Our One and Only Hope
as We Face the Fear of
World War III
Looking at the conflict in Ukraine, the Sunday Morning show on CBS this week sent shock waves through our nation with an ominous report titled
Then, let me share with you how—despite mounting evidence that we may be on the verge of World War III—my view of Christ’s supremacy gives me exceedingly GREAT HOPE!!
the Designs of Global Leaders”
Excerpts from pages 317-324 of my book
Seven Groundbreaking Keys
to Explore and Experience
the Spectacular Supremacy of God’s Son Today
Jesus and the United Nations
Founded in 1945, the United Nations is the first enduring international organization of its kind. With 193 member states, the UN exists to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and their leaders, and promote social progress, better living standards, and human rights. The UN Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member governments have agreed to carry out.
But here’s a fascinating fact about this singular focus of global leaders: Anyone who walks toward the front doors of the UN headquarters in New York City immediately encounters words of Scripture from Isaiah 2:4 emblazoned across a wall!
The verse, taken from the King James Version, reads:
More fascinating still are the verses that come before and after verse 4 in this chapter.
They give us insights that explain precisely how Isaiah’s vision of international peace will come to pass. Take a look:
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and 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 any more . . . and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2, KJV, emphasis added).
In other words, according to Isaiah, the success of heads of state who are engaged in peacemaking activities impinges directly on who ultimately is in charge.
The prophet is clearly talking about who that person must be: Yahweh. Only when God’s throne is exalted so that his ways prevail among the peoples, and only when boastful leaders are humbled so fully that Yahweh alone is exalted, can the weapons of war be transformed into instruments of peace.
As Christians, we know that Isaiah 2 has found its ultimate fulfillment already in the One who ascended to Yahweh’s right hand — the One who is reigning over us now while we await the universal display of his sway when he returns bodily at the end of this age.
This means that today, unlike the influence of UN ambassadors or its Security Council members, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has the final word on the designs of global leaders.
This was precisely Jesus’ word to Pilate during his trial. When the Roman magistrate claimed, “Don’t you understand? I have the power to set you free or to nail you to a cross,” the Master responded, “You were given power from heaven. If you weren’t, you would have no power over me” (John 19). Point and counterpoint.
Whether they know it or not, when earthly rulers lay claim to any degree of authority, at best it is only a temporary, delegated authority from King Jesus.
Ultimately, Heaven alone determines when kings rise and when they fall.
When Jesus’ mother became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, she lifted up a joyful hymn that included these words that predicted how Jesus’ reign would impact politicians and potentates alike:
Here’s how Ephesians 1 describes this truth:
Or consider John’s account. When he was face to face with the One to whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28), John issued this benediction:
Did you catch that? “He rules over the kings of the earth.” Present tense. So, let’s explore further this third dimension of who Christ is over us in his reign over the designs of global leaders.
As we face at this very hour the possibility of something as catastrophic as a nuclear-driven World War III, let me encourage you with these “snapshots” from Scripture of Christ’s current reign over the designs of global leaders:
Snapshots Full of Hope
for Christians Fearing World War III
Consider each bullet point below like an individual slide posted on the wall of your heart. Each serves as a “snapshot of hope.”
- Since the beginning, the Father always intended to bring earth’s emperors, presidents, prime ministers, juntas — even dictators — under his Son as Supreme Ruler.
- Not only in Psalm 2 but also in dozens of other passages, what is written generally about Yahweh’s sovereign ways among the leaders of nations now applies just as pointedly to our day regarding the Son’s decisive interventions.
- As the superior Son of David, who is also King of Israel, Jesus brings with him an everlasting dominion intended to conquer all other realms and those who guide them. Looking far beyond the historical David to the Lord Jesus Christ, Scripture declares:
- Jesus’ impact on the kings of the earth is tied directly to how, before all else, he suffered for them and their peoples.
