Today, 100 years ago, on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Gavrilo Princip fired the shot that started World War I when he killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. No one could have known then that that gunshot would trigger the first world war in history, with staggering loss of life, but that that war, rather than being the ‘war to end all war’ would actually become the war which has not yet ended.
Jesus Christ said nearly 2000 years ago, when asked by His disciples what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age: “. . .For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. . . .Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. . . .when you see all these things, know that it is near — at the doors! Assuredly I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” (Mt 24; Lk 21)
When the Allied victors of WW1 carved out their spoils and staked out their territories, they started a process which has continued down till this day, still affecting the entire world: Jerusalem has come to the fore; Gentile nations are still trampling it even while the Jewish people are re-claiming their capital; the ancient Gentile kingdoms of Babylon, Medes-Persia, Greece and Rome, and the Islamic nations of the Middle East today have all been reconstituted from the aftermath of that war from 1918 as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, not to mention the only non-Gentile nation in the midst of them — Israel!
We who live today are only now beginning to see the beginning of the end which WW1 triggered. Some of us are children of parents who were born during or just after that war. The modern nation-states of the ancient Gentile kingdoms are reminiscent of the statue image of Nebuchadnezzer’s dream which Daniel interpreted, recorded for us in the Bible. Are we the generation which will see the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Stone from Heaven which will knock down all those kingdoms from under their feet, and God will establish His King on Mt Zion in Jerusalem? (Dan 2:34-35, 44-45; Ps 2)