Will the Russian-Ukraine War Lead to World War Three? The Bible on End Times

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is it possible the Russian-Ukraine war might lead to World War Three? What does the Bible say about the end times and wars?

Only God Knows

Is it possible the Russian-Ukraine war might lead to World War Three? What does the Bible say about the end times and wars? The quick answer is, “I don’t know” and no human knows the future. God alone knows whether the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be the impetus for a newer and more deadly world war (Mark 13:32). Only God Himself can be “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10). It is not by the hand of man that Jesus’ return will happen, but in fact, “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). We might think we have control over events, but where man rules, God always overrules. God reminds us about who is really in control in a most humbling way by asking this rhetorical question: “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I Am He” (Isaiah 41:4).

Wars and Rumors of Wars

When the disciples were bragging on the greatness of the Temple and its size, Jesus said that “there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Matt 24:1b). Jesus was very clear about the end times when speaking to His audience, but primarily to the disciples. That must have stunned the disciples to hear of this magnificent Temple was going to be reduced to rubble. Jesus warned them that “you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt 24:6). Wars have existed as long as there have been humans, but Jesus here is referring to perhaps the latter days, but also I believe, the horror that the Romans would bring in their terrible destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. So Jesus was clear that very troubled times were ahead; worse than the disciples had ever seen. But, even Jesus Himself didn’t know the exact time of the end. That’s something the Father has reserved for Himself.

Evil Alliances

In the major world wars in our history, we’ve see nations align in cooperative aggression like with the Axis Powers in World War Two. The Axis Powers consisted on Nazi Germany, Imperialist Japan, and fascist Italy, while the Allied Forces included Great Britain, the United States, Australia and several others. These kinds of world axis power alignments could happen again, but the weapons are far more destructive and the stakes much, much higher. So what’s next, now that Russia has invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine? It appears China has sided with Russia, but there is evidence that India has too and has refused to impose sanctions on Russia, so an alliance or Russian/China/India verses NATO is not out of the question.

Nation verses Nation

Jesus said that in the end times (at least, for Jerusalem), that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matt 24:7). In time we could see nations like the U.S., Germany, France, Great Britain, etc. (NATO) verses a Russia/China/India military alliance. Wars do not necessarily mean they will usher in the end times or World War Three, but they could be harbingers. God the Father has determined this time; it is not determined by human action since God is sovereign over time and history.

The Age of Apostasy

Perhaps today, more than any generation, could be called, the age of apostasy. I know of a few professing Christians who have fallen away permanently from the faith and turned bitter against the thought of God. Jesus warned that this would happen, saying “many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another” (Matt 24:10). The Apostle John said that those who have fallen away from the faith showed that they never really were in the faith. John writes that they “went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). The true saints of God will persevere, or rather, God will ensure they do.

From Bad to Worse

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Tim 4:1), and that has happened. There are thousands of apostate churches today, perhaps more apostate ones than biblical ones, but we also know “that in the last days there will come times of difficulty” (2 Tim 3:1). It appears that the times we live in today are about as difficult as most of us have seen.  So what’s next?  The  trend is clear that “evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:13). Of course, we cannot be sure, but it certainly sounds like we’re living in the last days. Again, only God knows this for sure. Our duty is to be ready for His return and be participants in the harvest of the Great Commission.


I have no idea when the day of Jesus’ return will be, but it is nearer today than it was when I started writing this and before you started reading this. Brothers and sisters, let me plead with you. All of us have family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have not yet been saved.  It is our duty to warn them of the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10). God’s amazing grace is only relevant to the sinner when we’ve shared the bad news of God’s wrath being poured out on the unsaved on Judgment Day (Rev 20:12-15). The good news is not really good at all until the sinner has heard about the bad news that’s coming on all who refuse to repent and believe in Jesus (Rev 2:21, 9:20).  In love we must warn them that time is running out for them to trust in the Savior. He is coming again. He will either be your Savior or your Judge. Whichever He will be for you, will be up to you. Choose today, while it’s still called “today” (2 Cor 6:2).

Here is some related reading for you: End Times – Are We in the Last Days?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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