Apologetics, End times, Main, z48
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Mathematics professor predicts chaos in the next decade — a sign of the times?

Sun appearing over the India Ocean Credit: Nasa/Flickr

Sun appearing over the India Ocean Credit: Nasa/Flickr

Peter Turchin is a mathematics professor at the University of Connecticut. One of his projects is using mathematics to determine what lies ahead for the world’s future. And if he is right, it does not look good.

Based on his mathematical model, Turchin is predicting a time of economic and political chaos in the the next decade – 2020s.

For his predictions, Turchin used a branch of mathematics he developed called cliodynamics. According to Wikipedia, this looks upon history as just another branch of science and describes it as “the mathematical modeling of historical processes.”

Basically, Turchin developed a mathematical algorithm to analyze past historical events and then used it to predict future events.

Apparently, the model successfully predicted the political instability that the world is going through at the moment, but his calculations show that it won’t peak until the next decade, around 2025, and could result in the collapse of society.

It will be caused by a number of events including the declining wealth of people and families that will put them under financial duress. He says living standards will fall dramatically.

Nations will also encounter extreme fiscal difficulties because of declining revenues and rising social costs.

It will be an intense time of political turmoil, economic chaos and severe societal unrest. Turchin adds that “this is a science-based forecast, not a ‘prophecy.'” Whether he is right or not, who knows.

In an article on phys.org, Turchin wrote:

“Because this is a scientific theory, we also need to understand the limitations of what it can forecast. Cliodynamics is about broad social trends and deep structural causes of these developments. It did not predict that Donald Trump would become the American President in 2016. But it did predict rising social and political instability.”

But the Bible also talks about a time of great distress and this is prophetic and it will mark the end times.

Most turn to Apostle John’s apocalyptic vision of the last days — the Book of Revelation — where he referred to it as the “hour of trials or testing” (Revelation 3:10). The word trials is the Greek word  ‘peirasmos’ that describes a test to learn the true character of a person. It also characterizes a temptation intended to make a person stumble (Luke 4:13).

In his vision, John saw a time of economic upheaval when food prices will skyrocket (Revelation 6:5-6). The denarius used to buy a loaf of bread during this time is described as day’s wage in Matthew 20:2.

But John was not alone, many of the prophets spoke of the end times and used different phrases to describe it.

The Gospel writer Matthew called it the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). The Greek word for tribulation, ‘thlipsis,’ refers to distress. But includes the idea of oppression —  there will be outside forces at work here — human and spiritual. But this tribulation is magnified as the Greek word “megas” translated “great” is added as emphasis. This word not only describes the idea of great and intense, but includes the idea of surprising. People will be shocked by what is to come.

Using the Greek word ‘ekdikēsis,’ Luke called it the “Days of Vengeance” (Luke 21:22). The word means to dispense justice, an act of revenge (harm for harm) or act of punishment. This is a day, when God will bring His final judgement upon the world, in part because of the way it persecuted believers.

Mark referred to it as the “Time of Affliction” (Mark 13:19) and uses the Greek word ‘thlipsis’ that we already defined. But he adds “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” This will be the worst time in human history.

The prophet Daniel described it as the “Time of Trouble” (Daniel 12:1). The Hebrew word ‘sa-ra(h)’ refers to a time of distress. But included is the idea of ‘appointed time’ which is how the word is used in 1 Samuel 25:30. When Daniel wrote his prophetic book, the clock had been set and the countdown to the end-times started.

The prophet Malachi described it as “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). The Hebrew word ‘no-ra” translated dreadful, means “to tremble, be afraid, to be terrorized.”  The events that will take place will terrify people to such an extent that at times people will actually flee their cities and homes (Matthew 24:16).

The prophet Haggai described it as a time of shaking (Haggai 2:6) — that will see the heavens, earth, sea and dry land heaving. It means literally to move, tremble and sway. Isaiah says this shaking will be so great the earth will be moved from its place (Isaiah 13:13). Joel adds that even the mountains will be shaken (Joel 2:10).

In his description of the end times, Luke spoke of a chaotic time – a breakdown of the social fabric of society (Luke 21). There will be  famines, plagues and terrors from the sky.

He warns about wars and even terrorism. He writes that kingdom will rise up against kingdom and nation against nation. The second word kingdom describes ‘countries’ but the first word nation (ethos) describes tribes (cultural and religious groups) within those countries. The fact, nation versus nation is listed first means it will be the most serious problem.

10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:10 NASV)


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