by Dan Hayden • June 2018 •
It has been awhile since I have written on the subject of biblical prophecy. But the recent nuclear summit between President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, got me to thinking.
A few years ago, I put speaking or writing on futuristic prophecy on the back-burner. A number of things that I had previously taught concerning world events in prophecy had either not come true or are at least retarded in their progress—like the American participation in globalism and the emergence of a powerful European Union. Making accurate predictions on future events has become a tricky business, and thus I decided to take more of a wait-and-see approach. I am now simply an observer of futuristic prophecy, not a confident predictor.
I remain very interested and engaged, however—alert to world events and revisiting biblical texts. God has a way of arranging things in His providential oversight of world affairs that often take us by surprise. For instance, the sudden decision of England to exit the EU (Brexit) and the unexpected election of Donald Trump with his conservative government committed to nationalism, caused prophecy teachers to scramble. We didn’t foresee that. But then, maybe it’s just a matter of retardation. Many in Great Britain are rethinking their Brexit strategy, and radical liberals in America are nipping at the heels of Donald Trump, ready to restart the engines of globalism. We’ll just have to wait and see.
One thing is pretty clear, though. The scare of a possible nuclear war with North Korea is probably unrealistic from a biblical point of view.
Thirty years ago, the cold war had everyone thinking about the inevitability of a nuclear holocaust between the United States and Russia that would engulf the world in a nuclear winter. Survival strategies became popular and everyone was holding their breath. Then President Ronald Reagan began his interactions with Mikhail Gorbachev and the nuclear scare dissolved into nothing.
This caused me to think about the recent meeting between President Trump and Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. For awhile, Trump’s bellicose treatment of North Korea had the media predicting a possible nuclear war. The North Koreans had developed long-range ballistic missiles with the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead that could reach the west coast of America. A possible nuclear exchange had everyone on edge.
Then Donald Trump pulled a surprise Reaganism and met with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The meeting was cordial and both leaders smiled a lot. Afterwards, President Trump informed the world that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat. Others disagreed, but at least for the time being, nuclear disaster was averted.
America’s nuclear deal with Iran had the same effect. It was thought that major concessions needed to be made with Iran in order to prevent a nuclear war in the Middle East. Nuclear proliferation was possible with other Arab countries if we allowed the Iranians to develop a nuclear bomb. When the United States pulled out of the deal, other western nations that had also signed the agreement felt obligated to stay in because of Iran’s continued threat of nuclearization. The emotional stress of a nuclear threat is a powerful force, and Europe remains worried.
This cat-and-mouse game has been going on since the 1980s and remains a necessary process for the preservation of life on earth. Yet, the Bible implies that a nuclear annihilation of human civilization will never occur—not in Israel, not in the Middle East, not in Asia, and not in the United States. Persecution and war, yes! But nuclear holocaust, no!
THINK ABOUT IT
According to the Bible, conditions at the end of the age don‘t seem to include dealing with nuclear fallout. Israel will remain a viable country with a possible rebuilt Temple, well into the last period of seven years. It could not, therefore, be destroyed by nukes from Iran, Hezbollah, or Hamas.
Russia, Iran, Turkey and other Arab nations will remain antagonistic toward Israel until the “Gog of the land of Magog” war, as recorded in the prophecies of Ezekiel. That war has not yet happened, although the alignment of those hostile nations has been emerging for some time. Again, that indicates to me that none of these nations will be destroyed by a nuclear event.
Furthermore, according to Revelation 13, the antichrist’s kingdom that will come about as the result of the globalization of the western world, will become an economic and political power. This is not consistent with widespread nuclear devastation.
Even the Kings of the East will be able to make war with the west at the end of the age in the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16). Could they do this if they had been annihilated by a nuclear war?
BE CONCERNED, BUT NOT AFRAID
Many things are open to debate in the area of futuristic biblical prophecy, especially with regard to timing issues. Yet, other prophecies are relatively obvious when looking through a normal literary lens. The Bible is clear that conditions and events at the end of the age do not allow for the effects of nuclear devastation and radioactive fallout. Many bad things will happen, but none of them seem to include the nuclear issue.
So, do we simply ignore the nuclear problem? Of course not! Diplomacy and nuclear summits, like what recently happened in Singapore, are necessary pursuits to neutralize any nuclear threat. What the Bible suggests, however, is that these international efforts will be successful in curbing any use of nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump’s statement that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat may or may not be true—but we are thankful to President Trump for his efforts to deal with the problem. Behind all of that diplomacy, however, is the sovereign intervention of God in the affairs of nations. Kim Jong Un (and North Korea) is under God’s sovereign control—and so is America. The use of nuclear weapons in territorial wars doesn’t appear to be part of His plan.