Hal Lindsey reports: On July 4th, North Korea successfully launched its first ICBM or Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. The most critical word here is “intercontinental.”
That means that North Korea may soon have the ability to reach another continent with a nuclear device. The other continent we’re now worried about, of course, is ours: North America. That would be the United States of America, and don’t forget Canada. Of course, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and much of Asia are already worried because they share a continent with the North Koreans. No ICBMs are needed to reach some of them.
Just a few years ago, even the experts took lightly Kim Jong-un’s published declaration that his goal is to nuke the U.S. Now, they are not laughing so hard.
I must admit that Kim Jong-un comes by his aggression honestly. His grandfather was the psychopath who started the Korean War in 1950. Kim Il-sung then passed his power and aggressiveness to his son, Kim Jong-il, who then passed it to his even more psychopathic son, Kim Jong-un.
After decades of unfathomable oppression and deprivation, the North Koreans worship Kim Jong-un as a deity. Whether or not they want to.
President Trump recognizes the intense threat posed to the entire world by North Korea’s manic drive to achieve nuclear ICBM capabilities. He has promised that he will deal with the problem. Alone, if necessary.
For a while, it appeared that China might join his effort to contain the North Korean threat. But, as President Trump tweeted recently, it appears now that China was only paying lip service to the idea. They have returned to their support of the NK regime.
If the North Koreans develop full ICBM capabilities, that will put America to the east and all of Asia to the west within range. Even Jerusalem.
But North Korea is not dangerous solely as a possessor of ICBM and nuclear capabilities. They may be even more dangerous as a purveyor of nuclear weapons and missiles. They are more than willing to sell the plans and technical expertise to client states. Clients such as Iran.
Iran has already purchased missiles and missile designs from North Korea. If they use that technology to develop their own ICBMs (which is precisely what they are doing and already testing), then the entire Middle East, Africa, most of Asia, and all of Europe falls within range.
Now, it’s true that Russia, China, the U.S., France, and Great Britain have ICBMs with even greater range. But those nations do not regularly threaten their perceived enemies with utter destruction. North Korea and Iran do.
What makes this developing crisis even more dangerous is the arms race we see spreading across the world. The blame for it can be laid squarely at the doorstep of the Russians. But the West is not blameless since we had no stomach to deal with the Russians at the time.
You see, Russia (read that “Vladimir Putin”) taught the nations of the world that international agreements do not keep a regime safe. Nuclear weapons do.
Back in 1994, Ukraine, a former Soviet Socialist Republic, agreed to surrender the world’s third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons which it inherited by default when the Soviet Union collapsed.
To persuade it to do so, three nations signed an agreement with Ukraine expressly guaranteeing to protect Ukraine’s territorial and political sovereignty. Those three nations were the United States, Britain, and Russia.
In 2014, one of those three guarantors, Russia, invaded Ukraine and stole its most strategically significant territory — Crimea.
The other two guarantors blustered, but refused to do anything to stop Russia.
Why? Because Russia (read that “Vladimir Putin”) has nuclear weapons. Lots of them.
Chances are that if Ukraine still possessed its nuclear weapons, Russia would not have stolen Crimea.
So the sad lesson taught by Russia and quickly learned by the other nations of the world is that nuclear weapons may be their best hope of national security. And the United States and Britain seconded that lesson by standing idly by and watching Russia rape Ukraine. Proving that international agreements and guarantees of security are not worth the paper on which they’re written. (Hopefully, that may be about to change.)
That’s why the once two-horse “arms race” that used to refer to the West and the Soviet Union, now includes scores of other nations.
But then, what did we expect? The Bible predicts that in the last days before Christ’s return, the world would be devastated by a nuclear exchange. And it will apparently be like a free-for-all shootout in an Old West saloon. So that implies that many nations may participate. Or a rogue nation will trigger it.
And what do we have now? Many nations with nuclear weapons (or soon to have them) and more than one “rogue nation” actually anxious to use them.
Speaking of the Bible prophets’ accuracy in describing our current media headlines, if you watch CNN or the other mainstream media, you may not realize the horrors that recently unfolded at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The rioting that occurred was downplayed, at best, by CNN and the others, or baldly lied about, at worst.
How bad was it? Literally hundreds of policemen and security personnel were injured — many of them seriously.
Here’s a hint. The well-prepared and well-orchestrated riots (which included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio) actually had a “theme,” which included slickly-produced posters and other media props. Their chosen motto? “Welcome to Hell.”
I’m not joking. It was, “Welcome to Hell.”
And what evil thing was the G-20 concocting that caused such violent and aggressive turmoil? Capitalism.
These were mostly Europeans (except Mayor de Blasio) who were raised to believe that government can and must provide for all of the needs of all of the people all of the time. Sound familiar?
They are against capitalism because capitalism implies struggle and competition. But capitalism also promises unbelievable reward.
Until 200 years ago, almost 100% of the world’s people lived in what we now call “extreme poverty.” Around 1820, things began to change. And in that time, the rate of extreme poverty plummeted from 90+% to under 10%!
What happened in the early 1800s that began that miraculous improvement in the plight of the world’s masses? The American Experiment.
In fact, in 1821 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The flames kindled on the 4th of July, 1776, have spread across too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume the engines and all who work them.”
Boy! Was Jefferson right! Capitalism pulled 90% of the billions of people in the world out of “extreme poverty.” (Keep in mind that here in America, you can have a car, more than one TV, cable, food to eat, appliances to cook it with, a smartphone, a computer, a tablet, clothes to wear, and on and on, and still be considered by the government to live in “poverty”).
But even then, in the early ’90s more than 30% of the world’s population still lived in “extreme poverty.” So how did it drop that last 20% (to under 10%) in the last 25 years?
Two things. The Soviet Union fell and Communist China converted to a market economy. In other words, as capitalism grew, poverty declined!
Yet the protesters in Hamburg last week (including Mayor de Blasio) want to stop the engine of growth that has literally pulled the world out of “extreme poverty.”
Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the wonderful Christian philosopher, once explained this mindset. He wrote, “We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view, with inevitable certainty, leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”
I think the protesters’ chosen slogan, “Welcome to Hell,” is probably more prophetic than they realize. The chaos that they produced is precisely the type of disorder and upheaval that will give rise to a soon-coming “law and order” candidate who will promise to restore order and civility in Europe. The Bible refers to him as Antichrist.
Folks, a screenwriter in Hollywood could not conceive a more perfect confluence of conditions and events as a run-up to the “last days” as we see unfolding on the world’s stage. What we could not even imagine just a few decades ago is reality now.
Does this stress you out? I’m not surprised. But be encouraged. God is in control. He has graciously warned us about what will happen and given us time to prepare our hearts and our spirits for these days.
If you have never secured your place in God’s eternal family, then now is the time to do so. If you have accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ but are living below the life of peace and fulfillment that His Word promises, you still have time to start exercising the many promises He has given His children.
Start today. And one of those sweet promises that you can cling to in the coming times of uncertainty is this one. Psalms 4:8. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, For thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.” (NASB)
Accept Him. Trust Him. Rest in Him.
Don’t miss this week’s Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com. Check your local listings.