My wife Bev and I have had the privilege of serving and helping provide relief for those affected by nuclear accidents in different parts of the world. One is in Chernobyl, Ukraine, and the other in Fukushima, Japan.
Both of these were unintentional episodes. One the result of an engineering error, the other a result of an earthquake.
Since 1996, we have worked directly with a children’s rehabilitation center about 30 miles due east of Chernobyl with a special team of pediatricians who have dedicated their lives to helping a generation of children ravaged by thyroid and other cancers. We have developed a close family-like relationship with them.
In the midst of facing up to the horror of this technological nuclear reality, we have the unbreakable promise that God will not allow humanity to annihilate itself.
My second cousins, who live a few hundred miles from Chernobyl, had been designated as “Chernobyl Children” by the government of Ukraine and were eligible for certain types of aid. Working with victims of nuclear accidents has had a profound effect on us. This was one factor that led to the formation of LifeNets International—a non-profit humanitarian organization that has supported victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for the past 20 years.
The nuclear demon has touched many other areas, including the Fukushima nuclear meltdown just a few years ago in 2011. Did you know that more than 600 tons of melted radioactive fuel from three Fukushima reactors have never been fully accounted for? LifeNets has been able to provide some help to victims of this massive disaster, which is expected to take more than 30 years to fully clean up.
Between existing weaponry, nuclear accidents and new developments, it doesn’t take much to believe that we are we now in an epoch that will potentially end in nuclear extinction—the possible termination of all human life. We can deny it, but it’s there, facing all of us who are part of the human race.
Please read on: There is good news at the end of this blog.
Geologic terms typically don’t capture one’s attention, but a recent one certainly caught mine. If it’s truly reflective of what some scientists claim, humanity has now officially entered a new “epoch.” This new epoch has some seriously ominous qualities. The qualities include what some call the earth’s sixth major known extinction period.
The International Geological Congress has declared that we are now living in the Anthropocene Epoch (“Anthropo” meaning “human” and “cene” meaning “new”). What’s so unusual about this? This is the first ever geological age, or epoch, that has been caused solely by humans. All other geologic eras are caused by major changes from natural causes.
While now there are numerous startling “globally synchronous changes” (similar things happening all at about or at the same time throughout the world) that have led to this designation, the remarkable starting point of this new geological era begins with the first man-made nuclear detonation some 70 years ago.
The breathtaking 1945 test of new nuclear weaponry at Trinity in New Mexico—a small atomic firecracker by today’s megaton standards—left distinct radio nuclides that encircled the earth. Fallout from that comparatively small blast didn’t end until 1951.
Of course, the fallout and radioactive debris from the more than 2,000 subsequent nuclear test explosions between 1951-1980 by the former Soviet Union, the United States, Britain, France, China, India and Pakistan have left potent tale-tell signs that will last for many thousands of years.
The new geological era also reflects what many scientists fear is an accelerated time of species extinction, particularly in the ocean. Whether by deforestation, pollution, natural or man-made climate change or other causes, types of critical plankton have already disappeared. Many scientists are watching beautiful coral reefs die around the world. They fear that these intricate growths are doomed and will never return. At the same time countless tons of plastic litter and man-made trash float and collect on all the seven seas. They have earned their own designation: “technofossils.”
Earlier in May of 2016, President Barack Obama initiated a history-making visit to the Hiroshima atomic attack site in Japan. It was the first such visit by a sitting U.S. President.
What was most ironic, even unsettling, was the fact that during that visit President Obama was accompanied by the so-called “nuclear football”—the emergency satchel that carries the secret command codes to launch devastating nuclear weapons. If these U.S. weapons were all launched, they would equal the power of 22,000 Hiroshima nuclear blasts.
Standing inside the memorial to the American nuclear attack on Japan, President Obama literally had the power to launch upwards of 1,000 weapons that would all reach their targets in about 30 minutes. And that’s not counting the fearsome power of a retaliatory nuclear response from Russia or others.
A half hour to the end of the world?
As one commentator noted in writing for Defense One magazine about President Obama's visit: “This is an insane level of destructive power. If ever exercised, it would end human civilization.”
Whether we like it or not, that’s the world that you and I presently live in.
The good news is that our merciful God has provided us with a real and sure hope. In the midst of facing up to the horror of this technological nuclear reality, we have the unbreakable promise that God will not allow humanity to annihilate itself. Our God moves with deliberate purpose. Humanity has increasingly exercised its collective free will to try and conduct its affairs with impunity, ignoring the precious and powerful words of God: the Bible.
The end result, aided and abetted by an evil supernatural force, will lead right up to the precipice. As humanity looks into the bottomless pit of nuclear extinction, God—through our Savior and coming King Jesus Christ—will intervene at the last moment. Humanity will survive! Read it for yourself in the context of this new Anthropocene Epoch: “For then [in a time just ahead] there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
This “great distress"—also called the Great Tribulation—will be global in scope. No one will be untouched. And this “great distress” would hurl humanity into hopeless oblivion, except that our all-powerful God will intercede. As Matthew continued: “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×).
These are the words—the unbreakable promise—of Jesus Christ Himself!
Yes, the new Anthropocene Epoch will be short-lived. It will be dissolved into a new eternal epoch, the one called the Kingdom of God! Let us not fear any man-made Anthropocene Epoch. Instead, as Jesus further directed, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near . . . even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:28-31 Luke 21:28-31  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
 And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
 When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand.
 So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
American King James Version×, New International Version).