Nuclear warfare in the Bible
Does the Bible talk about missiles and nuclear war?
John in the book of Revelation
Nearly two thousand years ago, a Christian leader named John had a series of visions that described things that would take place in the last days. John wrote down what he saw and these writings became the book of Revelation. There are places in Revelation and in other books of the Bible that talk about characteristics that are very similar to the characteristics of a missiles and nuclear war.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
7 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
Following are other books in the Bible that may be describing nuclear war:
12 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.
The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.
An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts. And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean. And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. …
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur.
Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt. They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. …
Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them.
Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet. Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, as of a woman in labor. How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy? Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”
Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.
2 Peter 3:7
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
“Although it is possible for God to supernaturally pull off every miracle in the Book of Revelation and use totally unheard of means to do it, I personally believe that all the enormous ecological catastrophes described in this chapter (Revelation 8) are the direct result of nuclear weapons. In actuality, man inflicts these judgments on himself. God simply steps back and removes His restraining influence from man, allowing him to do what comes naturally out of his sinful nature. In fact, if the Book of Revelation had never been written, we might well predict these very catastrophes within fifty years or less!”
Throughout the Bible there are scripture that sound like nuclear missiles and the destruction that they bring. Isaiah 24 talks about how the earth is utterly emptied and faded away.
In the book of Revelation we read of an “hour of trial” which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 3:10). The Lord Jesus, in the gospel of Matthew, warns us of a “great tribulation” which shall threaten the survival of all life on earth (Matthew 24:21,22). The apostle Paul speaks of sudden destruction that shall come just when men are saying “peace and safety” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
As these verses indicate, the Scriptures (along with current events) make it plain that world conditions will be characterized by chaos, destruction, and death just before our Lord returns to take control of planet earth. In the book of Revelation we read of the poisoning of the oceans, the burning up of the grass and the trees, and the sun scorching people with great heat. The book also tells us that horrible plagues will afflict mankind, that there will be widespread wars and famines, and that the atmosphere will become so polluted as to reduce visibility by one third. In the midst of all this devastation, the earth’s population will flee to the caves, as people cry to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” (Revelation 6:16).
What will bring about such universal carnage on the earth? Is the Bible describing a nuclear holocaust?
There are three possible sources of the devastation predicted by scripture.
First, it could be that the terrible destructions predicted will be brought about supernaturally by God Himself without any other possible explanation. Until the nuclear age this was the primary view, because it was hard to see how such horrible devastation could happen by humans.
Second, some of the judgments predicted could come from disturbances created by a comet whose path leads it uncomfortably close to the earth. Global earthquakes and tidal waves, resulting in famines on an unprecedented scale would almost certainly be the result. Some, but probably not all, of these judgments could be brought about this way.
The third, and to me the most likely explanation for the terrible judgments has to do with nuclear weapons. Since the end of World War II, nuclear weapons have been proliferating all over the globe. It seems like almost every year new nations are added to the list of those countries with nuclear capabilities. The fact that we have not seen a nuclear war since 1945 can be because God has His restraining hand on it. Surely it’s His hand that has prevented us from destroying one another. How long that hand will continue to restrain us, only God knows.