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1. Mankind Must Have the Ability to Exterminate Itself

In Matthew 24:22, describing world conditions prior to His second coming, Jesus said that "if that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God's chosen it will be cut short" (Revised English Bible).

The main message that Jesus Christ brought was of the coming Kingdom of God. This is described as "the gospel" (Mark 1:14). Gospel means "good news." While some of the prophecies concerning events prior to the establishment of the Kingdom can seem negative, we should always keep in mind that the central focus of Bible prophecy is the good news (gospel) of the coming Kingdom of God.

Matthew 24:22 shows us that if Jesus Christ does not intervene in world affairs, the human race will be faced with extinction. It's crucial to note that humanity has had the capability for self-annihilation for only a little more than 50 years, since both the United States and the Soviet Union developed and stockpiled hydrogen bombs and the world had to learn to live with "mutually assured destruction."

At that time there were only three nuclear powers (Britain being the other). By the middle of the 1960s France and China had joined the nuclear club. Today at least eight nations have nuclear warheads and the number looks set to increase with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Of course, the more nuclear powers we have in the world, the more likely it is that someone will use this deadly force for evil.

Although international attention has been focused on the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran during the last few years, little attention has been given to the possibility of some or all of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of radical Islamists.

During the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their sympathizers have steadily gained more power, territory and influence, making nuclear terrorism more likely. Consider the consequences for the rest of the world if these types of groups had access to nuclear weapons!

Meanwhile, Russia and China are determinedly flexing their military muscles, raising fears of a return to Cold War-era tensions.

The good news in all this is that Christians have an assurance that Jesus Christ will intervene to save mankind from annihilation. This prophecy could not be fulfilled until man had the potential for self-extinction through weapons of mass destruction. Again, only in the last 50 years has this become possible.

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