1. The rapid increase in divorce;
2. The craze for pleasure;
3. The building of gigantic armaments when the actual enemy was within;
4. The increase of violence; and
5. The decline of religion.
In short, Rome exhausted its decreasing supply of committed people.
What Gibbons said about Rome is a clear picture of the United States today. Our nation has lost its footing.
Who knows were we go from here? There is not much sign of America turning to God. Also, our economy is in shambles.
Writing in the current Newsweek magazine, Niald Ferguson observes: “The world economy may not be in a depression as bad as that of the early 1930s. But it’s certainly got emotional problems.”
Pastor Erwin Lutzer has just released a new book titled “The King is Coming.” In his new work, he, too discusses our economy and says: “Since Antichrist is going to use economics to rule the globe, our present economic crisis could indeed usher in a worldwide economic collapse that would force the world to accept an ‘economic tsar’ to bring hope and stability to a world run amok.”
Lutzer continues, “We simply don’t know who the Antichrist might be or whether he is alive today. We must humbly confess that we don’t know exactly how and when God will wrap up history.”
About the Roman Empire, Lehman Strauss comments: “Rome had the reputation of crushing all opposition and resistance with an iron heel. ... The Roman Empire succeeded the Grecian in 63 BC, and ... for almost 500 years after the death of our Lord, Rome’s power was known by all.”
The mighty Roman Empire collapsed about AD 500, but it never became the 10 nations predicted by Daniel. Why?
We know that in chapter 7, Daniel gives more information when the ferocious beast representing the Roman Empire had 10 horns. “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom” (v. 26).
The fact is, the 10-toe part of the statue (Daniel, ch. 2) has not yet existed, and history offers no record of the Roman empire ever breaking up into 10 nations or kingdoms.
But, Daniel predicted it would happen. Therefore, when the Roman Empire is revived, it will ultimately consist of 10 nations.
Significantly, the Bible predicts a revival of the old Roman Empire that existed largely on the European continent, the site of today’s new European Union. That is a vitally important fact.
Daniel predicted that the fourth kingdom (Rome) would be in existence when Christ returns to earth and sets up His kingdom.
Obviously, for the Roman kingdom to be active when Christ returns, it must first exist. Later, Revelation 17 speaks of the same 10 kings to which Daniel referred.
Note the Scriptures: “The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings ... .
“‘They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings’” (Revelation 17:12, 14).
To recapitulate, Daniel 2 depicts the Roman Empire as being strong, but ultimately developing into 10 toes, partly strong and partly weak.
Daniel 7 discusses the same empire and says there will be 10 kings. Of course, the kings will have kingdoms.
Then later Revelation 17 says these 10 kings “for one hour will receive authority as kings.” In other words, for a very short time (just before the Second Coming), these kings will be in power.
If the European Union is the beginning of the fulfillment of the 10-nation prediction, how can this be true, since many more than 10 nations are now members of the Union?
The Bible does not explain how God will work that out. Perhaps the European Union will become 10 strong nations with the others being of lesser importance, or the other nations will become part of the 10.
In God’s time, He will work out the problem perfectly, and 10 kingdoms will be in existence in the area of the old Roman Empire when Christ returns—not in the Rapture, but in His Second Coming.
Foolish men and foolish kingdoms always feel that they are self-sufficient and perfectly able to handle life without God. Ultimately that will also be the attitude of the 10 nations—the European Union.
They will strongly oppose any righteousness on the earth, but Christ will overcome them because He is Lord of lords.
Another picture of Christ being victor is found in Revelation 19:13, 15: “His name is the Word of God. ... Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.”
Like all sinners, people at the end time will find that “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).