"then i stood on the sand of the sea. and i saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name... it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them…and authority was given over every tribe, tongue, and nation." rev 13:1, 7
if you have grown up in a Christian setting, it is likely that you have a bit of an ingrained aversion to ideas such as the "global village." likewise, the implementation of the euro was met with a sense of foreboding in your home rather than excitement, and, probably, embedded microchip identifiers are an outright frightening prospect. this is because we understand, based on this passage in revelation, that one day there will come a man who seems to unite the nations of the world under a single banner and usher in a time of global cooperation and peace. the reason this man will be able to do this when no other man has been able to do so is the same reason Christians look toward this time with dread: because authority has been given to him to do so by the devil.
as american Christians, we exist amid unique blend of american patriotism, cultural traditions, and Christian values. as americans our love for national sovereignty and general mistrust of other nations makes us slow to surrender our individual freedoms for the sake of international unity. in the Christian world the dividing line between the devout and secular, at least in theory, is fixed. we view the secular world as an enemy looking to grind down the edges of our rigid moral system to make it more socially acceptable. thus, we often shy away from progress initiated in the secular world as a rule but, when it seems to foreshadow that time of great apostasy and persecution described in revelation, it seems that much more ominous. international cooperation can take on a bitter flavor when we suspect that persecution, pestilence, and the end of the world are soon to follow.
there is a misconception amongst many of us, that the occurrence of certain events will initiate the last days and the rising of that servant of satan sent to deceive the unbelieving, persecute God's people, and plague the earth. if these preceding events are indeed transpiring, they are merely an indication of the last days not a cause. God's plan has been unfolding at a set pace since the beginning of time and it has a set timeline. it is an unstoppable force that can neither be rushed nor slowed. these things are the will of God and not to be feared by those who truly desire his kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven."
it is equally important to understand that, as Christians, we are not bound by national and cultural boundaries. the kingdom of heaven, wherein we find our citizenship, permeates every tribe, tongue, and nation and has done so since long before the first rumblings of anti-Christ. we are already part of a "global village." our founding fathers were not religious refugees from england, but shepherds and fishermen from the middle-east. our brothers and sisters occupy every country on every continent in every corner of the world. our global community is greater than any our government can ever hope to achieve for we are not united by the bond of common interest and mutual gain but by the love of Christ and the unity of his spirit. we are a family bonded not simply by blood but by an eternal hope.
therefore i urge you to let go of the fear and mistrust that would have you building bomb shelters and picketing the capitol rather than praying for your brothers and sisters from iceland to indonesia. loosen your grip on individual identity preservation and seek first the kingdom of God, which cannot be contained by customs officials and language barriers. we are a global village and the Jesus is our Chief.
that said, take today and pray for your brothers and sisters around the globe laboring, indeed in chains in many cases, to see the kingdom of God furthered in their village just as you do the same in yours. if you're looking for direction, i have a couple of links to missionaries that need prayer at http://proseuchesthe.blogspot.com.