This week I read a cluster of news articles that could have been taken directly from the plot of my 2012 end-times novel, Seventy Weeks. These were not the main headlines most of us will have seen – the missile firing of North Korea nor the latest terrorist atrocity on the London Tube. No, these were a little more disguised but seriously relevant, nonetheless.
I mention them because, as Christians, we need to be aware of what is going in our world today. These things are road-signs as to where we are and where we are heading.
Following the launch this week of Apple’s iPhone 8 smartphone, which is able to identify the user using the latest facial recognition technology , the Daily Telegraph ran this piece about the benefits of ‘Big Data’. However, it included the following significant comment:
“We are now only a few years away from the day when facial recognition technology will be sufficiently advanced that, whenever we walk down a street, networks of CCTV cameras, public as well as private, will immediately recognise us. Databases of people’s faces will be created and used for commercial as well as law and order purposes.”
Another article described “four creepy things your smartphone is quietly recording about you”:
- Everywhere you go: “Location tracking on smartphones is not a new phenomenon. However iPhones automatically collect data on everywhere its users go and how long they spend there. “
- Every photo you’ve ever taken or deleted: “Deleting a photo from your phone doesn’t mean it’s gone as smartphones still keep a record of the images created on them. This includes images sent to your phone – even if you haven’t opened them.”
- Your voice: “Voice assistants such as the iPhone’s Siri and the Google Assistant are now a ubiquitous feature on smartphones. In 2015 it emerged that Google stores all the voice recordings it receives when people talk to its voice-control features.Google’s voice activity can be turned off, but this won’t stop your phone recording your voice. It means the recordings will be logged as anonymous and not directly linked to your account.”
- Your fingerprint: “Since Apple first introduced Touch ID in 2013, fingerprint reading has become an integral part of modern smartphones.”
Finally, in another article, Jean Claude Juncker, the EU Commission President, outlined his plans for the EU to push ahead with ever-closer federal integration following the departure of Britain from the EU. His speech was branded as a blueprint for a “United States of Europe”. These plans include:
“ever-closer union on defence, asylum and foreign policy in a bigger, more powerful bloc under a new, directly elected EU president. A eurozone finance minister would be appointed, with every country to adopt the euro.”
I featured all of these elements in the storyline of Seventy weeks. Although it’s quite gratifying for me as an author to see them appearing in news items, it’s also quite sobering to realise just where we’re at.
However, as believers our hope is not in the things of this world. Our hope is in the Lord and His plans and purposes for the future. As Jesus stated in Luke 21:28:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
(Image courtesy of Iomniscient.com)