Based on my interpretation of the Bible, especially the books of Daniel and of Revelation, I believe that the tribulation (the end times) begins with a major world war: World War 3. But this war is not a war between any combination of the three superpowers (U.S., Russia, China). As was predicted by some Saints (Bridget of Sweden, Frances de Paul), the war is between the Muslim nations and the West.
More specifically, based on current events, it seems to me that our enemy in World War 3 will be the Muslim extremists, especially ISIS and the leaders of Iran. These two will unite the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa as one force, with each nation led by extremists. Then they will make war against the U.S. and Europe.
Iran is led by Shiites, while ISIS is led by Sunnis. But both groups adhere to an extremist version of Islam, which heavily emphasizes the right and duty of Muslims to start a holy war that will lead to a worldwide Islamic regime. So it is conceivable that they might make a pact and unite, in order to fulfill that goal.
Many people doubt that the Muslim nations could win in a war against the U.S. and Europe. But they have a large population of men of military age. They have a culture which has grown in its distrust and anger toward the West. They have a religion which encourages them to use force against non-Muslims. So they don’t really need advanced weaponry in the form of tanks, planes, and ships. All they need is for Iran to complete its nuclear weapons program — which I am convinced has continued in secret despite an agreement with the West to stop the program. Once Iran has nukes, ISIS will happily unite with them in order to share in that sudden increase in power.
The order of events in my speculative and fallible eschatology:
* Iran announces it has nuclear weapons
* ISIS and Iran make a pact to unite against the West
* Extremists rise to power in the Muslim nations of that region
* Iran and ISIS become the de facto leaders of that group of nations
* Then they attack the West, beginning World War 3
For more, see my book:
On World War 3 and World War 4
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