Human slavery is more prevalent today than it ever has been in history
Note the consumer items that are being lamented when economic Babylon is destroyed- they are all luxuries. Note particularly the last item:
“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves." (Rev 18:11-13).
Many people have thought throughout the twentieth century that the slavery being lamented must be a metaphor. It must mean, they thought, "It's not really slavery, is it? I mean, slavery is so passe."
In the twenty-first century we also believe that slavery is a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, non-believers who mock the bible as being 'outdated' and irrelevant to today's society often point to this verse about future slavery and mock Christians who believe the bible word for word.
But it does mean slaves. The verse even defines it by saying humans. In no matter what translation you read it, it means people as slaves being sold.
Does slavery exist today? It certainly does. You will be shocked to read that slavery is more prevalent today than it ever has been in all of history. The figures in the link are 2008 numbers, before the current economic crash began. Not doubt the numbers are higher now. The article states, "According to research carried out by the organization Free the Slaves, more people are enslaved worldwide than ever before. In its 400 years, the transatlantic slave trade is estimated to have shipped up to 12 million Africans to various colonies in the West. Free the Slaves estimates that the number of people in slavery today is at least 27 million. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center suggests that three out of four slavery victims are women and that half of all modern-day slaves are children. ‘Countless other’ people are in other forms of servitude which are not legally classified as slavery, according to the Anti-Slavery Society, described ambiguously by some as ‘unfree labour’."
Other terms used to describe slavery, thus disguising it from society, "are chattel slavery (the traditional meaning of slavery), bonded labor, trafficking, forced labor, and forced marriage, amongst others." In a different article, this one in Forbes this week, are also "“trafficked,” “sexually exploited,” “commercially sexually exploited,” “prostitute."
In 2011 it was reported that Slave traders made $32 billion last year alone, and sold 2.2 million children into slavery. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has said, "Human trafficking has recently been described as “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world” and the one that brings in the most money after drugs and weapons.
Slavery is real, people, and growing more real every day. Read how Michael Snyder put it today on his Economic Collapse blog:
"When the sun goes down every night, America becomes a very frightening place. There are communities all over the country where drug dealing, human trafficking and gang violence have gotten so out of control that authorities don't really know what to do about it. In America tonight, thousands of meth heads will break into homes as they desperately search for enough money for another hit. In America tonight, thousands of children will be sold for sex at truck stops and on street corners. In America tonight, millions of criminal predators will be searching for a new victim. From the top levels of the federal government all the way down to the most depraved criminals on the street, America is rotting. Once upon a time our tremendous affluence masked the moral decay that was happening in this nation, but now that the economy is falling apart the damage to the fabric of our society is being revealed. We have become a nation of addicts, junkies, thrill seekers and predators. When we finally see the U.S. economy fully collapse, millions of desperate, angry and depraved monsters will take out their sick frustrations on all the rest of us."
The Detroit Free Press reported this week on today's slavery issue.
• Human trafficking is a $32-billion industry worldwide.
• Up to 2 million people are trafficked worldwide every year. Of those, 15,000-18,000 are in the U.S.
• Eight in 10 human trafficking cases involve the sex industry; the others involve labor trafficking.
• In 2010, 2,515 human trafficking cases were under investigation in the U.S.
• Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2010 were American citizens, though 67% of labor trafficking victims were unlawful immigrants and 28% were legal immigrants.
• The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line gets 1,000 calls a month about suspected trafficking victims.
• Call volumes have more than doubled in recent years, from 5,700 calls in 2008 to nearly 12,000 in 2011. Hot line calls coming from Michigan also have doubled in recent years, from 87 in 2009 to 173 in 2011.
• Twenty-seven states, including Michigan, have their own human trafficking laws.
Human trafficking, slavery, exists and will only get worse. The lament from the merchants at the destruction of economic Babylon isn't mourning the loss of lives. They are mourning the loss of slaves they got rich on and the loss of opportunity to keep selling people as slaves.
How can they be so depraved? It is because we have steadily been reducing the value of a human life. We murder mass quantities of children in the womb as a matter of convenience. We teach and preach that we come from monkeys, therefore we're only animals after all. We refuse to admit Jesus into our schools or public life, therefore generations of people don't know we are made in His image.
As for the reality of slavery, the first and most important kind of slavery is slavery to sin. Paul in Romans 7:14 says "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." We are slaves to sin from birth. You see in the verses showing how much a going economic concern slavery will be and how depraved the slave merchants are, how deep they are in their sin. They will have traveled far down the sin-road. Nothing will be beyond them, not even a fellow human's being's enslavement. However, the Lord came to us from heaven, manifested Himself to us so that we no longer need to be slaves to sin and all the brutality it entails.
"For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Hebrews 9:24-26). How glorious! He came to us, Himself!! He died as the sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God and God's necessary justice. Jesus took the criminal penalty for us.
If you repent of your sins, you don't need to remain a slave to your sins and you won't need to worry about becoming an actual slave. You won't be here during the Tribulation. You will be resting peacefully with Jesus where amazing grace abounds for all eternity. Praise Him!