Understanding Ethnic Conflict From a Biblical Perspective - Jesus Issues a Warning!
Matthew 24:7 "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places;"
"Jesus warned that the intensity & frequency of ethnic conflict would increase, intensify & erupt in more locations than ever before, covering the globe spreading to every continent, city, state, town & hamlet. The last days which began with the ascension would be marked with ethnic conflicts, with an alarming frequency, intensity & overwhelming number of locations globally!" Tribal sectarian conflicts on-going in the middle-east, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and northern Eurasia to name a few are all to be expected as part of Jesus' warning to us and shows itself differently on every continent.
Conflicts between ethnic groups, races and religious sects were addressed by Jesus Christ Himself, have existed since past ancient civilizations, the early common era, the middle ages, modern times that include the 1500s european exploration clashing with Native American Indians, 1619 pre-emancipation clashes with blacks and whites. Ethnic conflicts officially arrived on the shores of America.
Racial conflicts are not only in developing countries but are now challenging our 1st world communities. The 'Red Letters' of the New Testament addresses and issues a warning to the disciples in Matthew 24:7 that conflicts between ethnic groups would awaken globally but when that conflict touches our very own communities, in our very own back yards the conflict becomes personal in nature and is of serious concern.
The red letters of the Bible record "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places;" This end time (33 AD through the second coming of Christ that closes the dispensation of grace) warning which immediately referred to the first century destruction of the City of Jerusalem continues globally to all gentile nations and to the diverse ethnic groups represented. Jewish historians Josephus and Philo documented ethnic wars between Jews and Syrians, Jews and Greeks, Jews and Romans where thousands of Jews died in the conflicts. Both record the period surrounding 38 AD was marked with tumults due to racial clashes.
Before the common era and throughout the common era on all continents there have been tribal fighting, ranging from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Religious Wars 1500s -1800s, The Rifle Wars 1800s - 1900s, WWI and WWII, Cold War Era 1950 - 1983, Post Cold Wars 1988 - 2013, On - Going Wars such as Papua, New Guinea, South Sudan, Kenya, fighting among sects which all stem from fighting among ethnic groups.
Racial hostilities awakened in the United States pre-emancipation, continued through post emancipation and is again awakening on our shores, the shores of the United States. All races have a strong propensity to feel superior as a group, to be homogeneous liking to be among those who are like us and to display behavior that would exclude others of different cultures, beliefs, creeds and color. To understand Matthew 24:7 in the original Koine Greek see the original words used with the meanings such as the Koine Greek word 'ethnos' although translated 'nations' literally means ethnic groups. In this instance 'kai' means 'and' but can be translated to mean 'also, even, indeed, but.'
Matthew 24:7 when read in the original Koine Greek reads 'egerthēsetai - ἐγερθήσεται - will rise up, gar γὰρ indeed, ethnos ἔθνος nation, epi ἐπὶ against, ethnos ἔθνος, nation, kai καὶ and, basileia βασιλεία kingdom, epi ἐπὶ against, basileian βασιλείαν; kingdom, kai καὶ and, esontai ἔσονται there will be, limoi λιμοὶ famines, kai καὶ and, seismoi σεισμοὶ earthquakes, kata κατὰ in [various] topous τόπους - places.
In English a literal translation is "will rise up, indeed, ethnic groups against ethnic groups, and kingdom cities, states or entire countries against kingdom cities, states, or entire countries, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places." Egerthesetai means to awaken, raise its head and this is the nature of racism. Things seem to be improving when all of a sudden like erupting lava a situation or situations cause a racial eruption. Jesus knew the hearts of men and warned that the intensity and frequency of ethnic racial conflict starting after He ascended to God the Father, the beginning of the 'last days' would increase, intensify in frequency and erupt in more locations than ever before. Instead of racial fighting limited between Jews and Gentiles of the 1st century racial fighting would spread globally to every continent, city, state, town and hamlet.
Matthew 24:6 will begin to come into play as well. "And you will hear of wars & rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet." We will experience wars within our geographical areas while we see in the news wars occurring else where. Wars everywhere! This turmoil includes individual murders, gang activity, mob hits, assassinations and family disputes.
Christians are the 'salt of the earth and a light upon a hill' the Bible admonishes and this is a call to true Christians to begin to be a light of love and salt that brings love and healing to our area of influence. Matthew 24:7 also used the Koine Greek word 'gar' translated 'indeed' to let us know this behavior will indeed occur so do not be surprised but be prepared to administer strong love that will put out the flames of racial animus.
The word 'Basileia' is also used to identify larger entities in addition to one on one racism but also ethnic conflict between countries, between red states and blue states, liberal states and conservative states, liberal cities and conservative cities, towns and hamlets. As Americans and as Christian Americans, we must remember ethnic conflicts among religious sects where sects exterminate others of the same belief system due to minor ideological differences, traditions and skin color from the United Kingdom to the European Union from India to the near east, middle east and far east from Africa to Australia, this conflict can awaken and re-awaken any where and has awakened again at home here in the United States.
The antidote is to extend genuine selfless love to our fellow man, black to white, white to black , Hispanic to black , black to Hispanic and so on. To truly love unselfishly at the deepest levels is supernatural and requires a life submitted to God where He can love through us especially loving our enemies. Let us make a move to ask God to place His love in our hearts so that we may begin loving others on purpose. I'm all in and hope UR2!