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Generations who lived through the 20th century with its 2 great wars might have been excused for looking forward with optimism to the 21st century as a new era of co-operation and peace among the nations of the World. How fragile that prospect now seems as the minds of experts in International affairs focus their attentions on Syria and the Middle East. There is a maelstrom of international anatagonisms threatening to burst at any moment into a storm.

HollandeThe rise of the new terror of Islamic extremism has shaken Europe and the West. In the words of a BBC correspondent, “President Francois Hollande is looking for more than symbolic solidarity from his allies. Over the past ten days, he’s repeatedly said his country is “at war” with the so-called Islamic State, and has intensified air strikes over IS targets in Syria.

Putin HollandeBut instead of bringing nations into closer co-operation, the response to the Syrian crisis is exposing deep-seated differences and potentially conflicting national agendas. Russia’s annexation of Crimea earned her a measure of isolation on the World stage and her initial unilateral intervention in Syria caused consternation amongst the Americans and British. Alarmingly, Russia wants to be seen as a key player in the arena and its stragey seems to be succeeding as it forces itself once more into contention. Every likelihood is that the Syrian and Middle East conflict as a whole is going to escalate and intensify. All nations are being drawn in and it is a very real possibility that the World is headed for trouble on an unprecedented scale.

war planeThe Bible is clear that the “last days” are marked by a Middle East conflict which unfolds before the eyes of the world and its readers watch the news with no real surprise. Nations, as the prophet indicates, are preparing and “learning war”. “Wars and rumours of wars” are the hallmark of the 21st century.

The Scriptures outline too the only means by which the matter will be resolved. It is only when God’s righteous rule is established in the world that there can be real peace.Psalm 72:1-3; Isaiah 11:4,5; 32:1

The signs are that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is near and when he comes the nations of the world will be subject to him, will “learn righteousness” and will “learn war no more”. What a prospect this is and what a wonderful transformation awaits. If we are wise we will open the Bible, learn of God’s purpose and find whether there is a place for us in it.Psalm 72:16; Isaiah 55:13; Amos 9:13; Revelation 22:3

Article reproduced from http://www.christadelphians.wales