Future In his book The Extreme Future, James Canton shares the top trends that he believes will reshape the world in the next 20 years. Canton is a renowned global futurist, social scientist, keynote presenter, author, and visionary business adviser. He is also the CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, a think tank founded in 1990. He has been forecasting trends for over thirty years.

Here is a brief outline of his top 10 trends:

  1. Fueling the future – energy will play a critical role in every aspect of our lives in the future, especially energy alternatives such as hydrogen.
  2. The innovation economy – emerging technologies include Nano, Bio, IT, and Neuro.
  3. The next workforce – more multi-cultural and more female.
  4. Longevity medicine – will new medical breakthroughs lead to longer and healthier lives?
  5. Weird science – where will science take us next?
  6. Securing the future – threats to our freedom include criminals, terrorists, and mind control.
  7. Globalisation: cultures in collision – more global trade and competition; the rise of China and India; the clash of cultures and values; and the ideological battle for the future.
  8. Future of global change – the environment is changing, including global warming, pollution, and threats to health.
  9. Future of the individual – how will individuals navigate personal threats from technology, governments, and ideologies in the struggle for human rights, liberty, and freedom?
  10. The future of America and China – the destiny of these two nations will have a big affect on the future.

No doubt, there is a lot of uncertainty and even fear about the future today. Life is getting more and more complex. New thinking and new ideas are needed to find solutions for many of the world's current and future challenges.

As followers of Christ, we want to be like the people of Issacher, who had understanding of the times so they knew what they should do and how they should respond (see 1 Chronicles 12:32).

The prophet Isaiah was given an interesting picture of the future during his generation …

"Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance." Isaiah 60:1-3. NLT

Whatever our future may be, may we continue to be God's light in the world and a channel for his love to reach out to all people.

25 thoughts on “The Extreme Future

  1. Thank you for an interesting post Mark. Yes, we aught to be like the men of Issachar, who had understanding of the times in which they lived, so that we can know what we should do and how we should respond. Yes, we live in tough times and they will become tougher but, our response should be to trust God in all things, for He holds our times and our future in His hands. As followers of Christ we aught to have no fear. We can look forward to a glorious future, for our HOPE is in Jesus Christ and not the current world trends or leaders. Jesus is the only hope for mankind and others need to know. When ‘men’ learn to love their fellow ‘man’ and put aside hate and greed, this world would be a better place for all. Love shows itself in action in doing good to others … BUT love should always start with us.
    “Faith motivated by Love shows Grace and Mercy that Blesses others.”
    “Love is the language that all people understand and even the blind can see.”
    “…..Success, success to you, and success to those who help you,
    for your God will help you.” (1 Ch. 12:18b)

  2. While we are here, we are the salt of the earth.
    As salt preserves, so we Bible Believers in Jesus are here to preserve the earth circumstances from decay. Our Beloved Lord said, “We are the salt of the earth…..”Matthew 5:13.
    We are not to worry about tomorrow and what may happen.
    As Bible Believers we are not worried as to all the gloom and doom of what the secular news on TV and newspapers may produce.
    We, as soldiers of Jesus Christ, are an occupying force to occupy till He comes and then we will meet with Him in the air and remain with Him forever. 1Thess4:16-17.
    However we do have to let the Good News of Salvation be made known to as many as possible before the Lord returns. This is His Royal Command and God’s Love when we have Jesus in our hearts.
    So why worry about what may happen?
    Our Beloved Lord Jesus said it wonderfully in Matthew 6:25-34.
    Let us try to get as many souls as we can to join us with Our Wonderful Lord and Messiah Jesus. Hallelujah!!!

  3. Hi John,
    If I am attack by worry, I just go to the Word and find the section that applies to my situation and meditate in it for as long as I need to. Also, I commit my worry to the Lord and the wonderful peace of God will then take over.
    It is great to be a Bible believer and get the victory in Our Beloved Lord Jesus!
    Get in with the Lord! You should try it!

