Why War Has Come To Ukraine
Don’t get me wrong when you read this. I am all for Ukraine and its people and am incredibly inspired and impressed by their resilience against extreme Russian aggression. But as a student and teacher of God’s word, I must ask why God’s judgment has fallen on them? For such losses and devastation speak to this. Or is Ukraine like righteous Job, and am I like his friends?
For some, the idea that God is judging them might not sit well, for Ukraine has been a peaceful country (except, of course, having to ward off Russian separatists and face the Russians in war). It is not an easy reality for me to proclaim either. But do they have peace with God? How have they responded to the gospel? This is the most important question that the people of Ukraine and all people of the world must answer. For it has to do with so much more than the destiny of a nation and its people. It’s their eternal destiny. For, though Russian aggression is unwarranted in human terms, nevertheless, the circumstances speak to and warn all on earth who have rejected Jesus Christ.
Jesus As Judge
Consider the following passages:
“Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psa. 2:12, NIV).
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’” (Luke 13:1-5).
Similarly, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ teaches that people are judged for rejecting Him. It depicts Jesus as the judge who brings wars, famines, economic despair, plagues (e.g. COVID-19), etc. on those who have rejected Him.
Have Ukrainians wholeheartedly turned to Christ? And, what about you and your nation? Yes, what of America, Russia, England, etc.? Are we better than the Ukrainians? No, far worse in some cases.
The Beast Gets Judged
But if God’s judgment on Ukraine is this severe, consider how bad it will be for Putin, despite God using Him to this end. Yes, woe to Putin and his allies, for he is Russia’s manifestation of the beast of Revelation, whose end, barring repentance, is destruction in the lake of fire.
Finally, be warned America, for you have coddled your very own manifestation of Revelation’s beast, with white evangelicals as his false prophet, and he has not gone away. I have written more on this in several posts and my book, THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST: Evangelicals in Bed with Trump.
Turn to God with all your heart. For, as Jesus warned, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:5). Have you peace with God? Perhaps you would like to read my post, Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?
Pray for all Ukrainians and Russians. For God, in His mercy, is willing and able to forgive any who come to Him and repent of their sin. Even President Putin.
10 thoughts on “Ukraine Under God’s Judgment, a Russian Beast, and Nations Warned”
I am horrified by this post. “13 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”” For you to even assume this may be a judgment of god demonstrates that you are just like the Pharisees of old, who blamed every bad thing as being a judgment of God. And by the way, the beast of Revelation (and Daniel) is the Roman Catholic church. Even Martin Luther and all the godly men in the past agreed on that. Do a historical calculation and that is the only possible beast that you are referring to (and a beast is a national or political power – which they were). Compare the beasts of Daniel and Revelation, and also take into account the literature style in which Revelation was written. To understand the chiasm style – https://revelationofjesus.net/en/important-questions/chiastic-structure-is-key-to-understanding-revelations-symbols/
Thank you for sharing your point of view, which I will respond to here. Firstly, you say, “For you to even assume this may be a judgment of [G]od demonstrates that you are just like the Pharisees of old.” However, the very passage I quoted has Jesus saying, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:5). Consequently, consider that if some of those who heard what Jesus said did not repent and perished in AD 70, it would not have been pharisaical for someone to say that it was an act of God. Furthermore, Israel’s history is full of prophetic commentary after judgment has occurred explaining the reasons for their national dilemma, and those of the surrounding nations.
Similarly, Paul also says that some have become sick or died on account of their behavior. Was he resorting to his old pharisaical way? Consider what he says here: “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world” (1 Cor. 11:28-32).
Revelation gives us a template for understanding how God responds to His Church and a world in unbelief. Among its many attributes, it is a book full of judgments. Consider that John recorded Jesus saying to one of His churches “Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works” (Rev 2:22). As for the world, beginning in Chapter 6, it is shown to face intermittent judgments of varying magnitudes throughout history.
I agree that not every bad thing is a judgment of God. But what is happening in Ukraine cannot be ascribed simply to the result of the bad consequences of mankind’s Fall. It is the systematic destruction of a country by a tyrant that God is allowing to happen. For God has used these types of leaders in their evil to bring judgment on nations before, and Revelation indicates, in the opening of the seals, the blowing of the trumpets, and the pouring of the bowls, that He has and will do so throughout history. So, when it happens, should we not call it for what it is? Or is applying Revelation as it was intended being pharisaical?
When extreme war is happening in a country whose people have not responded favorably to the preaching of the gospel, how is it pharisaical to say what the Apocalypse given by God to Jesus to give to His church warns will happen?
