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Now that we are done with housekeeping, let’s get going on the topic of “wars and rumors of wars” found in Matthew 24:6.
Just a quick review before we get started, I want to pray for the fulfillment of God’s promise in Psalms 46:1-3. “He is our refuge in times of trouble, we are not to fear when waters roar and mountains quake, for He is our ever present help.” (paraphrased) Also, in Matthew 24:6, Jesus states “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” NIV
So, as with birthing pains (Matthew 24:8), have wars and conflicts been more frequent and more deadly in the past 100 years?
- In his book, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, Niall Ferguson declares “the 20th Century was the bloodiest, most destructive century in human history.”
- Americandiplomacy.web.unc.edu supports Ferguson in stating, “the twentieth century was the bloodiest, most destructive century in human history.”
- ThoughtCo.com lists as many as 29 wars and conflicts in the 20th Century.
- Britannica.com lists 8 deadliest wars in the 21st Century.
- Bring us to a total of more than 37 significant wars and conflicts in the last 100 years.
The resources are endless, yet they all seem to have close to the same amount of wars and conflicts. But what about the number of deaths?
- In the early 1990s, Eric Hobsbawm, a historian, set the war and conflict death toll at 187 million people during the 20th Century.
- Americandiplomacy.com.unc.edu states, “the century’s (20th century) two world wars resulted in the death of at least 60 million people.”
- Necrometric.com lists the death toll at a minimum of 1 million in the 21st Century alone.
- That is a total of 188 million war/conflict deaths in the last 100 years.
- Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu lists the 20th Century as having more than double the highest rate for war and conflict related death than any other century in history.
Again, boundless resources and the majority were estimated due to the fact that incidentally related deaths, such as civilians, were not always taken into account or the tally was not known. Many genocides are not included in these numbers. In Biblical times, most often only the men were counted. Jesus fed “five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:21)
It seems to me that historical documentation does support Jesus’ claim. Yes, there have been wars since the beginning of time, starting with the conflict between Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:8) which split the human race. However when we take a look at the last 100 years, there is a significantly noticeable difference – not only in frequency but intensity. Jesus was accurate when comparing the signs to birthing pains.
Happy you could join me today. See you soon for my next blog. I will be blogging about Jesus’ claim in Matthew 24:7, concerning famines in the last 100 years compared to history before that time.
Until then, may the Lord our God hide you in the shadow of His wings! (Psalms 17:8)