War. It's an ugly word. It denotes death and destruction, pain and suffering, ruination and devastation. Every year it affects tens of millions of human beings. Will it ever end?
Wars and rumors of wars. No, I'm not referring to the name of the third full-length album from the band The Chariot. I'm referring to real wars between nations and ethnic groups all over the world. One cannot read the history of man without reading about the endless conflicts of one tribe massacring another; of one nation at war with another. Century after century, nations and empires arise and then cease to exist as a result of war. And the aftereffects linger for decades, hundreds of thousands of orphaned children, widowed women left homeless, crippled bodies of the survivors, destroyed infrastructure and long-lasting economic ruin.
"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars … For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom" (Matthew 24: 6, 7). Christ spoke these words on the Mount of Olives nearly 2,000 years ago. History has proved Him right. In just the last century, over eight million fellow human beings lost their lives in World War I. Almost three times that many were wounded. An additional six million civilians died. Two decades later, World War II posted much larger casualties, with 14 million soldiers losing their lives, and 34 million civilians. World War II was labeled "the war to end all wars." It was shortly followed by such conflicts as the Korean War, then the Vietnam War. Numerous others occurred, no less devastating for our fellow human beings who were directly affected.
There was the Gulf War with Iraq, wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, Congo, Algeria, Slovenia, Croatia, Abkhazia, Chechen, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Darfur, just to name a few. In addition there are ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria and the Israeli West Bank and Gaza Strip. North Korea and Iran threaten to escalate tensions to the level of war. There is a palpable fear of war between the United States and Iran, Israel and Iran, the United States and North Korea, and North Korea and South Korea.
Waves of civil unrest, demonstrations, riots and chaos are threatening the governments in Egypt, Yemen, North Africa and Algeria, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast. There are rumblings in Burma, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, and Xinjiang in China. Due to failures in prosecuting criminals and militants for the violence they bring, and distrust and growing dissatisfaction with weak or unpopular leaders, there are potential conflicts in Columbia, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Venezuela, Sudan, Tajikistan, Haiti, Guatemala and Mexico. The Middle East is always a powder keg. It is a time of uncertainty, anxiety, and perplexity.
War is now changing. It is becoming less conventional. It still results in death and destruction, but now it's called "hybrid war." It is a fusion of war, terror and crime. There are no clear battle lines, no contested territory and no easily identifiable difference between combatants and noncombatants. The enemy may be a stateless entity and live among the population in urban areas. Movement of the enemy may be on public thoroughfares or even public transportation systems. Targets may be innocent civilians in public places.
As it says in Romans 3:10–17, there is none righteous. None understand and seek after God. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known.
Will the prophesied "Battle of Armageddon" soon occur? Will the earth be destroyed? What will happen to you, your family and friends? The Bible reveals horrific and frightening events are just ahead. But it also reveals an encouraging hope. Order your free copy of "Armageddon and Beyond" today.