Although many will be having a New Year’s party today, various Western governments are concerned about possible terrorist attacks:
December 31, 2015
In Paris, residents recovering from their city’s own deadly attacks will enjoy scaled-back celebrations. And in Belgium’s capital, authorities anxious after thwarting what they say was a holiday terror plot have canceled festivities altogether.
As the final hours of 2015 draw to a close, many are bidding a weary and wary adieu to a year marred by attacks that left nations reeling and nerves rattled. Still, most places are forging ahead with their celebrations as many refuse to let jitters ruin the joy of the holiday.
“We still have this fear but we need to continue to live,” said Parisian Myriam Oukik. “We will celebrate.” …
The French are still recovering from the Nov. 13 attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris, and authorities are preparing for a possible worst-case scenario on New Year’s Eve. About 60,000 police and troops will be deployed across the country on Thursday.
“The same troops who used to be in Mali, Chad, French Guyana or the Central African Republic are now ensuring the protection of French people,” said Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Paris has canceled its usual fireworks display…
Authorities in Belgium’s capital canceled planned New Year’s Eve fireworks amid fears of a terrorist attack.
The decision came one day after authorities arrested two men in connection with an alleged plot to unleash holiday season attacks against police, soldiers and popular locations in Brussels.
Mayor Yvan Mayeur said it would be impossible to screen the thousands of revelers who would otherwise be gathering in Brussels to ring in the new year. …
Around 1 million people are expected to converge on New York City’s Times Square for the annual celebration. The party begins with musical acts, including Luke Bryan, Charlie Puth, Demi Lovato and Carrie Underwood, and ends with fireworks and the descent of a glittering crystal ball from a rooftop flagpole.
This year’s festivities will also be attended by nearly 6,000 New York City police officers, including members of a new specialized counterterrorism unit.
People usually begin filling the square and adjoining blocks before sundown for the televised spectacle. Everyone arriving gets screened for weapons with a metal-detecting wand.
Officials are urging revelers to leave bags, backpacks and strollers at home as police ready for hundreds of thousands of partiers to flood the Las Vegas Strip. It’s not a first-of-its-kind request, but it’s getting extra emphasis following deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino and, more recently, a driver in Las Vegas who witnesses say intentionally plowed into pedestrians, killing one person.
Nearly 1,000 uniformed officers and an undisclosed number of undercover officers will be posted along the popular 4-mile-long, casino-filled corridor.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman lamented the prospect that fear might keep people from celebrating New Year’s Eve, or any event. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NEW_YEARS_EVE_ASOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-12-31-09-03-53
Multiple millions are being spent on New Year’s celebration security. Some of that security is militaristic.
Yet, despite the high amount of screening and costs associated with that, terrorists certainly can strike in places where vast multitudes are gathered. And even if they do not strike within the next day, the terrorists will have a year to figure out how to get around the security if they want to for next year, or even some event prior to December 31, 2016.
Of course, from a biblical perspective, the new year begins in the Spring, and hence not January 1st. December 31st and January 1st are not biblical dates to celebrate (see also Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate?). And even if they were not pagan, how many celebrate them is wrong.
Notice that the Bible condemns various activities associated with New Year’s parties:
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:12-14)
20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21)
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower Which is at the head of the verdant valleys, To those who are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, Will be trampled underfoot; (Isaiah 28:1-3)
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (Ephesians 5:18)
A night of drunken revelry is not a Christian holiday and should not be observed by the faithful.
The partying drunkard is also specifically condemned as part of those that will not inherit the kingdom of God:
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Christians should not participate in pagan holidays, and especially those that involve drunken revelries (see also Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate?).
All that being said, terrorism remains a risk, on New Year’s as well as at other times. Consider the following three sets of scripture:
14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. (Leviticus 26:14-17)
12 Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches…19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. (Psalms 73:12,19)
25…There shall be terror within (Deuteronomy 32:25)
More and more in the West are fearful of terror. So much so, it topped a poll of election concerns in the USA (Eight Issues That Could Shape Politics in 2016). Furthermore, 74% of Britains expect a terroist attack in 2016 (Major poll says 74% of Britons expect a major terrorist attack in 2016).
The elections in the USA for president and the expected election on whether the UK should remain in the European Union may both be affected by public perceptions of terrorism.
Airport security steps, having communications monitored, and the formation of more a police state have already occurred in much of the West because of terrorism and terror threats (plus the fact that many in government want more power and will use terrorism and other events as an excuse to grab more power).
Yet despite governmental steps, more terrorism will come (Leviticus 26:14-17).
More government surveillance will come (cf. Revelation 13:16-18). Even if some governments promise it will not. Notice:
December 30, 2015
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the NSA maintained surveillance of Netanyahu and other U.S. allies, despite a promise from President Barack Obama two years ago that he would end the practice. The paper, citing current and former U.S. officials, also said that communications between members of Congress and Netanyahu may have been collected in the surveillance.
And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, announced Wednesday his panel would seek more information from intelligence officials as it investigates the allegations. http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/30/politics/2016-nsa-spying-israel-congress/
Government deceit and hypocrisy upsets citizens, and often helps to motivate terrorists.
So, while there will be more security and government monitoring in many places in the West today and tomorrow compared to last year, this does not mean that terrorism is over or is about to be defeated (though there could be a pause after Daniel 9:27 is fulfilled and after the King of the South forms–but it may later hit in unprecedented amounts).
Terrorists would like to hit major Western institutions, and striking during holidays like New Year’s is something that many of them would sadly love to do.
News Presenter: John Hickey