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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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The house on the sand

Jeremy Leggett, a former oil man, wrote an article in The Independent

(20/1/06) entitled, What they don’t want you to know about the coming oil

crisis. He wrote:

 

A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of an acute, civilisation-changing

energy crisis. … We have allowed oil to become vital to virtually everything

we do. Ninety per cent of all our transportation, whether by land, air or sea,

is fuelled by oil. Ninety-five per cent of all goods in shops involve the use of

oil. Ninety-five per cent of all our food products require oil use.

 

The world consumes more than 80 million barrels of oil a day, 29 billion

barrels a year. This figure is rising fast, as it has done for decades. The

US government expects that global demand will grow to around 120 million

barrels a day, 43 billion barrels a year, by 2025. However there is no way

that the oil industry can produce this amount of oil. Leggett says, The

most basic of the foundations of our assumptions of future economic

well-being is rotten. Our society is in a state of collective denial that has

no precedent in history, in terms of its scale and implications.

 

The modern industrial world has been built on the supply of energy keeping

the electricity supply to our homes and work places running and fuelling our

transport system which ensures that goods and people can move from place to

place around the world. Without the energy sources - coal, oil, gas and

nuclear power - the whole system crumbles.

 

In America that possibility is beginning to be considered by those who see

the phenomenon known as Peak Oil as the next big threat to the western way

of life. Peak Oil is the point at which oil production reaches a plateau

before it declines while demand for oil consumption continues to rise. Once

worldwide demand for oil outpaces worldwide production (of oil by a

significant margin the price of oil will sky-rocket, oil-dependent economies

will crumble, and resource wars will explode.

 

Matthew Savinar has written an article on this subject on the Internet site

http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net. He writes, Civilization as we know it

is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday

cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather,

it is the scientific conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected

geologists, physicists, and investment bankers in the world. These are

rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely

terrified by a phenomenon known as global Peak Oil.

 

When will this happen? According to Savinar, Some geologists expect 2005 to

be the last year of the cheap-oil bonanza, while many estimates coming out

of the oil industry indicate a seemingly unbridgeable supply-demand gap

opening up after 2007, which will lead to major fuel shortages and

increasingly severe blackouts beginning around 2008-2012. Richard Heinberg,

in his article Smoking Gun: The CIA’s Interest in Peak Oil says A growing

consensus of petroleum geologists places this event in the mid-range period

of 2006 to 2015.

 

Savinar dismisses alternatives to oil as sources of power for the current

world system as fantasy. Green alternatives like solar, wind and wave power

produce only a tiny fraction of the power now available through oil.

Hydrogen as an alternative to oil does not work either due to the huge costs

of producing it and the vast problems of storing it. He says there is no

time to develop the huge infrastructure needed to switch from an oil based

industrial system to an alternative one. Nor is there the political will or

the financial capability.

 

Savinar sees an inevitable collapse of the US economy coming which will drag

down the rest of the world. As the driver of the worlds economy, the

demise of the US will take down other industrialized countries. The

financial dislocations wrought by the coming oil shocks could set the stage

for a series of destabilizing resource wars and currency insurgencies, in

much the same way Germanys financial meltdown during the Weimar Republic of

the 1920s set the stage for the rise of Third Reich in the 1930s and World

War II in the 1940s.

 

Added to all this is the fact that the present suppliers of most of the

worlds oil are anything but reliable. 70% of global proven reserves of oil

are to be found in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has the worlds largest

reserves with 264.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (25% of the world

total). Oil from this area is the easiest to extract and export. Recent

finds of oil in the Caspian Sea area and in Central Asia are not as great as

was originally hoped and these areas are landlocked so getting the oil out

involves building pipelines through such unstable regions as Afghanistan to

the south or the Caucasus region to the west. The vulnerability of pipelines

to terrorism has been shown by the frequent attacks mounted by insurgents in Iraq.

 

A disruption anywhere could cause market panic and spiraling prices. Texas

oil analyst Matt Simmons has written a book Twilight in the Desert which

warns that the skyrocketing price of oil could plunge the world into war.

One spark which could ignite this fire is Iran’s nuclear programme which is

causing worry about possible disruptions of the supply of oil from the

Middle East. In January 2006 Iran threatened to cut oil supplies if Europe

continued to meddle in what it sees as its right to develop a nuclear

programme. It has also threatened to block shipping through the Straits of

Hormuz at the entrance of the Persian Gulf if its nuclear facilities are

attacked. Every day, 15 million barrels of oil pass in tankers through these

narrow Straits.

 

Production of oil is in decline in more than 50 oil-producing nations,

including the USA and Britain. Discoveries of large oil fields are

decreasing year by year, while the demand for oil is constantly increasing.

In particular China and India are already having a major impact on both oil

resources and the environment on account of their huge populations and

growing numbers of people prospering as a result of economic development.

