Churchill’s Final Warning

British statesman Winston Churchill sits at the writing desk of his country home in Chartwell, Kent.
Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Churchill’s Final Warning

The man who rallied Britain to face down the German threat and save Western civilization gave a warning to us. Shouldn’t we heed?

If Adolf Hitler had won World War ii, all of Europe would have been dominated by a homicidal madman. He threatened the survival of Western civilization itself! And he would have succeeded if not for one man: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Many historians recognize this truth.

Throughout the 1930s, Churchill warned Britain about the danger in a rising Germany, but no one heeded him. He tried to convince the leaders of Britain to rearm, but they only wanted to disarm. The nation’s leadership was dedicated to appeasement, and America was committed to isolationism. Somehow, the liberals thought that disarming would appease the tyrant. Instead, Hitler made slaves of most of Europe.

Churchill was alone. The media and academia scorned him. He risked his reputation, his political career, even his life, to publicize the truth about the threats facing the nation. God’s work must do the same—even to a world increasingly hostile to the truth. Churchill had to overcome a lot of personal fears to do what he did. We all must overcome fear. God offers the solution in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear ….” We all have fear, but if we have the love of God, that will cast fear out and motivate us to do what needs to be done.

Churchill stood alone against a sea of enemies. Where would we be today without him? Would I be allowed to speak God’s message freely if Hitler had imposed tyranny on the Continent and then the world?

Only after all other options had been exhausted did Britain finally acknowledge that Churchill was right and turn to him for leadership. This experience should have taught the world a lasting lesson. Sadly, it did not.

Today, it is possible to deploy devastating nuclear weapons in war. The consequences of another worldwide conflict will be far worse than World War ii. Churchill delivered a warning about this—a warning about something terrible that would happen if we didn’t make some radical changes. Considering how accurate his vision proved to be before that war, surely we ought to listen.

What was that warning? And what changes must we make to avoid the fate about which he warned?

‘Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat’

Churchill’s main political rival was Lord Halifax, who came close to being prime minister. Halifax believed there was nothing heroic about fighting and dying for your country. He supported negotiating a surrender to Hitler.

Churchill refused to turn even slightly in that direction. So determined was he not to submit to Hitler that reportedly he told Halifax and the entire War Cabinet that “if this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”

On May 13, 1940, in his first speech to Parliament after being elected prime minister, Churchill said:

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalog of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

What a rhetorical masterpiece—powerful, poetic and precise. Even as Britain was on the brink of losing the war, Churchill kept talking about victory! He used that word five times in a single sentence. That is what his mind was fixed on. Staring down impossible odds, he remained stunningly positive! He simply refused to lose.

“I take up my task with buoyancy and hope,” he concluded. “I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all and I say, ‘Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.’”

He spoke of securing the survival of the empire with “buoyancy and hope.” He was determined to resurrect that force for good in the world—the empire God had given them.

This speech was only seven minutes, and it is one of the greatest speeches ever given in politics! It began to drive away the darkness over London, and shift the hearts of the British people. I have read that speech over a dozen times, and every time I am more impressed.

His speech was not well received by most in positions of power and influence. But he was encouraged by former Prime Minister Lloyd George. George said it was a good thing Churchill had been made prime minister, given “his dauntless courage, his profound study of war, and his experience in its operation and direction,” and said: “He is exercising his supreme responsibility at a graver moment and in times of greater jeopardy than have ever confronted a British minister for all time.” Those words brought Churchill to tears!

The reality was, in offering “blood, toil, tears and sweat,” Churchill wasn’t speaking empty words. He absolutely meant what he said. And those words changed history!

‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’

It took a miracle at Dunkirk to prevent the Allied forces from being captured and massacred. In the evacuation, Britain had preserved its troops, but lost all its ammunition. M.P. Henry Channon wrote in his diary, “I wonder as I gaze out on the gray and green Horse Guards Parade … is this really the end of England? Are we witnessing, as for so long I have feared, the decay and perhaps extinction of this great island people?” It is true that nations can die! If you know history, you know many of them have.