  4. Footnote:
    Worry is brought on by Satan. Thus worry is a satanic force which try to make us doubt the faithfulness of the Lord to deliver us. Therefore we should resist worry by going to the Word and be delivered.
    Our Beloved Lord said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:27
    So why worry?

  5. nathank, I did not plagiarise Mark’s blog on “Worry.”
    Christians who love the Lord has the mind of Christ and the thoughts are similar.
    I do not know nor have I visited the “Worry,” thread as far as I can remember. Perhaps you can show me.
    In any case, my post was in answer to the question from John.
    Let us not sow discord among us as this will cause hatred from the Lord. Proverb 6:19
    Instead let us uphold each other in faith and don’t fall into Satan’s trap of fighting among ourselves.

  6. Jamie
    I applaud you on your feedback regarding those who seemingly like to utilise Pastor Connors blog for their own gratification such as Ms Thornton. I recently challenged Ms Thornton about her ‘overuse’ of this blog and the way she seems to spend her time ‘idolising’ Ps Connor. Whilst I have heard very positive feedback about Ps Connor and his church I do agree that these blogs are supposed to be for comments regarding the articles which are listed not about plugging your own ego. I do respect Ms Thornton and the comments she makes (sometimes) but the constant bombardment of drivel sometimes is unnecessary.
    Thanks for speaking sense Jamie…

  7. So Stephen, what you’re saying is that YOU DO WORRY but you have a way of dealing with it.
    Also, you consider ‘worrying’ as a Satanic attack rather than a normal human response. So if I understand you correctly, a mother waiting for her child to undergo a life threatening operation, those North Qld residents asked to evacuate their homes not sure if they’ll be them when they get back, or someone who just lost their job, if any of them happen to worry, there’s a demon at work, right? According to your opinion, their anxiety in such circumstances is totally unacceptable.
    One more question for you: Where in the Bible did you read that worrying is a Satanic attack? Just curious.
    (PS: Fellow bloggers, feel free to barge in)

  8. Greetings and salutations bloggers 🙂
    Why worry? I don’t know about Satanic attack, certainly it must a tactic of the enemy to bring anxiety and worry into our lives or at the very least to take advantage of it to achieve his aim which is to kill, steal and destroy.
    The question I have is, when I am given opportunity to worry, do I believe what Jesus said or not. He said not to worry (specifically referring to what I will wear and what I will eat) but in general the promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us and that He will never test us beyond what we are able (and He’ll provide a way out) and that He is not a man that He should lie and that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever and that He watches over His Word to see it performed and that His word never returns to Him void.
    Nothing is impossible for God. He spoke the worlds into existence and He raised Jesus from the dead.
    Now, can I take these promises and face value when opportunity to worry comes along? These are the times where my faith is tested. I might say to myself I believe all this stuff but when it really counts do I really believe it, am I a doer of the word?
    If I am overcome and overwhelmed by worry then that is a sign that my faith needs a little more exercise.
    If worry comes, I need to look to the promises of God and exercise my faith to resist it. Letting it overwhelm me and making excuses to stay in worry are not going to help me at all.
    So, does Satan attack us with worry? Almost certainly he does from time to time and most certainly he does take advantage of any situation that might worry us.
    Should we just accept that worry is a normal human response and ride it out? I don’t think so, that sounds like not counting it all joy when I fall into various trials and tribulations knowing that the testing of my faith produces patience.
    Do I trust Him or not? That’s the question. If I do, what is there to worry about. Fear not, believe only. he is faithful who promised. It is not by strength nor by might but by my Spirit says the Lord.

  9. A clarification might be warranted before any more comments are volunteered on the ‘worry’ subject. The ‘don’t worry’ passage in Matthew 6:25-34 quoted by Stephen above refers to eating, drinking and clothing which belong in the category of the ‘mundane’ problems of daily life.
    However, if my memory serves me correctly, Jesus did not cast out any ‘spirit of worry’ from the highly distressed people that came to him for help, nor did he rebuke the people for worrying.

