Jesus sat with His immediate disciples upon the Mount of Olives just before His crucifixion. He answered the question that most troubled them, following His declaration that the Jewish temple would be completely destroyed, with not a stone left standing.
Their question–offered in wide-eyed amazement, no doubt–was: “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus then said that there would first come deceivers and great deception, even people declaring themselves to be Christ. Another thing that would signal the end of the world (the age) would, He said, be wars and rumors of war.
So, rumors of war is a major signal, given by God, Himself, that the end of human history is on the verge of reaching its conclusion. We do note that the Lord next said: “See that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
The disciples surrounding Him at the moment of His prophecy about the wrap-up of human history were to understand that the “end” was still future, and we know that the future in this instance has extended nearly 2000 years to this point. The end, as we know, is not yet…
But there is now, in these portentous times, more than enough rumblings upon the volatile geopolitical horizon to cause the diplomats of the world to be “troubled.” Nuclear weaponry and its imposition into the present-day mix of the possibility of war-making is something of which the disciples could know nothing.
Diplomats, and the rest of us as well, however, have seen what such weaponry can wreak, since “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” did their war-concluding work on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.
Possibility of war is much more than mere “rumors” these days. We have the historical experience, prophesied by Christ many centuries ago, to confirm that in this present hour upon planet earth there is reason to “be troubled.”
Wars down through the last two millennia have run their courses, with hundreds of millions dead in their aftermaths. Nuclear war will, if initiated, make all the conflicts of the past pale by comparison. Thus, it is incumbent upon the so-called “peacemakers” to put a bridle on the vicious jaws of tyrants who seek nuclear weapons in order to rein in their megalomania.
We have for years heard about Iran seeking such weapons. Attempts to rein in the Ayatollahs’ nuclear weapons ambitions have been tepid. Iran has basically been given a practically unencumbered pathway to developing not only nuclear bombs, but the means to deliver them anywhere in the world.
Russia has been complicit in helping Iran get its way, with little resistance from the Obama administration or anyone else So, the rumors of a future war loom mightily, if the new president doesn’t deal effectively in the matter.
Now we are facing another building crisis involving a major rumor of future nuclear war. Our other chief antagonist, China, is acting in much the same way in dealing with their proxy state, the North Koreans, as the Russians are in dealing with the Iranians. These matters constitute rumors of war of infinite magnitude. It has been left by previous administrations–particularly the most recent previous–for the new president to deal with these potentially deadly situations.
American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a week or so ago, while visiting South Korea, refused to rule out a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities. The ongoing fallout has China pushing back against such an eventuality, making veiled and not-so-veiled threats. It is not a lovely picture of international, diplomatic tranquility we see developing, to say the least.
Yet, there is comfort in all of this rumors of war business, I can happily report, based not upon my word, but upon the Word of God. Jesus’ words “but the end is not yet,” still apply to our time upon this much-bedeviled sphere.
As a matter of fact, Jesus said life would be pretty much as usual right up until the time He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of mankind. It is God, Himself, who is holding back all the evil of the world (read 2 Thessalonians 2) until that moment of intervention Jesus spoke of as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30.
When the Church (all born-again believers, according to Romans 10:9-10) goes to be with Christ when He calls us to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1-2) as detailed by Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, then the red horse of war, according to Revelation 6, will gallop forth.
That’s a long, rambling sentence, I realize, but well worth your taking apart and analyzing from the pages of your Bible. It is a matter of great comfort to read and study such promises. Such comfort–to those who know Christ for salvation–more than neutralizes the troubling, even terrifying rumors of war we now face.