There is Good News! A wonderful world tomorrow is coming despite the threat of nuclear war today.
HOW REAL, thousands are asking, is the threat of human annihilation by nuclear devastation? "We'll be lucky to survive to the year 1990," asserts lecturer Dr. Helen Caldicott. Dr. Caldicott, a native of Australia, is a former Harvard University professor of medicine and president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. In an interview with the Plain Truth, she summed it up: "Survival is the only issue that matters. All other issues pale into total insignificance. If we don't do anything about it [the nuclear war threat], within 10 or 20 years we'll all be killed anyway." Despite intensive efforts to educate the public, few realize how real the danger of human extinction is. Herbert Scoville Jr., a former CIA senior official, warns, "No threat to the future of civilization compares with the threat of nuclear war." Incomprehensively powerful weapons are poised to erase human life — your life, my life — from off this planet. What can we expect as the hope of the future? Is humankind doomed as many now believe? The GOOD NEWS is that humanity is not doomed! There is hope. Listen to these words! "If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened" (Matt. 24:22, New International Version). God will intervene and forcibly stop man at the last possible moment from destroying himself. But the Bible also reveals that man will use nuclear weapons before God steps in to save man from total nuclear destruction.
What Could Happen
World media attention focuses on the destructive nuclear capacity of the United States and Soviet Union superpowers. Comparatively few look to the potential nuclear capacity of other powers. In addition to the United States and Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, India and the People's Republic of China are all members of the nuclear club. And others are on their way to full membership! Many experts agree that nuclear war probably will not start between the two present superpowers, but by smaller nations or groups of nations attempting to settle personal vendettas! The Bible foretold that even small Third World nations would arm themselves with awesome destructive power in the last days of this world's civilization: "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong" (Joel 3:10). It is not our purpose here to list for our readers all the horrors of nuclear war. What follows is sufficient to prove that no other form of warfare would have as devastating an impact on all strata of society and the environment. In the first milliseconds after detonation of a one megaton nuclear weapon, gamma radiation would kill everything within six miles. An electromagnetic pulse created by the nuclear blast would fuse all unprotected circuitry within several hundred miles, knocking out communication. A fireball would consume everything within 280 square miles in 10 seconds, followed by a blast wave that would flatten remaining structures within 4.5 miles, and severely damage other buildings dozens of miles away. If the device exploded above the ground, hundreds of tons of debris, now highly radioactive, would be thrown into the air, returning and settling for days afterward as fine, deadly ash. And the long-term effects are as devastating as the initial blast. If the device exploded at ground level, the surrounding area would be uninhabitable for decades. The high radiation would kill most, if not all, of the bird population, allowing the exponential growth of radiation-resistant insects. Radioactive particles would cause "beta burns" and kill plant life. Radioactive fallout would be carried into water supplies and aquifers through streams and lakes, rendering drinking water unfit in many areas. Burn victims and the injured would find the hospitals obliterated by the blast or clogged with other victims. In short, society as we know it today would be taxed to its limits by a single blast, and unable to function in the event of a major nuclear attack. The time when the earth will experience nuclear warfare defies description. "In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste [by nuclear warfare], and the high places shall be desolate" (Ezek. 6:6). After the warfare begins, "then there will be great distress [KJV: "great tribulation"], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again" (Matt. 24:21, NIV).
