Brexit and the Bible

On Thursday, June 23, 2016, a referendum was held in Great Britain to decide the question, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

The referendum was nicknamed “Brexit,” because if the majority voted to “leave” and not “remain” Britain would exit the European Union. The vote is now history, with 51.9 percent voting to “leave” and 48.1 percent voting to “remain.”

Following the vote Franklin Graham remarked, “But I know that this is a least a temporary setback for the politicians in this country and around the world who want a one-world government and a one-world currency. The Bible speaks that one day this will take place.”

Actually, the Bible does not say there will be a one-world government and a one-world currency. That interpretation is based, in part, on a Dispensationalist view of passages found in Revelation chapter 13. Two beasts, one “coming up out of the sea,” and one “coming up out of the earth” will exercise global authority.

The second beast “causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark,” Revelation 13:16-17.

The Scriptures are clear that the two beasts will exercise global authority and influence. What is not clear is whether this authority will be exercised through a new global government and currency, or exercised over current governments and currencies. This may seem to be a needless hair to split, but I split it for a reason.

If Christians claim the Bible says one thing will happen and something different occurs, it may cause some to doubt the credibility of biblical prophecy when what they should actually doubt that interpretation of biblical prophecy.

Dispensationalism as an eschatological explanation of certain prophetic passages does not enjoy the popularity it once did. This is because certain aspects of this theological perspective are highly subjective. For instance, I can remember Dispensationalists claiming the European Union was the forerunner of the one-world government and the United States would become a member.

There have never been more than twenty-eight nation members of the European Union, a far cry from a one-world government, and there has been no significant movement on the part of the United States to join the European Union that I am aware of.

While these things could still happen, they seem unlikely given the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Other nations are rumored to be thinking of leaving, and the departure of Great Britain may signal the disassembly of the European Union’s political and economic machinery. Time will tell.

There is much to be gleaned from Biblical prophecy, but we do not serve the Scriptures well when we declare specifics not clearly spelled out in God’s Word.

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