The Bible has a great deal to say about what is going to happen in the future. And one of its most amazing, stunning, and awesome prophecies contains predictions that sound like nuclear war.
Today, India, Pakistan, and North Korea all have the potential to flood the world market with plutonium, highly enriched uranium, or actual nuclear bombs. It is only a matter of time until some tyrant will obtain a bomb and the means to deliver it and be willing to detonate it.
What happened in Hiroshima during World War II is only a microcosm of what will take place in the future. Today’s nuclear weapons are far more powerful than their World War II-era ancestors. In addition, enough nuclear weapons now exist to destroy the entire planet several times over.
When we look at the Bible and its predictions about the future, one in particular refers to the possibility of the world being destroyed by fire. The apostle Peter says the flood destroyed the ancient world in the days of Noah. But then he tells us the world of the future will be destroyed by fire:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).
Peter reminds us that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (verse 9). That is the desire of the heart of God. But for those who do not come to repentance, who do not come to surrender their lives to the Lord, judgment will come. Verse 10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” The phrase the day of the Lord refers to the Battle of Armageddon, the time of the end, the final future judgment.
The rest of verse 10 reads, “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” The Bible does not specifically mention nuclear war by name, but this certainly sounds like it.
The judgment of God could come in cosmic fashion. It could come as a result of human war. It could come as a direct divine judgment from God Himself. But as Peter describes this, he seems to be saying, “The world is at war, and that war is the judgment of God.” God will withdraw His hand of protection and allow all hell to break loose on the earth as a judgment against the ungodliness of men.
In the light of all of this, Peter goes on to say that we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:11-12). He is not saying, “Let’s just hurry up and blow up the world.” Christians have never wanted that. We would hope for a window of grace, for God to extend time for people to come to repentance and to faith. That is the intent of the passage.
Discover more of what the Bible says about the end times in 15 Future Events That Will Shake the World.