The War to End All Wars
The war to end all wars
The war that commenced in 1914 was intended to be 'the war to end all wars' — at least that was the claim at the time. It is now known that the end result of this war, which would be renamed the First World War, would lead to the outbreak of the Second World War within little over 20 years. The League of Nations, set up after the first war, was powerless to prevent this even greater catastrophe.
The scale and horrors of these two wars could not have even entered into the minds of people before August 1914. People once mocked the idea of the world being burned up.1 By August 1945, it no longer was a laughing matter.
The name Armageddon is sometimes given to the battles that took place, especially on the eastern front, in World War Two. It is a name borrowed from the last book of the Holy Bible, Revelation, chapter 16, verse 16.
The real battle of Armageddon will be much more catastrophic than any known to date. It will be the consummation of a war that shall indeed be the end of all wars. The difference between wars so far and this last conflict is that men themselves, for a whole variety of reasons, have gone to war against one another. In this last, final battle, God will be directly involved as He brings to an end a world order that has gone on long enough without Him and disregarded His law.
The question is often asked why God does not put an end to all the trouble in the world. He will one day. The person who will put an end to it is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He came once before, but was, and is still, by most, rejected. He was crucified, but God raised Him from the dead. Jesus Christ is Lord of al1.2
The Lord Jesus is exalted and now sitting at God's right hand. He is there until His enemies are made His footstool.3 Jesus Christ is coming again to reign, as King of kings and Lord of lords.4 The world, under His rule, will be characterised by righteousness, peace and joy.5
In the meanwhile, the Bible calls the present time `man's day'6 and the Lord Jesus, as events were leading up to His crucifixion, said, 'This is your hour, and the power of darkness.'7 The Bible describes this present world as evil.8 Today, most people want to live as they please without God, but then blame Him when things happen to go wrong!
`God therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, now enjoins men that they shall all everywhere repent, because he has set a day in which he is going to judge the habitable earth in righteousness by the man whom he has appointed, giving the proof of it to all in having raised him from among the dead.'9
God is not taking up the question of deeds done in people's lives for the moment: 'Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.'1° Otherwise, if God were to start and judge everyone in the world now, where would He end? Before He does so, in this present day of His grace, there is the forgiveness of sins, peace and reconciliation to each and every one who will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour: 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' 11
In light of this there are many now who have `turned to God ... to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven.'12
Most people think the natural order of events is that you are born, you live, you die. If you have been good, you go to heaven; if not, hell. It is perfectly true, of course, that no one that rejects Christ now can have any hope to be in heaven.
The point is that God has a plan for the ages. God has planned future events for earth as well as in heaven. All God's purposes are centred in
Christ." In the world to come, that is the coming age,14 everything will be under the rule of Christ. The Kingdom of God will be established in glorious display when Christ returns visibly to earth. He will remove everything and everyone that offends against His holiness."
Then, all will be subjected to the rule of His kingdom. People will submit readily to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.16 This, in principle, is true of believers in Christ now. Men wickedly killed Christ, but God, in love and mercy, forgives any who turn in repentance to Him, and accept by faith the risen Christ as Lord and Saviour. The Gospel preacher makes known that the Lord Jesus suffered also for sins on the cross at God's hands. God can rightly forgive because of the blood of Christ shed at Calvary.17
Believers in Christ, rejected now by the world, are partakers of the heavenly calling.18 They are saved for glory in heaven where Christ is now. Such are in the kingdom as it exists in a mystical way while the King is absent and hid in heaven. However, when He comes again, the kingdom will be displayed, and those who received Him during His absence will see Him, reign with Him, and be with Him for evermore.
1 The Bible, 2 Peter, chapter 3, verses 10 to 12. How did Saint Peter, writing in the first century, know how to describe the effects of nuclear weapons?
2 Acts, chapter 10, verse 36.
3 Hebrews, chapter 1, verse 13.
4 Revelation, chapter 19, verse 16.
5 Isaiah, chapter 32, verse 1.
6 1 Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 3 (margin).
7 Luke, chapter 22, verse 53 (in this leaflet we quote mainly from the King James Authorised Version of the Bible, the translation everyone in the English-speaking world knew in World Wars 1 and 2).
8 Galatians, chapter 1, verse 4.
9 Acts, chapter 17, verses 30 and 31, Darby translation.
10 2 Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 2.
11 Acts, chapter 16, verse 31.
12 1 Thessalonians, chapter 1, verses 9 and 10.
13 Ephesians, chapter 1, verses 9 and 10.
14 This is not in heaven but on earth.
15 Matthew, chapter 13, verse 41.
16 Psalm 110, verse 3.
17 This is propitiation.
18 Hebrews, chapter 3, verse 1.
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