All over the world tonight there seems to be a HUGE leadership vacuum that is building toward some sort of emerging crisis. In Europe, for example, the recent flood of unwanted immigrants from the Middle East, the growth of Islamic terrorism and a variety of unsolved political and economic problems with the European Union have created a great cry for new and decisive leadership. Few seem to have a clue about how to solve these growing problems and the failure to address them has spawned a variety of reactionary groups from ultranationalists to neo Nazis. Europe is in a deep leadership crisis it hasn't seen since the 1920's and 30's before World War II.
Here in America, the race for the White House in 2016 has created the most polarizing political dialogue in memory. A variety of polls seem to say that a majority of Americans are angry, fed up and desperately searching for strong leadership to fill the vacuum of failed government leadership created by both Democrats and Republicans. Like Europe, America is in the midst of a political crisis that is demanding some sort of strong and clear leadership to reverse the growth of progressivism, the malaise of political correctness and a sense that the establishment is corrupt and broken.
This leadership crisis is hardly a new thing for Europe or America. Every time things seem to fall apart because of the problems with failed leadership, people demand new and even stronger leadership to fill the vacuum. And while that need is not a surprise, the hidden danger of such a search lies in not knowing what kind of emerging leaders you may get. Seeking, electing and empowering unknown and untested leadership is always the lurking danger when you are in the midst of any crisis.
The last time Europe was in such a leadership crisis was before World War II, when nations like Germany, Italy and Spain turned to fascist leaders like Hitler, Mussolini and Franco to solve their problems and ended up with much worse ones. The same thing happened to America back in 2008, when then candidate Senator Barack Obama was elected President during a time of financial crisis and deep political division. Few back then, in Europe or America, had any understanding of what kind of leaders would be taking control of their lives and what would happen to their nations as a result.
What is happening right now to America and Europe, also happened to the people in the Bible. During the early years of Israel's history, the Lord Himself was their Leader or King. However, as time unfolded and the people drifted from the Lord, they entered into a turbulent period referred to as the days of the Judges. At that time, Israel had almost no moral or spiritual foundations and ended up with many internal and external battles. This created a demand from the people to find a king like the other nations as a way to bring stability and a sense of peace.
Unfortunately, as the Israelites looked to a human king they turned away from the Lord. Israel finally chose Saul as their king so they could be like the other nations. He looked impressive on the surface. And yet, Saul was untested and turned out to be a disaster that caused untold suffering among the people. When the reign of Saul finally ended, the Lord in His mercy sent David to be king, a man after His own heart.
All of these patterns of moral and spiritual crisis are normally followed by a desperate search for yet another untested leader that creates even bigger problems. This is exactly what the Bible says in going to happen in the near future with the rise of the Antichrist. The Antichrist is pictured in the Bible as a sort of "savior" of the world, who comes to a world that has rejected the True Lord and His Gospel and as a result is in chaos. The Antichrist is able to convince the world that he has the answers and solutions we all need, just as many in the current Presidential race are saying now. Sadly, few want to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ or any Biblical answers to these problems. All many people want is a leader to make their problems go away, keep the economy humming along and allow their lives to continue as they were in the past.
Of course this was EXACTLY the pattern that was laid out at our Lord's trial in John 19:15, when the religious leaders told Pontius Pilate, "We have no King but Caesar." Our Lord was the Savior of the world, but people didn't want Him. They didn't want to deal with themselves, their sin and the salvation our Lord brought. Instead, the only thing they wanted was to maintain their little kingdoms of power and control. They were not interested in the Lord's Kingdom.
What people fail to see at our Lord's trial is that the crowd's reaction back then would be the world's same reaction in the future. History is truly unfulfilled prophecy. As the world heads into increasing spiritual chaos, people will not embrace the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Rather, the world is looking feverishly for an unknown and untested leader....the spirit of another Caesar......the Antichrist. The world will make the same mistake again and substitute a human solution for a divine one.
It is actually quite remarkable to see this all coming to pass before our eyes. All of the drama in the current Presidential election and the chaos in Europe are building to this climax. America and the world are running into the arms of another Saul, not a David. As enmity continues to grow against our Lord, His Gospel and His Church in the West, the world is preparing to receive the Last Caesar, the Antichrist.
IF there ever was a time to think deeply about what is real leadership it is now. Everyone today needs to ask themselves who is their king, Jesus or Caesar, Christ or Antichrist. The answer we choose will surely go on long after the next election cycle ends.