All of fundamentalist Islam has one goal: world dominion. North Korea constantly badgers South Korea and threatens to send its several launch-ready, nuclear-tipped missiles in our direction. China seeks hegemony over all its Asian sphere of influence. Iran declares it will have its nuclear program, while at the same time promising to wipe Israel off the planet. And Vladimir Putin threatens everyone who opposes his way of doing things with the launch of Russia’s 5,000 nuclear missiles. President Obama’s administration responded to all this by drastically cutting America’s military capability, even to the point of unilaterally depleting US nuclear weaponry until it exists no more.
It’s enough to cause one to wonder if there is even a modicum of possibility for one to exist much past the next few years.
There has never been a weapon developed that hasn’t at some point been used, is the saying I’ve heard many times. I don’t recall any case of the neutron bomb being employed in warfare or, for that matter, the hydrogen bomb. However, the very use of these weapons of mass destruction in testing them means they have at least been used in the psychological aspects of potential warfare. This, in fact, is a part of hostilities between the great superpowers known as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). I guess they, in this manner, have been used to prevent warfare so horrific as to threaten the end of all flesh on planet earth.
Jesus told us about this possibility, didn’t He?
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)
He was speaking about the Tribulation era–the last seven years of human history just before He will return in the Second Advent. That is the instant He will break through the blackness of the last moments of the war of Armageddon as described in Revelation 19:11. So, at least those of us who believe the Bible and in Jesus Christ for salvation, are assured there will not be all-out nuclear warfare that will end life on earth. From the description of some passages in Bible prophecy, however, it certainly does appear that nuclear weaponry will likely be unleashed to some degree.
For example, Zechariah the prophet foretold:
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. (Zechariah 14:12)
That description can, of course, mean that this is a supernatural affliction of some sort that the Lord will use against Israel’s enemies. Most who know the science of these horrific weapons in today’s nuclear arsenals, though, think Zechariah here described the effects of nuclear war on the human body. Particularly, I’ve heard it expressed, this describes almost perfectly what would be the effects of the neutron bomb–a weapon that is designed to destroy flesh and blood, but not other materials, such as buildings, etc.
Those of us of a certain age remember well all the threats of nuclear war. Those of my generation remember the old “duck and cover” television and movie theater public service announcements. These were for us kids, telling us to “duck and cover” if we heard air raid sirens or saw the bright flash of a hydrogen bomb.
We laugh at these ludicrous exhortations now. We were to jump off our bicycles and jump in a ditch or behind a garbage can when a 10-plus megaton hydrogen weapon discharged over our town!
We survived all those years of the Cold War. Our leaderships of nations who possessed those bombs were of sufficient sanity to know that there would be no winners, only losers, in such an exchange. Judging the madness surrounding this generation, we must seriously ask the question: Are today’s leaders capable of avoiding use of these civilization-ending horror weapons?
If we look at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the answer is a resounding no, I think. But, even that paunch-bellied little tyrant must know somewhere in the back of his evil brain that he would end up melted into the glass parking lot his domain would become if he decided to launch his very limited nuclear arsenal.
On the other hand, the macho Vladimir Putin is quite another matter. He threatens nuclear war almost routinely these days. And, he has probably the most plentiful stockpile of such weaponry on earth. He once said, when he was opposed in the matter of trying to pull Ukraine back into the Russian orbit like when the Soviet Union existed.
“We hope that our partners will realize the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, and will remember the risks that a spat between major nuclear powers means for strategic stability.”
The Russian president has bragged about his arsenal of more than 5,000 nuclear weapons when talking with other leaders. He remains particularly chagrined over the sanctions imposed over his treatment of Ukraine. Falling world oil prices–due in part to fracking taking place in North Dakota and other places, which are diminishing Russia’s leverage in petroleum markets in the region he wants to dominate–are also contributing to his bellicose attitude and to not-so-subtle threats these days.
The difference between days of the Cold War and these times is that there has been no superpower willing to stand up to the Russian strong man, like when Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, et al, were willing to look Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and the likes in the eye and draw lines across which no dictator dared cross. That is, not until one Donald J. Trump, who seems to have the resolve his most recent predecessors have lacked.
Which brings us to the title of this commentary: “Rapture or WWIII.”
My own studied and prayerfully considered opinion is that while threats (rumors) of war and even hostilities like we are witnessing from North Korea, Iran, and occasionally other volatile players around the world will continue, there will be no world-rending war this side of the Rapture of the church. When the church is taken into Heaven by Jesus Christ, madness upon planet earth will likely be more the norm, rather than the exception. We can already see that trend developing, even at this late hour as the Lord of Heaven slowly, measurably, takes His Mighty Hand off the affairs of rebellious mankind.
When the Holy Spirit removes and sin is allowed to run wild, the notion of Mutually Assured Destruction will no longer inhibit the thinking of power mad dictators.
Undoubtedly, it will be threatened, all-out, nuclear war that will bring the false man of peace to his earthly throne. Antichrist will supposedly have the answers to stop the coming holocaust. But, he, of course, will ultimately throw fuel on that conflagration.
The true Prince of Peace–the Lord Jesus Christ–will then ride to the rescue.