Putin’s Nuke Threat: The Bible and the End of the World

By Richard Young | Posted October 17, 2022

With disrupted supply chains due to COVID, American political unrest, and staggering inflation, the last thing anyone needed was a ground war in Eastern Europe. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year sent oil prices rising and threatened an even wider European conflict. 

The Ukraine conflict is now the largest land war in Europe since World War II. Along with many dead soldiers on both sides, some estimate that there have been fifteen thousand Ukrainian civilian casualties (killed and injured) so far.

And if that—and a refugee crisis, energy shortages in Europe, and economic turmoil for ordinary Russians—weren’t bad enough, Putin has recently threatened to use nuclear weapons.

That has the world asking: Could we be facing Armageddon?

The Threat

Besides creating a humanitarian disaster, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been a military fiasco for Russia. What Putin had hoped would be a quick and easy skirmish has turned into a slog. And that’s because, among other factors, the West has given billions of dollars in aid to the Ukrainians, including powerful, sophisticated weapons that have been massively effective against the Russian military. 

With the West showing no signs of tapering off on its aid to Ukraine, Putin recently stunned the world when he recently raised the specter of using nuclear weapons in the conflict. Were he to do that, it would be the first time since 1945—when the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki—that nuclear weaponry would be employed in a military conflict.

Speaking on television to the Russian nation, Putin, who has framed the war as an act of self-defense, said, “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people—this is not a bluff.”

Claiming that NATO was using “nuclear blackmail” against Russia—that is, threatening them with nuclear weapons—Putin added, “In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line. … And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.” To be clear, he’s saying that he also has nukes and that he has the will to use them.

“The message was clear,” said a Washington Post article. “Moscow could retaliate against a NATO nuclear strike—which NATO has not threatened—with a nuclear strike of its own.”


President Joe Biden has warned that Putin was “not joking” when making his nuclear threat. Though some analysts believe that Putin was simply warning other nations from escalating the conflict, as opposed to him signaling his desire to use nukes, just bringing up nuclear weapons was enough to rattle people. They have good cause to be concerned, as Russia has more nukes than do the nuclear-armed states of NATO—United States, France, and the UK—combined.

Ever since the former Soviet Union acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, there has been a kind of stalemate between Russia and the West. Because each side has more than enough nuclear firepower to annihilate the other many times over, it would be “mad” for one side to ever use them against the other. Hence, the stalemate has been named MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction—the idea that no one would dare use a nuclear weapon because it would lead to their own destruction as well.

However, were Putin to use smaller battlefield nukes in his war to help his military regain the edge, who knows how and where it could escalate—and that has people worried: “In a new Reuters-Ipsos poll, released Monday, 58 percent of respondents said they fear the United States is headed toward nuclear war.”

A Nuclear Armageddon?

 Those, however, who trust what the Bible says about last-day events and the final struggle that leads to the end—called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16)—know that this world will not be destroyed in a nuclear conflagration. To be clear, this does not mean that nuclear weapons will never be employed. It means only that our world will not end that way. However, even a limited use of nuclear weapons could spark the kind of extreme worldwide events that are predicted by the Bible to lead to the end.

The book of Daniel, for instance, warns that “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time” (12:1). Looking at the world now, who cannot see how we could be heading toward something like what Daniel predicted? And, surely, considering the incredibly destructive power of nuclear weapons, even their limited use could change the face of the world overnight more decisively than did the COVID pandemic.

We just don’t know.

What we do know is that Bible prophecy warns that troublous times do herald the end. There will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6) and “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). The book of Revelation speaks of an end-time political and religious alliance that will bring about worldwide persecution. This alliance “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16).

The good news, however, is that over and over, the Bible reveals that God has the power to bring all this to an end—and will do so in His own time and manner. And though bad things will happen before that end comes, we can trust in Him and His wonderful promise of deliverance. Even amid the times of trouble that the world certainly seems to be facing now, we can, because of Jesus, be assured of a good ending.

To learn more about what the world is facing and the hope we can have amid these trials, watch The Final Events of Bible Prophecy

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

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