  10. Worry not about tomorrow for today has enough worries of its own.Matt 6:24
    You can worry or you can not worry its up to you…but its the girding up of the mind situation.., worries will come as a natural human response, but being mature in Christ has the follower maintaining a level of peace in God that is not available to the unbeliever.

  11. HI stephen,
    I was just having a laugh about the plagiarising. i think i should have went 😛 instead of :O, it might have made things clearer..

  12. i just note that i agree with trying to leave worry out of the picture. I found recently someone was really rip to have a word of encouragement that really could have helped them but in the moment i found i had no natural compassion for the woman until someone prompted me later and i had a big think about it. I felt guilty at first like it was personal failure but then i realized i couldnt do anything about it so the guilt was useless. if the time i spent worrying was spent praying words of faith into that womans life, it would yield far more than my worry or guilt thats for sure. also what boosted my faith was that if i didnt naturally care for this women then the desire for the women was likely from God, and just had to airm that the word of God doesnt return void but fulfills its work or whatever that scripture is. anyhoo i try as always to avoid prophetic bloopers (see Mark’s blog on prophetic bloopers).

  13. and by “desire for the woman” above i meant my desire to see God in her life. wow sometimes the small mistakes are the big mistakes, you know??

  14. Well said Warrick. I liked the way you acknowledge that worry can be a normal human response to some situations, but it’s the way we then handle that worry that is key. I don’t think it’s realistic at all to say that we “shouldn’t worry” or “won’t worry”, as we are all quite human and there should not be any guilt felt by a person if they do experience these sorts of emotions. It’s then that we have a choice to “own it” and hang on to it, dwell on it and entertain it, or come against it with scriptures and handing it over to God. It’s not an instant cure, it’s a process to train our “old” thinking when faced with these situations.
    I just want to encourage people that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a mature Christian if you worry …. but we do need to recognise that God has shown it’s detrimental and wastes our emotional energy and move through it so we are to not a slave to it. I hope that came out right.

    I am glad you picked up this point and shared a more balanced view. To say that we’ll never worry about anything is to kayak downstream that Egyptian river De Nial (as I mentioned on a prior post).
    I can’t imagine getting a knock on the door after midnight from a Policeman advising me that my son has been involved in a serious car crash and his life is hanging by a thread in intensive care, and not blink an eyelid. That would be inhuman. I’ll worry and I’ll grieve. We are wired to react with emotional intensity during a crisis. Our alarm goes off.
    One of the biggest lessons in the Bible, is hidden in its smallest verse “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). What blows my mind with this incident is ‘when’ and ‘why’ Jesus wept.

    • Jesus was God-Man (important detail to keep in mind)
    • Unlike most spontaneous, on-the-spot miracles of Jesus in the gospels, this one was planned (verse 4) and Jesus deliberately delayed to visit Lazarus’ tomb so God could be glorified through Lazarus’ resurrection (v.6).
    • In his divine nature Jesus KNEW that once he got there, the misery would be over in minutes and he was about to turn the mourning into joy. The others DIDN’T KNOW (bear that in mind too)
    • Once he got there he gave a hint of what was about to happen (v.23 Your brother will rise again) but Martha didn’t catch on.
    • What did he do next? Did he try and advertise the oncoming miracle in detail, stop them and say (like a modern charismaniac preacher would) “stop grieving, and have some faith. Is there anything impossible for God? Just watch the anointing at work”. Did he rebuke them for grieving?
    • NO, he just…wept, because when he was confronted by the mourners he ‘allowed himself’ to be “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (v.33). It’s as if for a moment he pressed the ‘pause’ button on his divine plan and almost ‘neglected’ his divine nature (God) in order to share in their humanity (Man). He shared their grief before he shared their joy. (That’s why we are told to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” Rom 12:15)

    The Bible assumes that we possess such emotions as part and parcel of normal life, which is why it encourages us to surrender all our worries and anxieties to the Lord, big or small (Phil 4:6-7). Why else would it encourage us to surrender something we never possess?
    Surrendering our worries is not in contention here. The issue I (subtly) wanted to highlight with Stephen’s earlier post is that, it is unbiblical to attribute Luciferian influence to such an emotion and to induce guilt on Christians by telling them the should never worry, which implies that if they do they lack faith and are not spiritual enough.
    I have a cynically simplistic view about these things which goes something like this: The things we so try to condemn and avoid, are the very things God uses to dispense His grace on us. Think of it this way:
    Would we know the power of healing if we never had sick people among us? Would you know forgiveness unless sin was involved? Would you know God’s peace unless you were troubled? Would you ever marvel at God’s wisdom if you were never stuck for an answer? It’s at the very point of our weakness where the divine and the supernatural manifest.
    I’m not suggesting we should try getting sick and sin so we can taste God’s grace, I’m hoping you get my drift. The things we’re ashamed of are the things God uses to show his grace. Maybe this is what Paul meant when he said “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)
    Finally, it seems to me that many of the OT prophets experienced severe ‘anxiety attacks’ and expressed them with brutal honesty (Jeremiah, David, Job etc). John the Baptist who according to Jesus “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater” doubted in prison and his weakness said: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt 11:2). Jesus in Gethsemane agonised so much that his sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44) He made the counterintuitive appeal for his father to take the cup away from him though he knew that he came to earth to do the opposite.

  16. Hi Warrick,
    I can see that you have the strong faith in Our Beloved Lord Jesus.
    Your stand with the Word in faith is what we all need in times of trouble and that is the way to victory. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” John15:5
    As Christians who love the Lord, we depend on Him at all times for indeed, “Do I trust Him or not? That’s the question. If I do, what is there to worry about. Fear not, believe only. he is faithful who promised. It is not by strength nor by might but by my Spirit says the Lord.”
    nathank, I am glad that you have a laugh about plagiarising LOL. The Sweet Holy Spirit enlightens me that we (Christians) read from the same Book-the Holy Bible. Thus we have the same thoughts and as such we should try to love each other and thus fulfilled the Lord’s command John15:17
    Thank you also to Sam who have wonderfully contributed what the Lord said. Indeed, it is ones choice to worry or not to worry. When Jesus is the Captain of your life, why worry? If you do worry, check-up on your faith in Jesus.
    Thank you all others who have contributed.
    Bear in mind that Christians are not perfect but only forgiven until we meet the Lord.
    Only the Lord and His Word is perfect.
    Meditating on His Word is the only way out of any situation.
    Believe it or not.
    Anyway, I am bowing out of this debate as it benefits no one except Satan.

  17. Stephen you said
    “Anyway, I am bowing out of this debate as it benefits no one except Satan”.
    The sharpening of ourselves “iron sharpens iron” through constructive debate.
    And “In the multitude of cousellors there is wisdom” Seeing the benefits of the process in truth is important, to become more learned in truth is of great benefit. “Rightly dividing the word of truth”.;

  18. Postmodern world characterised by increasing complexity and rate of change. No wonder there is a lot of anxiety and worry out there. Let’s use that opportunity to promote the one who can do something about it. 🙂

  19. Thank you Sam and Iain for your words of wisdom.
    I accept them with much appreciation.and gratitude.
    However I wish to elaborate why I have decided to bow out of this debate.
    This so called debate was in actual fact a personal attack by John.
    For instance he asked, “Stephen, do YOU personally EVER worry about ANYTHING?”
    When I have given him the answer, he went on and tried to increase the attack by saying, “So Stephen, what you’re saying is that YOU DO WORRY but you have a way of dealing with it. ”
    I do not hold any animosity against John as I no longer live but Christ lives in me. Ephesians2:20
    However, since I handed my life to Christ, I leave my life in His Hands.. When Saul persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ, Our Beloved Lord took it personally and confronted Saul who later was converted and became a great Apostle. Acts 9:4-6
    From this Word of the Lord, we learnt that it is not wise to attack the Church of Jesus Christ.
    If it is a constructive debate, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, I would be happy to join in.
    If someone would ask, “Why was Jesus answer to marriage and divorce different to Paul’s answer?
    In rightly dividing the Word of Truth, I would answer that Our Lord was speaking to the Jews and Paul was speaking to the gentiles. In such a debate, I would be glad to participate but not on personal attacks as this will benefit no one except Satan. The devil would love to see the Church divided and fight among themselves. I do not entertain this sort of attack.
    On the subject of worry,The Word has always exhorted us not to fret and worry but to trust the Lord. Psalm 37.
    Worry may be natural to the non-believer but to the believer, we have our Saviour that will NEVER fail. We have our Saviour that will NEVER forsake you in times of need. As Warrick has stated “Nothing is impossible for God. He spoke the worlds into existence and He raised Jesus from the dead.”.
    For me to worry as a believer is to doubt the faithfulness of Our Beloved Lord to deliver.
    It all boils down to, “Do you believe that God will deliver you or not?”
    Is Jesus your Lord and Saviour or isn’t He?
    Anyway, I must leave this, “debate,” to you folks.
    Bless you all!

