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The End of the World as We Know It

Ever since the atomic bomb was invented, humanity has been collectively humbled and horrified by its power and destructive force. It is rumored that upon witnessing a nuclear test, Robert Oppenheimer, one of the bomb’s creators, solemnly quoted the Hindu text Bhagavad-Gita:

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”[6]

Experience has taught us that the effects of a nuclear bomb are utterly monstrous.

The destructive force of the atomic bomb has brought about a realistic means of bringing to life the horrifying images described in apocalyptic visions like Zechariah 14:12, which says, “[for the enemies of Israel] their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.” In an earlier age, the horror of the bomb was only imaginable in the most awful of prophecies. Now, it is a frighteningly simple reality.

The world has been reminded yet again of the fragility of its relationship with the power of the atom as the Russo-Ukrainian war continues to rage. Ever since the shelling of Ukraine began, the world has watched with bated breath wondering, not only whether a nuclear weapon might be deployed by Russia but also whether Ukraine’s nuclear power plants would maintain their integrity in spite of the shelling.

The Guardian recently reported that Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said, “The complete and simultaneous loss of off-site power for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants shows that the situation for nuclear safety and security in the country is becoming increasingly precarious, challenging and potentially dangerous.” [7]

It is hard to hear these stories without conjuring images of the end of the world.

It is fascinating to realize that our increasingly secular culture loves to watch movies about the apocalypse. Many of these films focus on the effects of nuclear radiation. Movies like Fukushima 50 (2020) and the Day the World Ended (1955) focus on the real and imagined horrors of nuclear power. [1] [2]

Interestingly, visions of the end times that were once reserved for eschatology (the theological study of the end of things) are now becoming a core part of the American media diet. Popular films like I am Legend (2007), World War Z (2013), and Rampage (2018) also tell stories about monsters emerging as a result of some kind of mutation to terrorize and destroy the humanity that remains. [3] [4] [5] In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not be surprising to see if many future apocalypse films, like those listed above, continue to focus on pathogenic diseases.

Nonetheless, in spite of these anxieties that preoccupy our culture, Christians ought to remember the New Testament admonishments of Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

It is true that Christians must be vigilant for the return of Christ. Nonetheless, we should not fear for our lives or the safety of the world. We should not be swept up in the hand-wringing of our atheist culture. Instead, we ought to remember that our final end, our eschatology, is to serve our King and to be with Him in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

As Joshua 21:45 reminds us: “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Just as God kept His promises to Israel, he will also keep His promises to those whom He has taken into His Kingdom.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


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