No Time to Lose?

Three years ago, Pope Francis issued a letter decrying the world’s ecological outlook, particularly as it relates to climate change. The encyclical, Laudato Sí, declared that climate change was “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

More recently, in early June, the pope summoned what The New York Times called “money managers and titans of the world’s biggest oil companies” to a closed-door meeting, telling the executives, “There is no time to lose.” The pope wants the world’s top energy firms to move toward carbon-neutral forms of energy production—promoting “the sustainable development of renewable forms of energy.”

According to one online news site, both the pope and industry leaders “agreed a price on carbon emissions was essential in transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.” No specifics were detailed, but to have the companies line up with the pope’s thinking is an interesting development.

While few can dispute the need to be good stewards of the environment, there are critics who are uncertain if climate change is of solely manmade origin or not. The global climate has been changing for thousands of years, they argue, and if anything, global temperatures may be cooling, rather than warming.

But regardless of the arguments, it’s the intervention of the pope that may catch the attention of some observers of Bible prophecy. The idea of a religious leader involving himself in the world’s business affairs—especially in summoning executives to the Vatican and imploring them to act—may seem strange to some.

Those who know both the history of the papal movement and what the Bible teaches about future events, however, may view this more seriously. The insertion of a global religious leader into temporal affairs isn’t a surprise. Rather, it might be a foretaste of what’s to come.

The Bible speaks of a time when a dominant religious power attempts to control the world’s commerce—"no one may buy or sell” without the approval, or “mark,” of that power (Revelation 13:17). Those who do not submit to the domination of this authority will find themselves on the outside looking in, and it won’t be a pleasant time.

Pastor Doug Batchelor has detailed the development of the papacy into a future world power—his article on “The Pope and Prophecy” offers the basic details, while his video Bible study on “When All the World Wonders” will fill you in on the rest.

—Written by Mark A. Kellner

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