Look at the picture. Go on. Take a moment to watch the info-graphic changes. Don’t worry too much about the numbers or the words so much, you can get to them later, just get a feel for what the picture is saying.
Got it? So what did you see?
Before I tell you what I saw when I put this series of charts together, let me tell you a little story.
St Paul’s Cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and three years later Christopher Wren was charged with it’s redesign and rebuilding. It was to be his greatest masterpiece, which he completed in 1708.
Wren was an amazing and learned man, an experienced architect as well as a passionate scientist known for his major contributions to the fields of astronomy and physics.
But there is a story attributed to Wren, which in truth is probably fiction, but it has a powerful message that is relevant to this info-graphic picture.
It is said that during the construction of the cathedral, Wren went down amongst the workers to the labourers. He came to one man who looked miserable as he was cleaning bricks and stones for the mason. Wren asked him, “What are you doing?” The man replied miserably saying, “I’m just cleaning these bricks,” and returned to his work. Wren then saw another man who was also cleaning bricks, but he was not miserable at all. In fact the man seemed overjoyed and worked diligently at his task. Wren asked this second man the same question, “What are you doing?” The man in joy and wonder looked up to the heavens and said, “I’m building a cathedral!”
Two people can look at exactly the same picture or situation and yet come away with a completely different message. And the reason why is their perspective.
Perspective is a function of many things. It comes with experience, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, insight, and life experience. When we see things with the right perspective everything changes. Sometimes we need to spend a little more time to find the right perspective to see more clearly.
Unfortunately, spending time doing things like this isn’t part of the modern way of life. Even reading this article I know that many will not get past the first paragraph before moving on and so they won’t get the perspective of what this is really all about.
That’s OK. It's the way of the world today, which doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.
About the picture…
So about that picture. If you spent a full thirty seconds looking at the charts, watching them change through the full series of six graphs, you may be terrified by what you saw.
The charts are showing terrible things: earthquakes, wars, tsunamis, famines, pestilence and global warming.
They are especially bad because they are all getting worse as time goes on. Every one of these things is worsening and the trends are not showing any sign of improvement in the near future.
Basically the charts are saying the world is going down the toilet!
Feeling terrified yet? Maybe you should be, because nothing is going to stop it. Let me give just one example from the list: wars.
The United Nations was formed for the purpose of preventing war. They do a whole lot of other things today, but that was their original mission. Yet at the time of writing, seventy-five active wars are being fought across the world today. Seventy-five!
I don’t know about you, but if the goal was to prevent wars and there are seventy-five active wars happening, I’d say they failed…miserably.
My perspective on this picture
I do not see anything to be terrified about in these graphs. What I see is the fulfilment of prophecy.
These graphs are empirical evidence of the signs Jesus said would precede His second coming. All of these are signs leading to His Second Coming that were prophesied two thousand years ago, and we are seeing the fulfilment of those prophecies. Look at these words from Luke.
"And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences" (Luke chapter 21, verses 9-11)
"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves" (Luke chapter 21, verse 25)
Jesus did not tell us to ignore these signs. He did not say to fear them. He did not say to escape them. He said to watch for them because these things would be the precursors to His second coming.
So I ask, “Are you watching?”
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375