By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
The U.S. agreed to a nuclear arms deal with the nation of Iran some time ago. The agreement was approved by Congress, but many had concerns about the future of nuclear weapons in Iran. Under new guidelines established between the Obama administration and Congress in April of 2015, Congress could have voted to annul the agreement, but the President had the right to veto whatever Congress passed. It would have then taken a two-thirds majority of legislators to override the Presidential veto of Congress’ rejection of this agreement. Eventually President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, but there seems to be growing support to renew U.S. participation. Sound confusing?
The major concerns are these: will Iran be able to continue to seek nuclear weapons; will International Atomic Energy Agents be allowed full access to sites for inspection; new financial assets released to Iran may be spent for future weapons research; and, Iran has not backed off its promise and desire to see Israel destroyed. Israel’s strongest ally has been the U.S. for many years. There is grave concern that we will eventually be drawn into an Iranian-Israeli conflict, and face weapons that we knew were being developed and did not do enough to stop them.
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zec 14:2). This chapter in the Old Testament book of Zechariah predicts that the last great war, known as the Battle of Armageddon, will take place around Jerusalem. The enemies of Israel will gather together to utterly destroy the entire nation, but suddenly the Lord intervenes. Many Jews will suffer as a result of rejecting Christ, but others will survive and be delivered.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars…,”(Rev 12:1) “ And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Rev 12:6). Commentators have different opinions as to who this woman is. Two of the major thoughts are that she represents the church, or that she represents the nation of Israel. Either way, she flees before the dragon, representing Satan, and is protected by the Lord during this most troublesome time of the end. Surely it is not difficult to see that we live in such dangerous times. Nuclear weapons have the ability to do such destruction to the earth as well as to the people on it that we simply cannot afford to have such a war. But hatred is a powerful motivating force that overrides reason, and Satan hates God’s people so much that he wants to bring destruction upon us all. Just be aware that our Lord has promised to rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years, and His word cannot fail. Israel will be protected and saved (See Zechariah 14, Rev. 19, 20).