Why God Must Intervene
Could a God of love (I John 4:8) stand idly by while millions of humans are incinerated in a nuclear fireball? Jonathan Schnell in his widely read book The Fate of the Earth touches on the answer while raising this question. This "extinction by nuclear arms," says Mr. Schnell,... would be the utterly meaningless and completely unjust destruction of mankind by men. To imagine that God is guiding our hand in this action would quite literally be the ultimate evasion of our responsibility as human beings — a responsibility that is ours because... we possess a free will that was implanted in us by God." God does not wish this coming nuclear holocaust on mankind: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die...?" (Ezek. 33:11). Few understand that God has allowed a period of 6,000 years for humans to experiment with their own governments, their own religious institutions and family life apart from God. And, further, that God only intervenes now as it suits his divine purpose. Few understand that the first humans rejected God and his way — the way that would have led to peace and prosperity. Man instead embraced ways of life embodied in the verb "get," rejecting God's way that embodies "give" — a way of out-flowing love and concern. When the first humans rejected God's way of life, God set apart a 6,000-year period of time that would allow man to see for himself that God's way is indeed the only way that produces happiness, prosperity and peace of mind. God, as the absolute ruler of the universe, allows man this "responsibility" — spoken of by Mr. Schnell. Many scoff at God's intentions. But allowing nuclear warfare to almost obliterate mankind is the only way God can get man's full attention! "But mark this," wrote the apostle Paul to the evangelist Timothy, "There will be terrible times in the last days [the time we are in now]. People will be lovers of themselves [note that the 1970s were called the "Me" decade], lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (II Tim. 3:1-4, NIV). Astonishingly, even during the coming holocaust men will refuse to acknowledge God's right to intervene in human affairs. After God begins his direct intervention through the forces of nature to bring man to his senses, "Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done" (Rev. 16:10-11, NIV). Now this brings us to the crux point. Why must men repent? Repentance, remember, means to have a total change of mind. And what must they repent of? They must repent of sin — the breaking of God's law (I John 3:4). "The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated [KJV: "changed"] the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant" (Isa. 24:5, NIV). The laws of God — expressed in the summary ten points called the Ten Commandments — are LIVING laws. If you tried to break the physical law of gravity by stepping off a 10-story building, the law would instead break you! And the same is true of God's spiritual laws. Men unfortunately believe they can ignore God's Ten Commandments, summed up into two overall points by Jesus Christ: that first you must love God above all, followed by a deep love and concern for others (Matt. 22:36-40). When Christ returns to cut short man's onslaught against his neighbor, will people rejoice and praise God for his intervention? "... all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:30, NIV). The sad truth is that if God intervened sooner, even today at this moment, man's attitude is such that he would argue that he wasn't given the chance to prove that he could properly rule himself and bring peace by his own efforts! The result of this attitude? "Therefore a curse [brought automatically by man's disobedience] consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left" (Isa. 24:6, NIV).
The End to Nuclear Warfare
Ironically, many prominent scientists, politicians, world leaders are calling today for what would be the only effective solution to nuclear destruction. Their solution for prevention is well summed up in this statement by Albert Einstein: "I am definitely not of the opinion that the danger of war can be eliminated without world government. Without such a concrete safeguard, the arms race and, ultimately, world war are inevitable. "To 'outlaw' anything is of no value," he continued. "We know from long experience... that without safeguards such obligations, however honestly intended, are not honored in the event of war." Man has passed the point of no return. Regardless of his efforts to suppress the proliferation of nuclear weaponry, sooner or later someone will use nuclear weaponry. The concept of world government, while hailed as a solution to nuclear war, is at the same time universally recognized as unattainable by mankind. Witness the diplomatic jumble that occurs at the United Nations. The real and only solution was touched on by a major U.S. news-magazine a few years ago. One of its editors wrote that a "strong hand from someplace" is necessary to save man from extinction. And that's exactly what will happen! "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him" (Isa. 40:10). Jesus Christ will return — when man is poised to annihilate himself — and set up a world-ruling government that will stop war, unhappiness and misery (Rev. 19:11-21). In the supreme paradox, Christ will have to force men to live the way that brings happiness!
No Need for Today's Suffering
Ironically, man could bypass all this nuclear devastation by embracing God's give way of life now. Obedience to God's revealed way of life would immediately net wide-sweeping blessings. But not even the religions of this world can agree on what God's way of life is! God gives you this choice: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut. 30:19). To the minority who change their ways now and begin to earnestly obey God and his laws, God promises protection from the coming nuclear holocaust (Rev. 12:12-14). If you're interested in reaping the physical and spiritual benefits God promises even in this life, read our free booklet The Ten Commandments. In his first inspired sermon, the apostle Peter gave some of the most relevant and important advice for us today: " 'Save yourselves,' he cried, 'from this crooked generation' " (Acts 2:40, Moffat). No advice is more timely.