President Barack Hussein Obama called it a “good deal.” The deal that opens the pathway for Iran to empower its nuclear capability was finally reached after three weeks of deadline extentions. The historial agreement with Iran was finally achieved through the efforts of the U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France, and Germany known as the P5+1 last Saturday, July 11.
After much hoopla and back patting, Obama and his administration announced they had reached an accord. In a tone of triumph, the president claimed the nuclear deal would make our country, as well as the world, safer.
On his address recently posted on the White House website, Obama said, “It’s a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives, including strict limitations on Iran’s program and cutting off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.” He called the framework agreement an “historic understanding with Iran.”
Secretary of State John Kerry who helped broker the deal stated, “This is the good deal that we have sought,” Kerry said at a press conference, adding that “contrary to the assertions of some,” this deal has “no sunset”.
The ones who stood to receive the most from this agreement, the Iranians, were happy to proclaim their achievement. National Public Radio (NPR) reported, “This is a historic moment,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday morning. “We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody, but it is what we could accomplish, and it is an important achievement for all of us. Today could have been the end of hope on this issue. But now we are starting a new chapter of hope.”
On the other side of the proverbial coin, critics described the deal as anything but “a new chapter of hope.” Rather, it is seen as planting the seeds for a worldwide catastrophe that could well take place in the not-do-distant future. One of the harshest opponents is Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“‘I think this deal gives Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal, and I think it gives them hundreds of billions of dollars right away with which to pursue their aggression and terror against us and against the United States and the world.’ Those were the stark terms that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used during an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition to describe the deal that six world powers and Iran announced on Tuesday (July 14).” (NPR)
There are many valid reasons that back up Netanyahu’s concerns. For example, the website, United with Israel, reports,
The Joint Comprehensive Agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran endangers Israel’s national security.
Here are the four main problems with the Iran nuclear deal as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer points out in today’s Washington Post:
First, it leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure.
Second, the restrictions being placed on Iran’s nuclear program are only temporary, with the most important restrictions expiring in 10 years.
Third, because states throughout our region know that the deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb, a number of them will race to get nuclear weapons of their own.
And fourth, Iran gets billions for its global terror network. As part of the economic benefits of the agreement, Iran will gain access to frozen funds of about $150 billion.
These funds will be used, at least in part, to increase Iran’s subversive activities in the region and its support of terror, including Hezbollah and Hamas, against Israel and its neighbors, as well as to strengthen the oppressive rule of the Ayatollahs.
So, while one side says the nuke agreement with Iran is a good deal and the other side says it is a bad deal, it is apparently a big deal as far as world peace and security of the future is concerned. But most of all, for Bible-believing Christians, it becomes an even bigger deal in terms of prophecies relating to the nearness of Jesus’ coming.
The Bible speaks of a great tribulation that will occur at the end of the age. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus said, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will,” (New American Standard Bible, NASB). When Jesus said, “then,” he was referring to the violent conditions that will occur after the “abomination of desolation” prophesied through Daniel the prophet.
Daniel 9:27 reads, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
“He” is thought by many theologians who hold the futurist view to be the Anti-christ, the one-world leader, who will enter an agreement with Israel that will be set for 7 years (7 days, a year for a day, is a prophetic equivalent of 7 years). The agreement will be that Israel will be allowed to offer sacrifices in a rebuilt temple as the Jews used to do according to the Old Testament. But in the middle of the 7-year covenant, the sacrifices and offerings will be abruptly stopped by the Anti-christ (Man of Sin) who then sets himself up as God, himself, in the temple ruling the world as it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
It is during this time that complete destruction will take place in Jerusalem and the land of Israel. When the covenant with Israel is broken, the people living in the Judean settlements will be in imminent danger. Some believe this land will become part of a new Palestinian state as part of the covenant. This is why Jesus prophetically warns the people who will be under Palestinian rule to flee to the mountains immediately and not even take the time to pack their belongings (Matt. 24:16-20).
The current nuclear deal with Iran could help set the stage for this time of tribulation described in the scriptures. Iran is sure to become a major power in the Middle East once they gain access to billions of dollars and establish their nuclear program. Iran, who is allied with Russia, will be a force to be reckoned with, not only by Israel but all the nations including the security of the U.S. And don’t forget, Iran (Persia) will be one of the allied nations with Gog of Magog (Russia) when they invade Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).
What many fear is that the nuclear deal will lead to World War III. The deal is thought to naturally lead to a nuclear arms race with other Middle East nations as they compete with Iran. Some are worried that the next world war, which will likely be nuclear, will turn into the battle of Armageddon, the final war before the Lord comes (Rev. 16:16). Given the biblical description of this war, they may well be right. “Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth,” (Zechariah 14:12, NASB). This sounds like a nuclear holocaust.
The big deal about the Iranian deal is that we are moving closer to the Lord’s return. People are seeking peace but in all the wrong places. Lasting peace and security will not come from human deals but when God deals with humans in his own way according to his plans. We look forward to the coming of the Prince of Peace, the best deal we could ever expect.
Good News to You!