enough, the rich thrive. It takes us to the barnyard of Orwell’s Animal Farm where “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Why is this?
We get a clue examining household net worth as a percentage of GDP. Household assets are typically comprised of real estate, stock, and bonds. These are valued more highly than the underlying economy, i.e. the income generated in this nation. At the ear-popping levels that our household assets are valued, they’ve reached more than bubble stage. Something is going to burst one of these days.
Back to Animal Farm territory, let’s consider the distribution of wealth in America. It’s clustered primarily at the top 10% of the population. More than that, it’s growing about four times faster among this elite group than in the rest of our country.
This results in the common worker having to put in twice the hours today simply to afford basic items like a pickup truck or average house. In the next severe market downturn, individuals in this category may lose everything.
Welfare recipients, i.e., who depend on the government for their livelihood, are at great risk when the money stops. Victimhood is already running rampant. People are triggered at the merest slight. We haven’t seen anything yet. At the point that food stamps or welfare checks are halted, the real trouble will begin.
A major basis for all the debt we’ve racked up goes directly to our having abandoned the gold standard many years ago. If we look at the Dow Jones index as a ratio of gold, we get a troubling picture. The stock market, for all its nosebleed heights, actually looks more like a bear market when this index is considered. In fact, measured in relation to gold:
Compared to gold in 2000, the Dow Jones average in real terms is only half what it was then.
Finally, many of us are aware of this next trend, and it makes us shake our heads in dismay. Approval of socialism is increasing rapidly among young people. In the 18-29 demographic, approval of socialism since 1990 has risen by over 50%.
We should be alarmed at these trends. They show us why calamity is almost upon us. It won’t be long before economic conditions in America are at the brink.
Out of control federal debt, average Americans who in real terms are falling farther and farther behind, a desire to turn this nation into a socialist paradise – is it any wonder that the time is coming when America will lose its standing in the world?
What will that look like? Those peace and prosperity pillars I mentioned earlier: wealth, military power, relative social stability and political sanity; all these things are teetering on the edge.
But then we have this statement by Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank, in an interview on 60 Minutes recently. He said that the U.S. economy is gangbusters; in fact, it’s “the most prosperous economy the world has ever seen.”
This blithe confidence that nothing will go wrong is probably what should give everyone pause. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-39:
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
When Jesus returns, everything appears prosperous. That is what massive amounts of debt have done to corrupt the thinking of even brilliant financial minds like Mr. Dimon. Does unsustainable debt equal prosperity? We might want to think again.
What will be the triggering factor unleashing the powers of darkness that destroy these pillars and sets the stage for the downfall of this country? I can think of no other event than the Rapture of the Church.
God’s hand holds all these aspects of our nation in place. By all rational logic, our debt-fueled house of cards should already have come tumbling down. It’s His timing that will allow the debt condition to come to its natural fruition and bring ruin. For the time being, we continue on our merry way.
Now, it’s certainly possible that God will deign to give us, His Church, a taste of this financial tribulation that will beset our nation and the world. We shouldn’t fool ourselves that we’re immune. But we can rest assured that before the developing lawlessness that results in everything getting completely out of hand, God will remove us from the scene.
As I’ve exhorted in other places, our job as faithful believers in Jesus Christ is to wait expectantly for His return. While we wait, we’re also to occupy. Let us continue the tasks that God has set before each one of us, whether we’re young or old. Do them well, and witness to this lost and dying world that will soon experience the wrath and judgment of a just God.
Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and serves as Missions Director at his church. He is also a prolific author. His Whirlwind Series is comprised of three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time. All these books are also contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus. Gary has a standalone novel of supernatural suspense, The Tattooed Cat. He released the award winning Alien Revelation, the first novel in a new series: The Sons of God Chronicles in September 2019. His intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read. You can reach him via his website at www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page at https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390. You can also see his video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube page – look for the fish symbol.