A number of great world Powers - Russia, Britain, France and Germany, are European.  Decisions have been taken in London, Paris and Moscow, which will affect the destiny of hundreds of millions of human beings.  Europe also is the home of various forms of Christianity now world-wide.  It still moulds the conscience and the form of the culture of great masses of people. Moreover, the ‘European Union’ is the cradle of new and revolutionary ideas.  Communism and Totalitarianism sway the lives of millions throughout the world.  For them they work, and, if need be, die.


These world forces, are not merely conflicting, but incompatible.  Behind the clash of arms is the clash of ideas deeply rooted in the human soul.  What happens in Europe today will effect the whole world.


"We are at the dawn of a grave new world," says John Kampfner, political Editor of the New Statesman: "There are only a few events in anyone’s lifetime that have the potential to change the world in ways that it is impossible to predict. That is where we find ourselves - at an epoch-making moment in history, as significant as any in the past 40 years.  We simply do not know what the world will look like in five years time.  No region will remain untouched.  The most vulnerable is the Middle East, the source of so much violence and of underlying resentments that have fuelled it.  The Americans say Iraq will become a bridgehead for democracy.  The alternative view is that the already volatile part of the world will be engulfed in flames.

... The contours of the future have yet to be defined but there seems no way back." (Daily Express, March 12th, 2003.)


In the European world of thought and morals, confusion reigns supreme.  Old standards have been swept away, and new ones have been acquired.  As for religion, a large percentage of the population is frankly and openly atheistic.  The average man no longer believes in a personal God. Moreover, in many cases, his unbelief is not passive, but aggressively militant and intolerant.


Within God’s churches there is an open disbelief in a Millennial Age, and the idea of a Second Advent of Christ as the only hope for lasting world peace, is hostile to the spirit of anti-millennialism - now a prominent feature within the churches of God.  They are full, it is true, but this is not, of necessity, an indication of their spirituality or piety.  There are many who maintain only an outward reconciliation.  In Northern Ireland two extremes exist within the same groups of regenerate believers.


Down through the ages, Christian saints have proclaimed the divine message of deliverance, incarnated in Christ, and set forth all the teachings of Scripture. Why has not this message, announced for 2,000 years, been more effective?  Why are the leaders within God’s churches silent regarding responsibility truths and conditional promises?  The answer is, I believe, that the Church, like the world, is sick.


Someone will ask: ‘But are there not Protestant churches on the Continent?’  Certainly there are, mainly Lutheran and Reformed.  Many missionary societies, also carry on work there.  Bible Societies, have carried the Bible throughout Europe, and have made it the best known book in the land.


DR. NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, President of Columbia University, once said: "The most menacing fact in the international situation is the complete lack of confidence that prevails all over the world.  Neither between governments nor in the realms of business and finance do people trust each other.  This really means the complete breakdown of morals.  People do not seem to think it their duty or interest to keep their word.  Violators of treaties, pacts, conventions, are defended on the ground that they are done in the interests of the State, and are therefore acts of Sovereignty.  But no State sovereignty can justify the violation of moral law, for morals alone are sovereign.  This breakdown of the moral law in international affairs I regard as the fundamental weakness, the cause of our disasters and of our failures to restore peace on earth and amity among men."  In many parts of Europe today there is neither faith nor law; and all who play with the principles in which moral and social order rests provoke universal anarchy.


It becomes clearer that the chief aim of War among the nations, and what will be its chief ultimate, though possibly not immediate, fruit, is a World State under one Sovereignty for the eliminating of all future war.  So the ten kingdomless Kings will pool their sovereignties (Rev. 17: 14) and enthrone the Dictator on an Empire of the World.


This is the horror we face.  Democracy in the world today is living, and will continue to live,  in a fool’s paradise.  "Spiritual sanctions are in abeyance for the majority, and morality is a matter of opinion to be decided by self-interest.  Not only morality but reason is dethroned, for the mass-man is not concerned with reason or truth.  He is a realist, and the sole question for him is whether he is strong enough to make his opinions prevail.  It is here that totalitarianism in any of its forms threatens civilization.  Dictators [and politicians] are all alike in that each is the common mass-man of his country writ large, concerned neither with justice nor truth but only with the imposition of his will, deriving his strength from the common mass-mind, which he shapes at his pleasure, denying the means of forming any true and impartial opinion."


If Europe is to be saved from falling back into the Dark Ages, if false gods are not to triumph over the true, if the pagan cross is not to replace that of Calvary, we must proclaim a nobler faith than theirs.  The whole counsel of God’ - that is, the gospel of His grace and the gospel of His kingdom (Acts 20: 24, 25) - must be proclaimed far and wide, and the heroic element of primitive Christianity must be re-discovered and reincarnated in our lives.


Disarmament experts are kindly doctors for ever blundering through a wrong diagnosis.  The powder is in the heart before it is in the missile or gun, and it remains in the heart after the missile and gun are destroyed.  Prominent politicians, however moral and excellent their policies, in their way, are per se no more than the last desperate effort of civilization to save itself.  The only answer is Christ's ‘Way of Peace’ - yes; a thousand times yes (Rev. 20: 4-6), if it is really Christ's, (Matt. 5: 43-48).  That ‘way’ begins with the Holy Spirit dwelling in the individual heart and life.  Without this consummation, nothing will stop war save a second advent of Christ.


Thus we confront the present crisis.  Officers are required for the administration of Christ’s millennial kingdom: He has deliberately interposed a prolonged period between the two advents, that our Lord might be enabled so to test His servants, in His absence, as to discover which are fitted and properly qualified for positions of responsibility and trust at His return.  The Nobleman, before He departed, laid plans for the selection of faithful officers to aid Him in the administration of His Kingdom; He devised a plan for bringing to light who those officers are on His return; this plan is in operation at the present moment, purposely so contrived as to reveal individual capacity for office, and personal fitness for trust; and - most impressive of all - the Long Journey is now almost over and soon His investigation will begin.


We look forward, NOT to a ‘democracy’, but to the THEOCRACY of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who alone, has Himself qualified to rule this world in righteousness and peace, (Isa. 9: 7; Rev. 11: 15.) He will give the crown to none but to those amongst His redeemed people who are worthy to rule with Him  And are we fit for the crown, before we have overcome trials and temptations?  Or for the prize, before we have won the race?  Or to be rulers of ten cities, before we have achieved our ten talents?  Or to enter into the coming glory of our Lord, before we have well done, as good and faithful servants?  God will not alter the course of justice to give you the promised “Rest” (Heb. 4: 8-11), during that “DAY” (2 Pet. 1: 19; 3: 8) before you have laboured; nor the crown of glory till you have overcome, (Rev. 3: 11, 21).  Let us press on, remembering that all who have made a deep impression on the world and have shone most brightly have been the men and women who have lived in a dark day: "In this world you [disciples] will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16: 33).