hears the gospel message via satellite TV. The dishes adorn rooftops everywhere, and Arabic-language Christian programming is popular despite the outward pretenses in Muslim lands.
Moreover, the so-called "Information Age" is here, with the Internet as a key component, so that people worldwide may be sufficiently informed to choose God's side. Could this be more than a coincidence? Could it actually be what the angel of prophecy was speaking about when he told the Hebrew prophet Daniel, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4 KJV) Planes, trains and automobiles allow people today to "run to and fro" as never before in history, and the 'information super highway' of cyberspace has made every sort of knowledge available to every remote corner of the Earth.
Does the Internet really play a role in the outworking of God's master plan for mankind? Or, is it purely coincidental that the world wide web has emerged upon the scene at this time in history? I think it is reasonable to ask this question, although an authoritative answer cannot be found at this time.
It was Vice President Al Gore who dubbed the Internet the "information super highway." Like a paved road, it smooths the way for people to gain fast access to facts, and like a highway that stretches for hundreds of miles, it brings together widely scattered people into a global community.
That metaphor for the world wide web recalls to my mind this passage of Scripture:
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:3-5 King James Version)
Does the Creator of the universe need a highway or a paved road to travel on? Does he need to have the landscape cleared of obstacles and the way made smooth for him to travel from one location to another?
No, not at all. But people do. People face obstacles to learning about God. Yes, "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:14, New King James Version) But now, as the end approaches, God has smoothed the way for people to approach him by receiving and responding to the gospel message.
Prior to the global Deluge of Noah's day, as that catastrophe approached, the world was not left without warning. In the years leading up to it, Noah was "a preacher of righteousness." (2 Peter 2:5 NIV) The world heard his message and rejected it, so that only eight souls were saved in the Ark. How did they hear? Did word spread slowly via travellers who told the latest news when they reached far-off destinations? Or, had the human population prior to the Flood not yet filled the earth? Had they remained concentrated in one area, like the builders of Babel's tower in the plains of Shinar? Or had some forms of mass communication been invented prior to the Deluge, allowing Noah to reach a wider audience?
We won't know the answer to that, until we have opportunity to question Noah in the resurrection. But, it is clear how the Bible message is reaching the world in our modern day. And it seems only natural that the world should have a collective consciousness in the end times predicted in the Bible: not some mystical melded mind, but a common awareness of events world wide through the media of mass communication.
With Christian missionary organizations funding the worldwide broadcast of the gospel message over satellite TV, and the Bible and biblical teaching available everywhere via the Internet, Christ has indeed been "preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations." All have been warned. "And then the end will come," Jesus said. (Matt. 24:14 NIV)
Still, the real meaning of world events is hidden from those who choose wickedness. Many, though they fill their heads with knowledge, fail to gain true understanding and wisdom. That is because the heart is also involved. "And he [the angel of the Lord] said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do