Is Internationalism Part of the End Times?
The Global Community
We are living in a global community where national borders do not appear as significant in the minds of people as they were even a generation or two ago. Immigration to the Western hemisphere from around the world has produced truly international cities in our land. Twenty-four hour news, the internet and social media have greatly contributed to the cosmopolitan spirit of our day. Our society is being prepared to accept the possibility of an international government and ecumenical “state church.”
Daniel described the progress of world history in terms of four beasts representing kingdoms:
“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.’” Daniel 7:23
That beast was the Roman Empire, but it will be revived before Christ returns. This revived empire appears to be a world government that will have international control and influence.
John also described the ruler of that kingdom, observing:
“Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation” Revelation 13:7
These two writers expected a world leader who would establish a world government. Today, our society appears to be moving back to that position. With many major and minor crises that have confronted world leaders in recent years, an internationalist view of world politics is becoming more popular. Some have cited organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union as possible patterns for an international government. It is generally agreed that such a government would demand a strong leader. As we move closer toward conditions which will exist when Jesus returns to earth, we consider them “signs” that his coming is near.
Religious leaders around the world today are eagerly hoping to establish a greater ecumenical attitude among their followers even to the end of establishing a unified church which could include all the various sects of Christianity. Some have even suggested this church should be tolerant of and include members of Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and other non-Christian sects.
While cooperation between churches is good and a spirit of unity among Christian leaders is a biblical goal, the current religious ecumenical movement does not fit the biblical pattern for the church of Jesus Christ. It is only biblical in that it is the fulfillment of prophetic Scriptures. John calls it a “great prostitute” in his vision on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 17:1; 18:24). It was a prostitute in that it conceded its doctrine and standards of purity by compromising with the world. The prostitute church is actually guilty of opposing and aggressively seeking to destroy the true followers of Christ, those who practice biblical Christianity.
This coming church will probably carry on the ancient pagan custom of interrelating the church and state into a single institution. Presumably, an international state church could be the official religion of the world and the chief religious leader would also be the chief political leader. He would be the Antichrist. Except in a few Islamic republics, the union of political and religious government is not practiced today as in the past. But as many things come full cycle, this future prostitute church would be the state religion of the international state.