Churchill was happy to save most of his troops from ruin at Dunkirk, but he knew this wasn’t really a victory. As he said, wars are not won by evacuations. But he remained steadfast when it seems nobody else did.

In a speech on June 4, 1940, Churchill declared his intent to fight Hitler wherever and for however long was needed:

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Churchill guaranteed continual warfare, even if the mainland were defeated! He was determined to move to other Commonwealth nations and keep fighting from there.

This speech helped mightily in rousing Britain to abandon its policy of appeasement and surrender, and to stand up to Hitler. It brought many members of Parliament to tears, and lifted the people’s spirits. Men were moved and stirred by these words, and became willing to risk their lives to stand up and fight.

Such strength and courage is desperately needed today.

‘Their Finest Hour’

Only two weeks after Dunkirk, German troops marched into Paris. On June 18, 1940, Winston Churchill again addressed British Parliament (emphasis mine throughout):

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

What Churchill said then is even more relevant today. The “new Dark Age” he warned about is upon us. Science has created even more-formidable, more-destructive weapons. The dangers threatening our world are proliferating. How could it be any worse? We must wake up and see reality! We need help from God! We all truly need to recognize that!

Churchill said that “the survival of Christian civilization” was at stake. How true—and it is even more so today! This reflected his historical vision—the perspective he had because he knew history. He had devoured history, which gave him an epic sweep of history and the lessons it taught. Can we learn from his perspective, and his history?

Churchill’s Final Warning

Over a decade before he became prime minister, Churchill delivered this warning. I call it his “final warning” because it is the message that applies most of all to our time. In 1924, he wrote:

Mankind has never been in this position before. Without having improved appreciably in virtue or enjoying wiser guidance, it has got into its hands for the first time the tools by which it can unfailingly accomplish its own extermination. That is the point in human destinies to which all the glories and toils of men have at last led them. They would do well to pause and ponder upon their new responsibilities. Death stands at attention, obedient, expectant, ready to serve, ready to shear away the peoples en masse; ready, if called on, to pulverize, without hope of repair, what is left of civilization. He awaits only the word of command. He awaits it from a frail bewildered being, long his victim, now—for one occasion only—his master.

We need to think about the world today and how Churchill’s warning applies to us. Those are powerful words, and they are more relevant than ever!

Churchill said the people then were living in a “fool’s paradise.” Today our fantasy world is far more distorted. If we don’t heed Churchill’s warnings, a nuclear war will quickly put everything into perspective. But what a terrifying tragedy if we fail to heed.

Churchill warned of mass extermination. His warning fits the Bible description of the end time. Jesus Christ Himself warned about an end-time nuclear holocaust: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). This is a prophecy that mankind would take himself to the brink of annihilation!

Why don’t you hear Christians teaching these prophecies of Christ? Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ. Christianity also got it all wrong about Hitler in the 1930s. It learned nothing from Winston Churchill. It is the guiltiest of all religions, because Christians should know better. They have been warned repeatedly. They don’t know God and they don’t know their Bibles!

Can we solve our problems? No. Only our Savior can. We need God’s help in this nuclear Dark Age. Thankfully, Christ also prophesied of the wonderfully inspiring conclusion: His return. Even if we don’t heed, He is going to intervene just before we destroy all human life on this planet!

God doesn’t want anyone to suffer. In Ezekiel 33:11, He asks, “Why will ye die?” Our nations are choosing death! Many nations are pursuing nuclear capability with feverish urgency! If you are paying attention, you see that the dangers Hitler posed are coming from many quarters in today’s world, and the potential for destruction on a scale Hitler never accomplished is frighteningly high! The threat of nuclear devastation is very real!

We need to heed Winston Churchill’s warning. But most of all, we need to listen to Jesus Christ! Heed his warning about this horror of horrors! We can heed this warning and avoid the worst suffering ever on Earth. Each one of us must choose. The consequences of that choice are truly monumental!