When I first went to school, it was still common for teachers to conduct civil defense drills where we practiced crouching under our desks in order to, supposedly, protect us from nuclear fallout. By the time I was in high school, the threat was world communism. Then it was starvation from overpopulation and a predicted ice age.
If men do not have an imminent threat to fear, they will find one. Humanism is the assumption that man is primary, so man feels compelled to control all things. It does not eliminate the function of deity by rejecting God; it only transfers the providence of God to planning by man. Yet, when men “play God,” they are in over their heads. The attempts will prove more disastrous than any crisis they thought their planning would prevent.
Because we cannot see the future, it is hard for us to understand how “all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28). We can believe it, be we often cannot see how good will come of the mess we see in our world.
I find it helpful to remember that few men have done much to advance the kingdom of God. The few we remember, like Augustine, Calvin, or Luther, merely pointed men back to faithfulness to God and His Word. They did not advance the Kingdom itself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in history.
The pretentions of men, whether in Washington, Moscow, or Beijing, will be brought to naught. Anything of value in them will one day accrue to the Kingdom of Our Lord.
It is easy to look around and be discouraged. The number of nuclear warheads in 1960 was, in fact, frightening, but the future was not at the mercy of the “world leaders” of the day. It was, and still is, God’s. He has given us a general scenario of how it will play out. The purpose of that revelation is our encouragement in the work of the Kingdom of God.