Has the World Gone a Little Less MAD?

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Has the World Gone a Little Less MAD?

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The fateful day of Aug. 6, 1945, began like most others. The sun rose while countless men, women and children set about their usual routines.

And then, at 8:15 a.m., the last thing 80,000 of them saw was the blinding flash of the first atomic bomb to be deployed in warfare. In an instant, almost seven tenths of the city of Hiroshima was leveled. Three days later, a second nuclear attack on Nagasaki claimed the lives of another 40,000. In the years that followed, hundreds of thousands more would die of cancer and other radiation-induced illnesses.

Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the devastating effects of a nuclear weapon have never again found their way to the battlefield. However, the development and production of such weapons has continued. As the United States and Russia entered a nuclear arms race, a new concept appeared: Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).

In other words: If one country with nuclear weapons attacks another country with nuclear weapons, there's a disturbingly high chance that when the dust settles, the people of both countries will be dead.

That's the main reason we haven't seen anyone push the "big red button" and launch a nuclear assault—because there are now a number of other countries with fingers poised over their own big red buttons. As you can imagine, there aren't many people who are terribly comfortable with that concept, especially as more unstable countries try to develop the bomb. Of course we would prefer to see the buttons taken out of the picture entirely.

That's what prompted the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between Russia and the United States. It limits both countries to only 1,550 deployed warheads, which is a 30 percent smaller cap than allowed for in the previous treaty.

Only 1,550 warheads. Should that inspire confidence? The amount of damage an arsenal like that could inflict is astronomical. The LGM-118 Peacekeeper, for instance, was an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that carried a payload capable of destroying roughly 230 Hiroshimas.

Even more frightening is the fact that such a missile was built with technology available over 20 years ago. In the two decades since then, our technology, along with our weapons, have grown far more advanced—and far more deadly.

The recent Nuclear Security Summit, held on April 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C., aimed to address such issues. Forty-six countries were represented at the summit by their respective heads of state or other officials as the world's leaders gathered to decide what to do about all the enriched uranium and plutonium floating around our planet.

China agreed to uphold sanctions against Iran's budding nuclear program, and Ukraine made plans to give up its own 200-pound store of highly enriched uranium.

Those sound like promising statistics until you consider the words of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who noted at the conference, "Just 50 pounds of high purity uranium, smaller than a soccer ball, could destroy the downtown of all our capital cities and kill tens, if not hundreds of thousands of individuals."

Conservative estimates put the world's total fissile material (usable in nuclear bombs) at around 4 million pounds.

Four million pounds. That's 80,000 times the amount Joe Biden was talking about.

This means that humanity possesses the ability to obliterate itself many times over. At any moment, given the right provocation, a total nuclear holocaust could be only minutes away. In spite of all the nuclear security summits and the most recent Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, world leaders will still retain the potential to eliminate the entirety of life on earth. And terrorists are trying hard to obtain the same power.

Mankind has only one hope. There is only one leader capable of disarming the whole world and guaranteeing security and peace for all who live in it.

That leader is none other than the soon-returning Jesus Christ—the future ruler over the whole earth.

The Bible prophesies that at His return, "He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths… He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:3-4).

A world without war. Without nuclear weapons. Without any weapons at all. The impossible dream? Not even close. Christ's return to this world is promised, sure and fast-approaching, as is the Kingdom He will bring with Him.

Want to know more? Check out the section How You Can Enter the Kingdom from our free booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom.