Nathan Jones: Russia, along with China and North Korea, have been posturing the threat of a potential nuclear war. We even have Western leaders spouting off that they would welcome being attacked so as to reciprocate with, of all things — nuclear weapons — to finally defeat Russia, forgetting that detonating nuclear weapons would utterly destroy the world!
Is nuclear war truly going to happen? What does the Bible say about nuclear war in the end times?
Russia Threatens Nuclear War
Nathan Jones: This past month Russia paraded a giant thermonuclear missile and smaller Iskander-M missile launchers through Moscow’s Red Square. The monster thermonuclear RS-24 Yars ballistic missile carries ten nuclear warheads, each of which weighs 15 tons apiece. The missile can travel at nearly 15,000 miles an hour and is capable of obliterating targets some 7,450 miles away, basically hitting any target in the world. Russia marched this behemoth through Moscow’s streets under the threat of their Defense Minister who declared that Russia would use their nuclear weapons should any nation arm Ukraine. Well, the Western nations have been arming Ukraine and are being very vocal about it.
Will Russia follow through on its threat to nuke those nations helping Ukraine?
Tim Moore: Russia is going to continue to threaten and rattle their saber. Making such threats places the world in great peril because you never know how far events can escalate and get out of control.
What people sometimes don’t understand is that Russia holds to a military doctrine of first use. The United States has declared that we would never again be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon, though we reserve the right to respond accordingly. But, Russia has a plan to use nuclear weapons should they ever feel like they are being backed into a corner or are existentially threatened. Over and over again in these past weeks during the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and others in Russia have accused that they feel so threatened. They have been claiming that the West has been threatening them, so we better be warned. And so, the saber-rattling has not just been about lip service. The risk is very real that the nuclear threat could escalate catastrophically.
Nathan Jones: Russia calls this first-strike doctrine the Escalate to De-escalate Doctrine. Their strategy involves escalating the threat to guarantee a win. They trot out the nuclear threat early in the hopes of making their enemies back down. And, it works!
What situation do we have in the West right now? We’ve got a proliferation of weak leaders who are incapable of standing up to threats. This is reflected in how some of our leaders have been saying that Russia’s nuclear threat would never have happened under Donald Trump’s presidency. He would be too much of a trump, so to speak, against Putin’s threats. Since the pull-out debacle in Afghanistan, we have seen President Biden continue to step back and away from military confrontations. The West just doesn’t have a backbone anymore. This situation is very reminiscent of World War Two when the UK’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the other European leaders of that era allowed Hitler to run amok before they actually stood up and elected leaders who would fight.
What makes Russia’s nuclear threat an even more dire condition involves how China has begun to now threaten to use nuclear weapons should the West protect Taiwan. North Korea also has been threatening war by launching missile tests.
These leaders need to go back to the eighties and watch that movie, The Day After, which shows the horrors of nuclear war. I remember that we had to watch it in grade school so as not to forget how much devastation and destruction nuclear weaponry causes.
Tim Moore: Peace through strength is still a valid concept. After all, you can never maintain peace through weakness, and that’s a matter of fact. Churchill once said it is impossible to negotiate with a tiger while your head is in its mouth. In other words, you have to maintain strength.
The Bible Prophesies Nuclear War
Nathan Jones: Does the Bible portray the use of nuclear weapons?
Tim Moore: It most certainly does. Jesus in Matthew 24:6-7 warned that as the end draws near there will be wars and rumors of wars. We will be hearing of an increase in nations rising up against other nations and at various places. War is one of the signs of the end times. Today, we are certainly seeing an increase in the threat of catastrophic war. Sure, there have been wars throughout human history, especially devastating wars during the twentieth century, a century that experienced more bloodshed than any other previous century in terms of the number of people killed. Now in our day, in a matter of mere moments, nuclear weapons could produce an unprecedented level of devastation as radiation spreads across the earth.
