We Do Not Know the Day

or the hour of Christ’s return at the Rapture. But one day billions of people will suddenly vanish from the face of the earth. Are you ready?

- Dr. David Jeremiah

Armageddon: Hollywood vs. Reality

Armageddon: Hollywood vs. Reality

On October 30, 1938, CBS Radio Network’s The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcasted a special Halloween episode entitled “The War of the Worlds.” Though the program—narrated and directed by Orson Welles—was fictitious, it caused a panic due to many listeners thinking New York was being invaded. It is reported that the switchboard at CBS couldn’t handle the influx of calls that night, and the media had a field day with the reactions to the broadcast.

Reports on the scale of panic vary, but the remembrance of Welles’ narration of “The War of the Worlds” is cemented in broadcast and pop culture history. Today science fiction is a huge genre in Hollywood, as blockbusters about the end of the world make millions of dollars.

Why is this such a fascinating topic? And why do writers, directors, and producers continue to create new stories surrounding such an old topic? Perhaps it’s an innate desire to know what the future holds. Or perhaps it’s a quest to create a future they can believe in. But does Hollywood get it right? Will Armageddon occur at all? Will it look anything like what we’ve seen on the big screen?

Let’s take a look at some Armageddon-themed movies and see what we can glean.

1. War of the Worlds (2005)

War of the Worlds

Film: This film adaptation of the radio broadcast tells the story of a family trying to survive amid an extraterrestrial invasion. The aliens bombard earth with war machines and energy weapons. Eventually the aliens become vulnerable to the microbes that inhabit earth, and the remaining humans overpower them in order to reestablish the world. One of the closing lines remark that the invaders were doomed because “God in his wisdom put [microbes] upon this earth.”

Reality: Modern space exploration dates back to 1957 when the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 into space. And while technology continues to advance our outer space capabilities, no intelligent life has ever been found. However, energy weapons and microbes do exist.

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2. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951 and 2008)

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Film: Aliens who have been watching earth from afar come to the planet to deliver a gift and a message to the world’s leaders. Upon exiting the spacecraft, the messenger alien is shot by a frightened soldier. This kicks off a series of events that pit the aliens against the humans—until the messenger alien delivers his last message: if the inhabitants of earth can’t live in peace with the alien race than they will face annihilation.

Reality: We’ve already established that aliens have not been found, but the message of this movie is not too far-fetched. A world that can’t live in peace—especially one with advance weapons and technology—could be a world on the brink of annihilation.

3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dr. Strangelove

Film: A U.S. Air Force General goes crazy and sends a group of bombers to the USSR armed with hydrogen bombs. At the same time, numerous political officials try to avoid a catastrophic event, as it is learned that the Soviets have a doomsday machine that will cause a nuclear fallout and render the planet uninhabitable for 93 years.

Reality: During the Cold War, millions of people lived with the fear of a nuclear apocalypse every day. While that never happened, nuclear weapons do exist and many nations are equipped with the technology.

4. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Planet of the Apes

Film: After crash landing on an unknown planet, a group of astronauts struggle to survive amidst a society of super intelligent talking apes who enslave humans. Through their terrorizing journey and interaction with the apes, the astronauts learn of a desolate forbidden zone which was once a lush paradise. Wanting to know more, they venture to this area and discover that they are not on an unknown planet at all, but what is left of earth after an apocalyptic nuclear war.

Reality: In all the years that apes have roamed the planet they have never formed a new civilization. However, the idea that earth was once a lush garden paradise that was destroyed does have merit. As the book of Genesis notes, the Garden of Eden was a paradise on earth—until Satan’s lies thrust mankind into sin. Our ecosystem has thus undergone a change in humanity.

5. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead

Film: Zombies, believed to have been awoken by radiation from an exploded space probe, attack humans along the East Coast of the United States. As chaos ensues and reports circulate that the only way to kill the zombies is to shoot them in the head or burn them, innocent lives are taken in an effort to defeat the zombies.

Reality: Despite Hollywood and science fiction lore, there has yet to be a documented case of zombies. Where the film does have an element of truth, is in the chaos that ensues once evil becomes a prominent part of society.

6. Armageddon (1998)


Film: An asteroid headed toward earth will wipe out all life on the planet if it makes impact. In order to prevent this from happening, a team is sent into space to destroy the asteroid before it can enter the earth’s orbit.

Reality: Of all the movies on this list, Armageddon has the most realistic storyline. Though it has not happened in such a catastrophic manner in modern history, the probability of an asteroid colliding with earth is not out of the realm of possibility. Because God is the Creator of the heavens and earth, we will never fully grasp all its wonders or capabilities.

7. Reign of Fire (2002)

Reign of Fire

Film: During a construction project in the London Underground, a secret cave where dragons have been hibernating for centuries is disturbed and the dragons are unleashed on the unsuspecting world. To fight off the dragons, nuclear weapons are used and much of earth’s population is decimated. As a team of survivors track down the dragons, they learn that one male dragon is the key to destroying them all—and saving humanity.

Reality: Although dragons have been depicted in a variety of ways through art and stories since the beginning of time, they have never been scientifically documented. However, myths, legends, and ancient writings from multiple cultures around the world do tell of their existence. Dragons are also depicted in the Bible, specifically in the book of Revelation.

8. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

The Day After Tomorrow

Film: A climatologist’s environmental concerns for an impending superstorm are ignored by political officials, until natural disasters throughout the world occur—that plunge the planet into a new ice age. With the Northern Hemisphere covered in ice, what’s left of society tries to restructure the planet.

Reality: While there is much debate on the topic of climate change, it is not believed that it will rapidly shift the planet into an ice age. However, no one can dismiss the reality that weather patterns and natural disasters have changed since the creation of the world—due in part to man’s blatant disobedience to God’s command to act on His behalf toward nature.

9. 2012 (2009)


Film: An eschatological series of disasters ravage the planet after a solar flare with an unnatural amount of neutrinos cause the earth’s core to heat to an unstable temperature. Unknown to most of the world, two groups of people are prepping for the worst: world leaders from 46 countries who are building secret arks in the Himalayas—and selling tickets to the world’s elite; and a small group of people who believe in a theory that polar shifts will cause catastrophic events in 2012. As the story unfolds, characters try to survive long enough to make it onto one of the arks before a great flood occurs.

Reality: While solar flares are real and can pose certain issues, it is not scientifically proven that they can cause such cataclysmic events. However, as we have already noted, weather patterns have clearly changed since the creation of the world. One of the most truthful aspects of this movie are the arks and the flood, which are directly taken from the account of Noah in the book of Genesis—one of the most widely known Bible stories on earth.

While none of these movies pose an end-of-the-world scenario that can be taken literally, they each present an element of reality and a message of truth. However, the real story is out there—and it can be found in the pages of a Book that has stood the test of time.

10. The Bible (Published 15th Century)

The Bible

According to the Bible—the best-selling Book of all time whose stories have been made into countess movies, television shows, and Broadway productions—the world as we know it will eventually come to an end. The precursor to its end will be the Rapture, a term used to describe the mass disappearance of the Church on earth. When this happens, the world will be devoid of Christians and a seven-year period of intense tribulation will ensue. While the Bible provides details regarding this great disappearance and the events that follow it, it does not say when this will all happen. It could be in a thousand years, it could be tomorrow, or even today.

You’ve probably seen a few of the movies on this list, but have you read the story of the Bible? Perhaps today is the day you take a journey to the real future.

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