It’s a growing concern in the world community and especially in Europe: “migrants” fleeing Syria and entering Europe easily number into the millions. That’s what the news calls them: “migrants”. What they really are is “refugees”: refugees from a nightmare condition that is Islamic State (IS). They escaped with their lives and the clothes on their backs. The news stories say this is the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Upon further thought, I believe this refugee crisis represents two things: another manifestation of the Signposts, i.e. what Jesus called the beginning of birth pains, and the beginning of the fulfillment of Matthew 25 starting at verse 31, the prophecy of the nations. Many of these refugees are Christians. Fleeing persecution on a scale that has not been seen in centuries, these people are in need – for food, clothes, and shelter.
The news stories say this is the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Indeed it is. After 1945 millions of people were displaced from their homes and countries and had to find a place to settle down and restart their lives. And now there are millions on the move again. They are displaced because of IS; they only want to settle down and restart their lives. Only the number will not shrink and the problem will not go away.
Refugees and the Signposts
Look at the map. It shows the area affected by the First Signpost and IS. Millions of people are fleeing Syria. The Bible tells us that the same butchery marking IS will be used by Iran during the Second Signpost which will affect the area marked in red (the color of the second horseman). We may see other Christian communities in newly affected countries also see refuge. That butchery will continue with the Third and Fourth Signposts. You can see the larger area that will include black (color of the third horseman) during the Third Signpost. We may see Copts from Egypt flee for their lives if they can. And you can see the area of green (fourth horseman) that is the Fourth Signpost.
This suggests that during the Signposts prior to the Tribulation there will be a wave of refugees – people fleeing for their lives. This wave will likely grow with each Signpost. In this post I showed how the erasure of boundaries, the Caliph, and butchery – all exhibited by IS – were going to be the norm all over the Middle East during the Second Signpost. Now we must add displaced refugees. They will flee from the red areas and then the black areas and then the green areas; all looking for a place to go. This is a new aspect to the misery that will be the signature of the Signposts. The Tribulation itself will encompass an area larger than that of the Fourth Signpost.
We are, I believe, also seeing the opening of another aspect of the end-times. Witness Matthew 25:31-33:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Remember the rest of the prophecy? Those that help the least of Christ’s brothers help Christ. Those that do not, do not. These are nations being judged. So have you been watching the news about the refugees in Europe? It seems that the responses by the European nations cover the entire spectrum. Hungary and Macedonia stop the refugees at their borders and only let them in if they can escort them through their country to the far border. Hungarian police are setting up fences of razor wire. A few countries like the U.K. and France said they will take some.
And then there is Germany. The country responsible for the last major refugee crisis during World War II is acting to support the solution to this refugee crisis.
Germany is the hero for the moment. With a population of 80 million, they are offering to allow 800,000 refugees – a mass of people equal to 1% of their population – to come into their country and begin new lives. Germans are cheering at their border.
German leadership is proposing a quota system. No one has said this yet, but if every European nation took in a number of refugees equal to 1% of their population, than Europe, from Portugal to the Ural Mountains in Russia, with over 700 million people, might take 7 million refugees. Unfortunately, we may very well find though that even if the European nations act nobly and resettle this many, they will find that the subsequent Signposts will generate refugees numbering in many more millions.
But Jesus’ coming is soon. We can see it with the coming of the Second Signpost. The most important mission we have right now is said well by Proverbs 24:11: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” In other words, show people the love of Christ and His Gospel.
This is a new development with the end-times that may never have been considered. We may very well in the years ahead see a growing tsunami of human refugees that will make the refugee crisis of World War II pale in comparison as the scope of affected lands grows with each Signpost. The nations of the West should clothe, feed and make disciples of those who are showing up on their doorsteps as refugees fleeing from what is to become the Tribulation, as Jesus warned.