I am not against the notion of a chiastic structure to Revelation when interpreting the book. However, one must not conflate Revelation and Daniel. Revelation uses Daniel’s imagery in its unique way. Also, the Apocalypse depicts the beast both as a tyrannical government and a man. Consequently, I am also not against the idea that the beast of Revelation has been manifest as the Roman Catholic Church and some popes. However, the book of Revelation has a far broader application for Christ’s Church in our world.
Here’s an extract from something I previously wrote to help you understand this view:
While I am convinced that the text had an immediate bearing on the initial audience, I am equally persuaded that it was designed to speak to all the audiences who would live in the period before Christ’s return. In Morley (2019, p. 63) I write of a “Multi-Generational View.”
To sum up, there is no doubt that John was addressing the 1st century Church of his day (Preterist view), yet the symbols were intentionally written so that they would directly relate to the Church in every succeeding generation too (Idealist view). As I see it, a Partial Preterist interpretative model (along with wise application) or an Idealist interpretative model is what God intended with Revelation.
As such, the book is of immense significance to every generation. And, not only by the application of its timeless truths, as one does with other Scripture but by recognition through interpretation of its intent to be for all churches throughout the Church age. For the judgments that we see in the text, were not only in the first century; we see them throughout history and in our generation. The beast, too, as well as the false prophet, have manifested themselves intermittently since the first era. The book of Revelation is a handbook to the Church on what they will see occur around them and what they will have to face. But, most significantly, it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, who oversees the judgments, Satan, the beast, the false prophet, Babylon, and the people of the earth. And, who, most especially oversees His church as He dwells in their midst, judging their works too, and encouraging them as they face these things until the end.
I’ve just realised you used the above texts in my post to somehow “prove” that because Ukraine is ignoring God – are they?? – that God has hurt them. Yet you ignore the actual content of the texts, which clearly state that these things are not the judgment of God for being worse than others.
I did not write my blog post in response to anything you had written, so I am not sure what you mean in your comment by “my post.” As for the context of Luke 13:1-5, one cannot say that Jesus was not calling the events judgments. He was simply saying that those afflicted had not been exceptionally sinful as some appear to have thought. In fact, by calling all the Galileans equally sinful “sinners,” he implied they were all due for judgment and not only those who were afflicted. Secondly, He uses those events as a warning to His audience. Similarly, the Ukrainians are not to be seen as any more sinful than the other nations who have, by and large, rejected Jesus too. And, therein lies a warning that I include in my post.
I quoted some scriptures before I remembered you had included them in your post. So I was referring to the scriptures in my post that you had already quoted, not that you were commenting on my post. You said “But as a student and teacher of God’s word, I must ask why God’s judgment has fallen on them? ” I was pointing out that in calling these judgments of God, you are no better than the Jews, whom Jesus corrected. To assume bad things are judgments of God, Jesus said, was incorrect. He didn’t say, yes, they were judgments and you had better look out, too. His response corrected them in believing the occurrences had been judgments of God.
Jesus did not say these were not judgements. You are reading that inference into the text. He didn’t explicitly say either way. He said that those affected were not worse sinners than the others around them. Consequently, His response did not correct their belief that “the occurrences had been judgments of God,” but their belief that the people involved had been especially sinful.
In that vein, my use of Luke 13:1-5 was not, as you suppose, to consider the events in the text judgements to parallel with the judgement I believe Ukraine is facing (as the Apocalypse prophesied would happen to people who reject God and His gospel when building their lives and nations). Instead, I paralleled Jesus’s use of the events in the text to warn His audience, saying, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3), with a warning to the world watching Ukraine.
For, similarly, like those affected by the occurrences in the text, Ukranians have not been especially more sinful than other people who, unless they repent and build their lives on Jesus Christ, are in danger of experiencing God’s judgment too.
I do not call all bad occurrences judgments. However, I do call prophesied occurrences for what they are, as a warning to all people. There is a distinction.
50+ years of serving Jesus and 7 years of theological training (I’m just an ordinary, simple anabaptist believer who believes in the priesthood of ALL believers) has taught me to handle eschatology very carefully: i.e. exegetically, contextually and undogmatically. I rejoice with all true believers in the overall theme of Daniel and Revelation viz that the Son is Victor, we are more than conquerors in him, and he seems to be returning soon so let us all be awake! Greetings all.
PS (wink), I find the partial preterist view the most satisfactory when examining the broad sweep of of Scripture. I hope it doesn’t exclude me from the new heaven and earth!?
I appreciate your personal input here, Erol, and the reminder of the main theme of Revelation which Daniel points to. As for the new heavens and earth, partial preterism should get you in 😀