First of all, the Bible does not specifically mention any of the world wars. The Bible does talk about massive death coming in the future through war, pestilence, natural disaster and other things to include civil disorder. Other than what Jesus said in general about “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7) the current situation between America and North Korea is not in the Bible. Whether current American events will end up a war or only a rumor of war, only time will tell.
The events of the last week or so lead me to the question – How should Christians look at current events?
As with anything, Christians should look at things with a Biblical perspective. In an attempt to do, so many Christians will classify things as either right or wrong and try to act accordingly. What I am proposing is that Christians look at things on a broader scale.
Through the centuries, Christians have always anticipated the return of Christ. Because Israel is involved in so many Biblical end-time prophecies when Israel become a nation again in 1948 the talk of Christ’s return has increased as time wore on.
The major end time events are the rapture, the seven-year tribulation period, the rise and reign of the Antichrist and at the end of the seven years – the return of Jesus. In addition to the major events, there is also a general world condition spoken of in the Bible.
This general world condition will increase in intensity as we inch closer to the end. Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-8, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
“The end is not yet … these are the beginning of sorrows.” In other words, we will see precursors of end time events. It’s similar to hearing thunder before the rain, or seeing smoke from a forest fire before seeing the flames. Over the decades, before the Tribulation period and the rise of the Antichrist, we will see the world developing into what it needs to become to accept this man and his philosophy. The Apostle Paul also lists nineteen moral conditions that will be prevalent during “the last days,” and we can see all of them today. We cannot only see them, but we are watching them gain momentum (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The Bible tells us the entire world will worship the Antichrist (Revelation 13:8). “All that dwell upon the earth” does include the United States. When prayer and the Bible were taken out of schools, American Christians started (and are still screaming) about their constitutional rights. However, if we are looking at things from a Biblical perspective, we probably should have expected it. A praying, Bible reading nation would never accept Antichrist rule.
No Christian, myself included, wants America running away from God; but is what the Bible says about the end times what may happen or what will happen? It is what will happen. With great joy, we anticipate the rapture and the physical return of Christ, but we act like the horrible things between those two events will not affect us. We are refusing to believe the smoke that is floating by is a warning of the flames to follow.
I am not saying Christians should say nothing about the evils around us, but instead, we should use these current events and trends to tell people of Christ and warn them of the times ahead. If you were camping and all of a sudden dense black smoke engulfed the campsite, would you not leave, telling other campers of the incoming fire as you go? Should we not be warning the world of the impending danger before we depart in the rapture?
If six months from now this North Korea thing is all forgotten, or if it turns out to be a shooting match or even a nuclear exchange, either way, it fulfills prophecy – “there shall be wars and rumors of wars.”
Christian, please remember, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.