- In the light of Christ’s destiny to prevail over the designs of global rulers, the early church found boldness to stand against every opposing power, both profane and religious. For example, hear how the early church anchored their prayers in Psalm 2:
- When the early church announced to the world “Jesus is Lord,” the clear implication was that Caesar was not. Emperor Nero didn’t throw Christians to the lions because they confessed that Jesus merely wanted to be the Lord of people’s hearts. Rather, through spreading the gospel, the early church proclaimed that the One who died, rose again, and ascended on high is Lord over all — all Caesars, principalities, monarchs, commanders, overlords, chiefs, maharajahs, potentates, princes, and princesses — and any other ruling power, visible or invisible.
- Indeed, the claims of Jesus undermine all human authority; they call every ruler into account before the throne of Heaven. Daniel foresaw this awesome reality:
- At every level, Christ commands and orders the ways of the kings and kingdoms of this world. He does so in a variety of ways: tolerating some, supporting others; limiting some; protecting some; punishing others; deflating some while lifting others so that their administration prospers for generations. Clearly, there is not a single authority related to any facet of society that Jesus cannot providentially use or dismiss to fulfill his kingdom purposes. Therefore, let the Church proclaim how salvation’s Champion, the Ruler of the universe, stands above politics and retains final say over all authorities, both secular and spiritual.
- In fact, states and governments of the world are servants of Christ, functioning under his realm, as his instruments of restraint among the nations. At the same time, he is equally prepared to bring down human governors — who are granted their position from him in the first place — if they step too far outside his kingdom’s intentions. The fact remains that only King Jesus is primary and absolute. Called to account before him (whether they know it or not), human dignitaries can be replaced at any moment by the One who orders the course of stars that inhabit the heavens and oversees the course of those who inhabit the thrones of the earth.
- Similarly, Christ continues to reign over evil and often invisible principalities and powers who beguile, and sometimes actually animate, the rulers of the world. By his assault on the forces of darkness, most decidedly when he stripped them at the Cross (Colossians 2), Jesus maintains final say on how and how much they influence the designs and decisions of rulers. In the end, consequently, Satan’s minions are destined only for destruction on the day of his grand triumph.
- In the most graphic terms, John paints Christ’s victorious assault on the rulers of darkness at the end of the age:
Our Hope Rests in the Spectacular Supremacy of God’s Son.
Kings and Presidents come and go! But Christ remains—the most contemporary ruler there is. From generation to generation and forever, he remains “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1).
Though most in this age do not recognize his throne or his involvement in affairs of state, ultimately within the redemptive purposes of God all authorities remain subservient to him. They would not even exist without his decree.
Thus, all rulers claiming “royal majesty” should know they hold a role that is relative — it is defined and determined by the Lord Jesus, unto whom all majesty is gathered. Only the throne of King Jesus is absolute — and absolutely permanent.
Christ will prevail so fully that in the end the nations’ leaders with all their designs — whether commanders, chieftains, or chief operating officers — will be either purged or purified and incorporated into the triumphal procession of the Sovereign of the whole earth.
Looking forward to Jesus’ reign among global rulers, Psalm 47 declares:
John witnessed a vision of the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21 that will be the fulfillment of Psalm 47. He records:
Pray as Never Before for an
American CHRIST Awakening
Let us pray as never before for an American CHRIST Awakening—that as we are confronted by the threat of nuclear or cyber desolation, the glory of our risen, reigning Savior will rise among us and be revealed before all the earth.
Let us pray as never before for an American CHRIST Awakening—that God’s people will become thoroughly saturated, by the Spirit and by the Word, with the reality of the living presence and splendor of our Redeemer King.
Let us pray as never before for an American CHRIST Awakening—that as a result of such a spiritual revolution inside the Church, our witness for Christ to the nations will not only bring earth’s peoples back from the brink but also help open millions of hearts to the gospel of Christ so as to cover the earth with his saving power like the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Facing the fear of World War III—
do we dare pray for anything less?
About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.