There have been large finds of oil in Russia with deep wells sunk in

Siberia. However Russia could well prove an unreliable source of supply.

 

January 2006 began with a crisis caused by Russia demanding a huge increase

in charges to Ukraine for its gas supply and threatening to cut supplies if

the price was not paid. Many saw this as Russia punishing Ukraine for its

pro Western policies. But the threat to turn off the gas supplies in the

middle of winter did not just affect Ukraine. For a few days countries

across Europe watched nervously as the crisis unfolded.

 

The deputy chairman of Gazprom, the giant Russian company that controls the

flow of Russian gas to the west came to London to reassure Britain that

there would be no risk of disruption to British gas supplies. The very next

day, temperatures in Moscow broke a 50-year record, plunging to minus 30C.

Gas normally exported was diverted to the home front. Supplies to the West

fell. Nervousness on this subject was increased by news reports that Gazprom

is seeking to buy a controlling share in British Gas.

 

As huge price rises for gas supply are announced, the prospect of the source

of this supply being in the hands of a power which once confronted the West

during the Cold War is hardly reassuring. After all Russian President Putin

once wrote a thesis saying that Russia could use its energy resources to

regain its global power. Russia supplies a quarter of all the gas used in

Europe and 90% of it flows through Ukraine. This supply is scheduled to

increase when the giant pipeline now being built under the North Sea from

Russia to Germany is completed. Britain will be at the end of the line for

this gas which will become vital as our North Sea oil and gas decline.

 

A crisis caused by oil resources being cut off or a huge surge in the price

of oil and gas could plunge the world into chaos. The Bible prophesies such

a time coming at the end of this age and compares it to the birth pangs of a

pregnant woman. In 1 Thessalonians 5.1-3 Paul writes: But concerning the

times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to

you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as

a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety! then sudden

destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman.

 

When a woman goes into labour a process begins which will lead to the birth

of the child. She knows the signs of the impending birth are taking place,

but she does not yet see the child and she does not know how long the

process will go on for. Today the signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ

are taking place  not just some of them but all of them. We do not know how

long it will be before the crisis we are describing in this article explodes

across the earth, but there is no doubt that it will. When it does the world

will enter a period of time described in the Bible as the great tribulation.

Jesus describes this period in Matthew 24.21-22: For then there will be

great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world

until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened

no flesh would be saved; but for the elects sake those days will be shortened.

 

Anyone can see that our society is built on shaky foundations. Modern

technological society lines up with the well known words of Jesus:

 

Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a

wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the wind descended, the

floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall,

for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine

and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the

sand; and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat

on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. Jesus speaking in Matthew 7.24-27.

 

Sooner or later the storm will come and this house will crash. What will

happen to you and me then? The world situation today is pushing humanity

towards an unprecedented crisis in human history which will affect all

nations of the earth and bring the possibility of the end of all life on

earth if God did not step in through the return of Jesus shortening those

days and bringing the time of human mis-management of the planet to an end.

 

Despite all this there is a glorious hope for the future. Jesus said When

these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your

redemption draws near. Luke 21.28. These things have begun to happen so we

should look to the return of the Lord Jesus as the hope for the world. While

people without faith are described by Jesus as experiencing heart failure

for fear at the things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21.26), the

believer has a totally different expectation: We should live soberly,

righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and

glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Titus 2.12-14.

 

As the lights go out all over the world, the light of faith and hope in

Jesus will never go out in the heart of those who really believe in Him. In

order to escape the coming collapse of oil based industrial society, Mr

Savinar, in the article already quoted suggests that people should relocate

to an area as least vulnerable to these issues as possible. But for many

people that will not be a viable option and it will not save you anyway. As

in the days of Noah there will be no escape.

 

But the Lord has a plan to relocate His people: For the Lord Himself will

descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with

the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are

alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we

shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17.

 

This event, known as the Rapture of the Church, will take place unexpectedly

and unannounced like a thief coming in the night. At that moment those who

are saved will be taken to a place of safety before the judgements fall on

the earth in the great tribulation period.

 

In the light of all this there is only one hope for the world. The return of

Jesus. The human race has blown our chances of saving the world by ourselves

already.

 

The world system today will not stand because it is on the wrong

foundations. But when everything else is shaken, Gods kingdom cannot be

shaken. In order to enter Gods kingdom Jesus says You must be born again

(John 3.7) not physically but spiritually by turning from sin and unbelief

to faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead when He had paid the price

for our sins and will raise with Him all who put their trust in Him.

 

If you have not yet made that step I urge you to do so without delay. Here

is a prayer which you can say to accept salvation through Jesus the Messiah.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness.

I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay

for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I

am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my

personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the

Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me

become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me.

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Much of the information in this article is taken from a new book written by

Tony Pearce, The House on the Sand, available from us for £7 including

post and packing. See www.lightforthelastdays.co.uk

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