Prophecy and Pain at the Pump

When war broke out on the European continent last month, many Americans assumed that President Vladimir Putin’s invasion wouldn’t impact them much. Maybe the stock market would get ugly as it always does during such international unrest—but it always bounces back, right? Many thought that it would just be another distant war and, terrible as the suffering is, they could just get up in the morning, eat breakfast, hop in the car, and zoom off to work as usual.

However, many are realizing that driving to work—or anywhere else, for that matter—is now a whole lot more expensive than it was just a few weeks ago. Turns out, this war in a distant land has hit Americans where it hurts: in their pocketbooks—big time. Gas prices are taking off like one of Jeff Bezos’s rockets.

Why is the Russia-Ukraine war causing gas prices to soar, and what could this mean for all of us?


Fossil Fuels

Whatever one thinks about the threat of climate change and the potential of renewable energy to mitigate its effects, one thing is certain: Fossil fuels—coal, oil, gas—are not going away anytime soon. The world has been highly dependent upon carbon-based products for more than a century, and all the dire predictions about floods, droughts, heatwaves, famines, rising sea levels, and worsening hurricanes aren’t going to change that.

Most of the energy that drives the U.S. economy comes from fossil fuels. “The United States gets 81% of its total energy from oil, coal, and natural gas, all of which are fossil fuels. We depend on those fuels to heat our homes, run our vehicles, power industry and manufacturing, and provide us with electricity.”  Indeed, by 2040, about 77 percent of the world’s energy will still be sourced from fossil fuels.

This “addiction” to oil becomes especially problematic today because the world’s second-largest exporter of fossil fuels is Russia, the nation that has invaded Ukraine. Between nations instituting boycotts on Russian oil and Putin threatening to cut supplies, the world’s dependence upon fossil fuels has become much more precarious—and, suddenly, much more expensive.


Pain at the Pump

Americans are now paying record prices for gasoline. Though it fluctuates day to day, and even multiple times each day, the average price of gasoline is about $4.34 a gallon, the highest ever recorded. (During a gas crisis in 2008, it reached $4.11.) Californians are paying about $5.69 per gallon; in some locations, drivers are paying upwards of $7.00 a gallon.

“It’s a dire situation and won’t improve anytime soon. The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months,” Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan said. He added that Gas Buddy “expects the yearly national average to rise to its highest ever recorded.”

Inflation in America is already the worst in decades. But now, as gas prices rise, so will the cost of anything in the economy even remotely related to gas prices—which is just about everything: From food, which has to be delivered by gas-guzzling trucks to grocery store shelves; to commercial travel on gas-guzzling airplanes and busses; to petroleum-based products, such as lipstick, toothpaste, paint, and even toilet seats—all these and more are, over time, going to get more expensive.

That means slowing economic growth, leading to further problems in an already-stressed American economy still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ukraine is also known as the “breadbasket of Europe.” It exports a quarter of the world’s wheat and half its sunflower products. All of this production is being seriously curtailed, if not outright stopped, as many Ukrainian farmers have put down their plows and picked up anti-tank rockets instead—meaning war could result in a doubling of wheat prices, which could jeopardize nations that were struggling to feed their people even before the war started.

The British Broadcasting Corporation has reported, “The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, has warned the conflict in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring, with a catastrophic impact on the world’s poorest.”


The Economics of it All

It’s too early to tell how this oil and food crisis will play out, though one doesn’t need to be a prophet to know that it’s going to get worse in the coming days and weeks before getting better—if at all. Even if the war ends tomorrow, the world will never be the same.

It is important to note that the book of Revelation stresses the role of economic crises in the final events. For instance, chapter 13 foretells economic boycotts against those who remain faithful to God as the world desperately tries to save itself from the growing chaos. And Revelation 18:11–19 predicts the eventual utter collapse of the world’s economy.

As wars and rumors of war destabilize regions, the world’s interconnected economies will face dire challenges. Access to vital resources, including gas and food, will grow more challenging, and governments will be forced to intervene with drastic measures that strike at our civil and religious liberties.

How that will come about, no one knows, but the war in Ukraine, with the sudden rise of gas prices and the resulting economic instability, should reveal to us just how fragile our fallen, sin-filled civilization really is. To learn more about end-time events and how you can prepare, watch Pastor Doug Batchelor’s five-part series The Last Day of Prophecy for free.

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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