AN ARTICLE entitled “Thinking About the Unthinkable” appeared in the New York Times of February 14, 1980. Therein Dr. Howard H. Hiatt, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, was quoted with regard to the effect that one nuclear bomb, “by no means the largest now in the armories,” would have on the Boston area. He said:
“That one weapon would destroy everything within four miles. The bomb crater itself would be half a mile in diameter and several hundred feet deep. Beyond the four-mile radius of total destruction a pressure wave, followed by winds over 1,000 miles an hour, would build an enormous fire storm. Forty miles away, people looking in the direction of the explosion would be blinded by retinal burns. Of the 3 million people living in the Boston metropolitan area, 2.2 million would be killed at once by the blast or fire storm.”
Such might be the initial effect if just one of the thousands of bombs in the world’s arsenals landed “on target.”
Truly, the possibility that the “unthinkable” could happen provides good reason for thinking about the world situation. And many people are thinking. A special report in the February 11, 1980, issue of U.S. News & World Report analyzed the military might of the leading nations on earth, with these opening words: “To a fearfully watching world, the Soviet Union today looks like a military juggernaut, driving relentlessly toward global domination.” This is indeed a fearfully watching world, for the kind of holocaust that would accompany a nuclear war simply beggars the imagination. And there is no question that global domination has in fact become a major issue of our times.
Is there any solution to this doomsday situation? Many persons watch in despair. They see the nations ‘beefing it up’ in terms of rockets, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, long-range bombers, nuclear warheads and the like. As they watch, they become painfully aware that fearful dangers now threaten from the heavens and the sea, even as the Master, Jesus, foretold for the final days of the wicked system of things on this earth. Jesus said:
“There will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”—Luke 21:11, 25, 26.
“LIFT YOUR HEADS UP”
The outlook may be frightening indeed for those who watch developments merely from a worldly point of view. However, Jesus went on to say:
“As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) So there is no need for fear on the part of those who are watching world events from the standpoint of faith in Jehovah’s prophetic Word. Rather than being morbidly afraid of what might happen in a nuclear holocaust, they are looking forward with confidence to God’s promised deliverance.
Are you one who hopes for a return to safer times among mankind? Then you should pay attention to Jesus’ explanation of the meaning of our times. Since the outbreak of World War I, distress of nations, lawlessness, crime, food shortages, earthquakes, epidemics and other afflictions have been escalating in the earth, just as Jesus foretold they would, to mark the ‘sign of his presence and of the conclusion of the system of things.’ (Matt. 24:3-12; Luke 21:10, 11) But he added these words: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”—Luke 21:31-33.
At least some of the generation that saw the start of this age of lawlessness in 1914 are expecting to “be around” when it ends. That will be at the time of the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44, with regard to the “kings” or rulers who now selfishly struggle for world domination: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom . . . will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” The nuclear weapons of the nations will prove useless when pitted against the overwhelming might of God’s kingdom by Christ Jesus. This “King of kings” will judge the nations righteously, destroying the wicked and preserving those meek ones who have kept on the watch. How marvelous will be the Kingdom blessings to follow! “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:10, 11; Rev. 19:11-21.
Toward the end of his prophecy on the conclusion of the system of things, Jesus sounded this warning: “But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth.” In that day of God’s vengeance upon wicked nations and lawless men, the only people to be safe will be those who receive a favorable judgment from “the Son of man,” Christ Jesus. All persons who want to survive must heed Jesus’ counsel: “Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.”—Luke 21:34-36.
In concluding the same prophecy, according to Mark’s account, Jesus said: “Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. . . . Therefore keep on the watch . . . in order that when [the Master] arrives suddenly, he does not find you sleeping. But what I say to you I say to all, Keep on the watch.” This Jehovah’s Witnesses do today, as they vigorously preach “in all the nations the good news” that God’s kingdom by his Christ is at hand. (Mark 13:10, 33-37) Sharing in this grand worldwide witness is the Watchtower magazine, which now enters its 102nd year of publication. It is hoped that these pages may continue to be of comfort to our millions of readers, encouraging one and all to “KEEP ON THE WATCH.”