I’ve heard very “wise” people lately say we should launch a few nukes against Russia. “That would teach them a lesson!” I’m thinking, “Are you out of your minds? You have no idea of the amount of devastation that would occur by launching even a few nukes.”
Scripture tells us that in the fullness of time it is very likely that the world will experience a nuclear exchange.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Bible in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 reveals how God’s restraining influence during this age of the Church will at some point be removed. I believe that restraining influence is the Holy Spirit’s work through the Church for as long as the Church is on this earth. God has been holding people back from doing whatever evil inclinations their hearts wish to commit. All of our greatest evil and wickedness have been stemmed by God. The Lord has also been holding mankind back from acting on our desire to annihilate ourselves.
Over 2,500 nuclear missiles stand ready to launch at any given time, and that’s a small amount compared to the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons that are out there. One of those missiles, in particular, is prophesied to launch. We read in Isaiah 17:14 about how Damascus, which is the oldest city in the world, will in one evening be destroyed: “Then behold, at eventide, trouble!
And before the morning, he is no more.” Tie that prophecy in with Jeremiah 49 and it reads as a prophecy that foretells the day when Israel will have to defend itself from an existential threat. Israel has what’s called the Samson Option. When Israel feels threatened existentially, it will release its nuclear weapons. In these passages, we read about how the city of Damascus will be destroyed in just one evening by Israel. You can bomb a city for quite a while and not totally destroy it, but to make it uninhabitable forever, these passages do seem to indicate that Israel will use a nuclear weapon.
Nathan Jones: The most revealing prophecy concerning mankind’s eventual use of nuclear weapons is contained in the Sixth Seal Judgment as read in Revelation 6:14-15. “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains…”
If you’ve ever watched a video of a nuclear blast being tested, the explosion looks like a scroll rolling up. Sure, God could be employing supernatural means in the Sixth Seal Judgment, but it seems very evident that when the Antichrist comes to rise to power that in order to consolidate his empire he will release another world war upon the earth, and it’s clear that he also uses nuclear weapons to put down many of his enemies.
Other passages in the Bible, such as Zechariah 14:12; Luke 21:26; Revelation 8:7 and 9:18 all prophesy what sounds very much like a nuclear holocaust. Nuclear war will come to this world one day. I think it’s rather a definite that it will come to this world.
Tim Moore: Also, the First and Fifth Bowl Judgments of Revelation 16 talk about how the Tribulation inhabitants will be all covered with loathsome sores, which seem to be a manifestation of fallout from nuclear radiation.
The Great Escape
Nathan Jones: I believe that there is great hope for Christians because this apocalypse will not happen until after the Rapture of the Church.
Tim Moore: Yes, there is hope for us today. When we talk about the swirling of world politics down into chaos, it reminds me of what radio hostess Jan Markell likes to say, “The world is not falling apart, rather the pieces are falling into place.”
Just a few years ago, former President Barack Obama scoffed at the idea that Russia would ever be a threat again. Oh, the Russian bear has been defanged, he once said. And so, his political policy didn’t even have to take Russia into account as a continuing threat. The Cold War was over. And yet, today, especially the Left thinks that Russia is the leading threat in the world. Well, it is a threat, and so too now are China and North Korea. The threats are multiplying!
Our current administration is promoting the allowance of Iran to build a nuclear weapon. They don’t say that outright, but that is the practical consequence of the policies that America is pursuing with Russia as the referee. Russia is supposedly helping us negotiate with Iran. If that actually happens and Iran is given the ability to really move forward with its nuclear ambitions, all of the remaining players in the region such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey will immediately pursue their own nuclear weapons. Such a proliferation will almost inevitably lead to a great catastrophe.
Nathan Jones: Nuclear warfare is inevitable. The Bible prophesies it. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be living here when it happens. If you have given your life over to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are promised the Rapture of the Church. Christians will be taken off of this world before the worst time period comes in all of human history — the Tribulation.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? Is He the Lord of your life? You, too, can grab hold of the hope that Christians today will not face the coming nuclear war.