Anyone claiming that the world is more peaceful today than it was during the Cold War needs to be treated as a lunatic. A recent study, published by the Institute for Political Science of the University of Hamburg, Germany, tallied 52 wars fought during 1992, making the present level of military conflict the highest since World War II.
The scientists also contend that several other conflicts could erupt into warfare at any time. High on their list of candidates are the nations of the Balkan Peninsula and the former states of the Soviet Union. Nationally syndicated radio personality Paul Harvey reported last week that the United States/United Nations could intervene in 72 "situations" like war- and famine-torn Somalia.
These figures are no anomaly. According to the University of Hamburg group, the average number of violent conflicts per decade has climbed steadily since 1945. The 1950s averaged 12 wars; the 1960s, 22; the 1970s, 32; and the 1980s, 40. The projection into the nineties shows an average above 50.
Ironically, this steady increase in war has come amidst both the end of the Cold War and the increased deployment of UN peacekeeping forces around the world. In fact, in 1992 only two wars ended while four new ones took their places. The New World Order, favored by the United Nations, is a violent place.
The second seal of Revelation 6:3-4 is war: "And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword." On this same seal Christ says, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. . . . All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:6-8).
The great plan of God is on the move. We can see the signs of Christ's coming plainly in news headlines everyday. "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11).