Let me be quick to paraphrase the words of Amos, “I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet” (see Amos 7:14). Truth is, living in the 24/7 news cycle of these tumultuous times, it doesn’t require mega-doses of prescience to make the following prediction here in this Fourth Watch blog. The unraveling this week of the much-heralded (last week) “resolution” to the European Union’s intractable Greece crisis has given new meaning to the “tragedy-comedy” genres of theater the ancient Greeks gave to the world. Greek prime minister George Papandreou announced on Monday a national referendum next year to decide whether Greece would accept last week’s eleventh hour EU bail-out offer. European leaders were stunned. One Irish commentator (perhaps reflecting Ireland’s own precarious financial survival) observed: “The date of that [referendum] vote is as unclear as any intricate political calculations behind Prime Minister Papandreou’s decision to call it, or even whether he informed the Franco-German neo-axis powers before announcing it. Nor is it obvious what the precise implications for Europe might be, other than perfectly hideous. Chaotic hardly seems an adequate adjective. The Greeks have unleashed pandemonium, and if there is any hope remaining in Pandora’s box this time around, you’d want the Hubble Telescope to locate it.” (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/this-is-no-return-to-ancient-greek-democracy-16071942.html#ixzz1cYe9vpXV) In all fairness, the EU-Greece drama is matched only by our own government’s political theater played out in Washington’s “tragic comedy” efforts to stanch America’s financial hemorrhaging. Truth is—the entire world teeters on the razor edge of economic collapse. And that is the Fourth Watch prediction of this blog—that the “new normal” for our national and global economy will be accelerating uncertainty that will terminate in irreversible ruin, the collapse of our civilization. I.e., the second law of thermodynamics will prove true economically—we will move from a state of equilibrium to an irreversible state of entropy and collapse. But such a prediction is hardly rocket science. So why make it? Because I fear for my church. I fear that the indomitable pluck and inbred optimism of the American spirit will temper our apocalyptic awareness and shackle our Adventist sensitivities. I fear that like the five foolish virgins of Jesus’ parable we will drowsily murmur that there is surely more time that must pass before our “second advent” hopes need awaken. I fear the following prediction: “Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise [read “sudden”]. . . . Are we as a people asleep? Oh, if the young men and young women in our institutions [read “Andrews University”] . . . could only discern the signs of the times, what a change would be seen in them!” (8T 28, emphasis supplied) Then what shall we do? The soon-coming Christ makes this invitation: “‘Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me’” (Revelation 3:20 NRSV). Now is the most opportune time we have left to “share a meal as friends” (NLT) with our Savior. Now is the only time we have left to make a personal friendship with God our highest priority. (How? Click here and I’ll share the answer with you) Put it off, and like the EU and Greece, I fear it will become the “tragic comedy” of too little, too late.