Why Is War Attractive?

Movies, video games and even recruitment ads contribute to our perceptions of military service and war. But what is war really like, and when will it end?

Recently I took my son to our annual church prom at an upscale hotel. All the young men and women were dressed in nice suits and prom dresses. They looked handsome and lovely.

Just next door to our ballroom was another group having their dance. It was a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. The young men and young ladies, too, were handsome and lovely, with the cadets impressive in their uniforms.

But a conversation I had during the dance struck me, providing a sharp contrast between those nice clothes and the reality of battle.

I talked to a friend who lived through a civil war in his native country. He told me about some of the horrific killings he had witnessed and the nightmares he had for a long time. He told me how, for a while after the war, the sound of an approaching airplane would make him “take cover,” lying low on the ground.

The reality of war

This led me to think about my uncle who fought in the Second World War. As a young man, he single-handedly convinced a platoon of German soldiers that they were surrounded and they surrendered. He received great honor for that act of bravery and almost received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He had numerous medals from the war. He was highly decorated and was what many would call a hero.

But my uncle rarely talked about the war. His short moment of heroism was overshadowed by the many moments he spent just waiting to be killed when he had no place to hide. The moments of seeing his comrades killed and maimed because the enemy shot back. And the nightmares that followed him years after the war.

No, my uncle wanted to forget the reality of war. And that’s why he kept quiet and kept his medals put away.

The uniform he wore in his military portrait was not the real picture of war.

The results of today’s war

The reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t paint an attractive picture of war either. Since the “War on Terror” began in 2003, over 6,600 soldiers have been killed, nearly half of them under 24 years of age.

Over 50,000 soldiers have been injured, some 16,000 severely. There have been over 1,600 major limb amputations since 2001.

There were an alarming 239 confirmed suicides in 2012, with another 110 being investigated as probable suicides for a total of 349!

The movies and military recruiters don’t show too much of these things, but they are reality.

And still—in spite of all this sacrifice—there is no peace.

The coming reality of war—and peace!

The Bible tells us that wars are going to increase just before the return of Jesus Christ. Multiple thousands will die from these wars. And when Christ returns to the earth with an army of angels, the armies on earth will try to fight Him but will be quickly destroyed (Revelation 19:11-21).

But when Christ rules the earth, wars will finally stop. “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; 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 anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

No more will war be promoted as something it is not. Rather, God’s ways will be promoted and taught.

Jesus Christ will be the One who will bring lasting peace—something war has never been able to accomplish. He will be the real Hero.

And incredibly, He offers you and me an opportunity to be part of that future. When He brings peace, He will have those who have learned the way of peace to help Him.

If that sounds attractive to you, if you want to picture yourself reigning with Jesus Christ, then learn more about it on this website. Read about this time in the article “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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