  20. Dear Stephen,
    I am truly sorry to hear that you feel personally attacked by what I posted. These blogs are opportunities for dialogue (which involves more than one person, otherwise it’s a monologue).
    My intention was to challenge your thinking not to attack you as a person, since I don’t know you and have no reason to doubt your sincerity and personal integrity. So if you feel ‘attacked’ please forgive me!
    I apologise for the way I made you feel, but I do not apologise for challenging your thinking, because it is both unbiblical and unhealthy. To deny the possibility that you will EVER worry about ANYTHING, and if you do it means you doubt God’s faithfulness, is naïve simplicity and idealistic triumphalism, not biblical realism. If you uphold this way of thinking you are exalting your own spirituality to an idolatrous level. And what happens when you ‘slip up’ and catch yourself ‘worrying’ about something? You will either have to deny your feelings and / or feel guilty for ‘doubting God’. This guilt is self-induced and not one that the Lord intends us to carry. That should be good news! Simply put, rather than say ‘IF you worry give it over to God’, it is more biblically realistic to say ‘WHEN you worry give it over to God’ (because trust me, you will).
    I am not promoting ‘worry’ as a virtue here, but what I am saying is that it is one of those human weaknesses that we all go through every now and again and especially during a crisis. More importantly, the Bible does not condemn it, but simply encourages us to submit it to God rather than wallow in it. Furthermore, the Bible does not identify ‘worry’ as Satanic as you did. Man-centerdness is more Satanic than worry (Matt 16:23). Why give the devil credit for something he does not deserve?
    If you want to end this dialogue constructively, provide biblical reasoning rather than personal sentiments to support your view, so we can all benefit from the exchange. If you want to end the discussion here however, I understand and respect your right to do so.

  21. Yer Stephen agree with John’s comments on challenging your thinking, I think its healthy and not negative, we all have blind spots and thus all need each other as members of the body of Christ.

  22. John I really appreciate your taking the time to write such a long and valuable response to such an important subject. And you just said it with somuch more eloquence than I could. You’ve captured the very essence of what I was trying to say without offending, but felt it needed to be said. There is nothing worse than, as a Christian, being made to feel like we have an inferior relationship with God simply because we “feel” normal human emotions. And denying that we even “feel” any of those normal emotions is very dangerous territory, as you said, it is “exalting your own spirituality to an idolatrous level”. And it’s an unrealistic expectation to place on others.
    I am very thankful for these blogs as I do enjoy having my thinking challenged. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. But it’s good to bring things in to the light where we can discuss them as some people may have gone through times where they did feel guilty for feeling a normal emotion…and it’s important for them not to feel condemed, but to be challenged to then seek God for how to deal with it.

  23. Jumping In, thank you for your kind words. I openly invite you and the others who read these blogs to challenge my views if they sound unbiblical.
    I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I enjoy learning from others who think differently to me. I love gleaning the benefits of collective wisdom and I marvel how God dispenses it on the wider body of Christ.
    We can do with some refining of our views since we all have blind spots as Sam said earlier.

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