What if the nuclear missiles were to hit in 20 minutes?

Someone asked this question on Twitter the other day.


Fortunately, before everyone panicked, it became clear that the question was intended as hypothetical. But what would you do if the warning message went out that you had twenty minutes before the missiles began to hit?

In that context, if you live in an urban area like Birmingham which would probably be a prime target, it’s important to recognise that it is highly unlikely that you would be able in that time to evacuate away from the danger area in terms of blast and fallout.  Indeed, you may well be tempted to move in closer to the likely centre of the strike, better to go out instantly than be left badly injured and subjected to radiation poisoning.

The honest truth is that none of us really know how we would react and respond in a situation, however we can talk about how we would hope to respond.  Here’s what I would want to be the case.

I would hope that if I knew there were twenty minutes left  before the nuclear strike hit that I would use my  time left to God’s glory.  This would mean:

  1. Seeking to contact friends and family to let them know that I love them.
  2. Making use of every last opportunity to share the Gospel, especially with those in immediate danger.
  3. Taking time to pray and to praise God for his goodness, love and mercy.

Now, I hope that we never have to hear that twenty minute warning or the four minute warning.  My prayer is that we will never have to face the horrors of nuclear conflict.  However, in reality, we do not know when our last twenty minutes will come.  Today could be one of many more to come for you and I or it could be our last before death comes or Jesus returns.

So, if I don’t know whether or not I’m into my last twenty minutes, then wouldn’t I do well to live as though I could be. Of course, the difference is that because there is as good a likelihood that I have many years ahead, I still need to plan and prepare for the long-haul ahead.  However, I hope that my life, not knowing how many minutes, days or years I have ahead of me will be characterised by the exact same priorities.

  1. To let friends and family know through my words and deeds that I love them.
  2. To warn everyone I can of the danger of sin and hell.  To hold out the promise of the Gospel that there is salvation in Christ alone.
  3. To take every moment I can to pray and to praise God for his love and mercy. Talking to him in prayer and worship, listening to him through his Word.
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