Will the Coronavirus Crisis Bring Change to Europe?
Europe’s failure to help Italy in its time of need has shown European leaders that the EU must change. But what kind of change will this crisis bring to Europe?
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, recently apologized to Italy for Europe’s failure to come to Italy’s aid in its hour of need. Italy was the European nation hardest hit by COVID-19.
When its hospitals were overwhelmed, Italy (with its debt-laden economy) was unable to get the supplies required to treat those infected with the virus. So, Italy reached out to Europe. But instead of helping, the European nations closed their borders and hoarded their medical supplies.
When Italy needed European solidarity the most, the European Union was nowhere to be found.
For the last few years, Europe seems to have been in a state of perpetual crisis—moving from one crisis to the next. It seems the coronavirus crisis should have been a perfect opportunity for the lofty goals and ideals of the European project to shine—but instead, the nations of Europe turned inward.
To manage the coronavirus, the EU nations closed their borders (in violation of the Schengen agreement). Instead of acting as one, the EU nations resorted to a more nationalistic “every man for himself” mentality.
Many see this crisis as another nail in the coffin of the European project. Is this the death of the European Union, or can it still recover and fulfill the “European dream” to become a true United States of Europe?
Will Europe change?
President Ursula von der Leyen went on to state: “Saying sorry only counts for something if it changes behaviour.” But can Europe change? Does Bible prophecy reveal it will change?
For the last few years, Europe seems to have been in a state of perpetual crisis—moving from one crisis to the next. The Bible shows that a European superpower (called “the beast”) will emerge in the end time. While today’s EU is composed of 27 nations, this prophesied European power will represent a smaller number of nations. We are told it will be comprised of 10 leaders of nations, or groups of nations, who will come together to form a military and economic power (Revelation 17:12).
But this end-time union will be quite different from the European Union of today. Unlike leaders of today’s EU, where full political and economic union seems elusive, for a time these future leaders will be of “one mind” (verse 13) and will voluntarily give their national sovereignty to a single leader, also known as the “the beast.” This leader will be inspired by Satan himself and will have global influence (Revelation 13:4-5). He will also lead a persecution against God’s people (verse 7).
Unlike the overwhelmingly secular Europe of today, the end-time European system will have a strong connection with the religion of its roots, the Roman Church (Revelation 17:5).
To learn more about the connection between end-time Europe and the Roman Church, read “Revelation 17: Who Is the Scarlet Woman?”
How will Europe change?
How will the Europe of today transform into its final prophetic form?
Though we can’t know the details of exactly how the transformation will happen, it is very likely that it will occur as a result of a dramatic crisis. Throughout Europe’s history, large changes have often come quickly as a result of crises.
Interestingly, many of Europe’s founders and leaders have noted that times of crisis are an opportunity to transform. Consider the following quotes:
- Jean Monnet (1888-1979), a founding father of the European project, foresaw that his vision of an “ever closer union” could be achieved through a series of crises. He stated: “Europe will be forged in crises, and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.”
- In 2011 German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble responded to the Greek debt crisis by stating: “When things get really difficult ... suddenly solutions which seemed impossible become possible. Because of this, the crisis represents an opportunity. I’m not saying that I enjoy being in a crisis, but I’m not worried. Europe always moved forward in times of crisis. Sometimes you need a little pressure for certain decisions to be taken” (emphasis added).
- In 2012 Peter Praet, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, speaking on the financial integration of Europe, said: “As on other occasions in European history, this crisis offers a chance to progress; we must be ready to act on it. Let us not waste this opportunity to advance European integration” (emphasis added).
Yes, Europe will change. (It remains to be seen if the coronavirus crisis will contribute to that change.) But it will not change into something completely new. As our article “What Is Babylon?” explains, the Bible prophesies multiple revivals of the Roman Empire to occur in Europe. There is one more revival left to come, which will only last for a “short time” (Revelation 17:10).
This last revival of the Roman system will cause widespread devastation as it makes war against all that oppose it (Daniel 11:44). This power will ultimately come to an end when it attempts to make war with Jesus at His return (Revelation 17:14).
Changes are coming to Europe (and the world) that will impact your life in many ways.
Will you change?
Though how Europe responds to this current crisis remains to be seen, you can use this crisis to make positive and lasting changes to your life. In times of crisis, we are also presented with an opportunity to change.
This crisis is an excellent time to hear the message Jesus came preaching 2,000 years ago: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
A repentant person commits to changing from a life of disobedience to God to a life of complete surrender to His will and obedience to His laws.
Will you use this time of crisis to begin changing your life?
We invite you to begin this process by reading our free booklet Change Your Life.