June 25, 2024

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June 25, 2024

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Laurie: Why Understanding Bible Prophecy Is So Essential 

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is among the most well-known preachers in America. He’s also more than willing to discuss what Scripture says about the end of days — an oft-times avoided or played down topic in some houses of worship.

“I don’t know why more people don’t want to talk about eschatology or end-times events because Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us,” he said. “And not only that, but I think it motivates us.”

Laurie continued, “Talking about these things can be very motivating for Christians to keep us on our toes spiritually.”

Knowing Jesus could come back at any moment, he said, can “be a motivator to live a godly life.” But Laurie addressed the extremes he believes can unfold on both sides of the end times discussion.

“On one side is ‘everything is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy,’” he said. “They find stuff in the want ads that are fulfillments of Bible prophecy … the same kind of person would tend to set dates.”

The other extreme, of course, is silence on all things prophetic. Laurie said his stance is a middle-ground approach that discusses what’s in Scripture without too many definitives.

As for what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine right now, Laurie mirrored numerous preachers and Bible experts by expressing his belief that it’s all worth watching. He said many believe the “Gog and Magog” prophecy in Ezekiel 38 references Russia and, thus, the invasion of Ukraine is a noteworthy event.

Laurie was careful, though, not to definitively say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is tied to eschatology.

While the preacher said the events are “perhaps” connected, he offered a more general assessment of what he believes the Bible proclaims in Ezekiel 36-38.

“Looking at the big picture, here’s what we know in the last days: God says Israel would be scattered and regathered in her land again that has happened on May 14, 1948,” Laurie said. “Israel officially became a nation, and we might say the prophetic time clock started ticking.”

He then recapped the prophecies that follow in Ezekiel 38, explaining how a nation to the north of Israel (Magog) will try to march into Israel. This is where the theology surrounding Russia as a potential candidate for Gog comes into play.

Laurie also pointed to Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 that warn of wars, “rumors of wars,” plagues, and other such elements in the lead-up to the end of days.

“Jesus in Matthew 24 gave us signs of the times — one of them was there’ll be wars and rumors of wars,” he said. “It certainly fits that. No. 2, there would be pestilence and plague, and if COVID is not a modern-day plague, I don’t know it is, and it’s affected the whole planet [and it] still affects us to this day.”

Laurie noted Jesus told His followers to “look up for your redemption is drawing near” when such signs unfold. Matthew 24 reads:

Matthew‬ ‭24:4-8, 11-12‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

The pastor believes we’re seeing more and more of these sorts of events unfold and that they seem to be closer together — something he said is “alarming.” And while he’s not sure where — or if — the Ukraine invasion fits into the eschatological mix, he’s intently watching along with the rest of the world.

“I think there are things happening right now in our world and the last six months that are alarming, that are reminiscent of what Scripture tells us to be looking for,” he said. “So, could this lead to the ultimate invasion of Magog? I don’t know that but what I’m saying is, this is a very fascinating, alarming, and concerning development.”

With all this in mind, Laurie said his biggest concern right now is the state of our culture. But while secularization is taking hold, the preacher believes it’s still possible for revival to break out.

“The reality is: revivals often happen during times of crisis,” he said. “We need one, and I think the very backdrop of our culture reminds us of that, and it might be the perfect moment for it to happen again.”

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HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?

Jan Markell in her recent article, “Anticipating The Antichrist,” underscored that although the Tribulation is fast approaching, Believers in Jesus should take comfort in the knowledge that the Rapture of the Church, our Blessed Hope, draws even closer.

The Bible clearly states that prior to the Tribulation, Christians will be “caught up” from the earth in what is called the Rapture of the Church (1 Corin. 15:51-531 Thess. 4:16-18Titus 2:13). This is done because, as Believers who have already come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are “not appointed to wrath” (1 Thess. 5:9).

“Evil is on its way. So is the return of the Lord in what is known as the Rapture of the Church. That’s the good news in the midst of this sad story. He’s coming soon whether the church today talks about this event or not. Nothing can stop it. It is imminent. Any minute.” Markell stated. “Perhaps even today.”

However, even though this time of Tribulation on the earth has not begun, that doesn’t mean that we will not see harbingers of these future events.

Luke 21:28 says that “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

“Are you ready? ‘All who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved’ (Romans 10:13),” Markell added.


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Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is among the most well-known preachers in America. He’s also more than willing to discuss what Scripture says about the end of days — an oft-times avoided or played down topic in some houses of worship.

“I don’t know why more people don’t want to talk about eschatology or end-times events because Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us,” he said. “And not only that, but I think it motivates us.”

Laurie continued, “Talking about these things can be very motivating for Christians to keep us on our toes spiritually.”

Knowing Jesus could come back at any moment, he said, can “be a motivator to live a godly life.” But Laurie addressed the extremes he believes can unfold on both sides of the end times discussion.

“On one side is ‘everything is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy,’” he said. “They find stuff in the want ads that are fulfillments of Bible prophecy … the same kind of person would tend to set dates.”

The other extreme, of course, is silence on all things prophetic. Laurie said his stance is a middle-ground approach that discusses what’s in Scripture without too many definitives.

As for what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine right now, Laurie mirrored numerous preachers and Bible experts by expressing his belief that it’s all worth watching. He said many believe the “Gog and Magog” prophecy in Ezekiel 38 references Russia and, thus, the invasion of Ukraine is a noteworthy event.

Laurie was careful, though, not to definitively say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is tied to eschatology.

While the preacher said the events are “perhaps” connected, he offered a more general assessment of what he believes the Bible proclaims in Ezekiel 36-38.

“Looking at the big picture, here’s what we know in the last days: God says Israel would be scattered and regathered in her land again that has happened on May 14, 1948,” Laurie said. “Israel officially became a nation, and we might say the prophetic time clock started ticking.”

He then recapped the prophecies that follow in Ezekiel 38, explaining how a nation to the north of Israel (Magog) will try to march into Israel. This is where the theology surrounding Russia as a potential candidate for Gog comes into play.

Laurie also pointed to Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 that warn of wars, “rumors of wars,” plagues, and other such elements in the lead-up to the end of days.

“Jesus in Matthew 24 gave us signs of the times — one of them was there’ll be wars and rumors of wars,” he said. “It certainly fits that. No. 2, there would be pestilence and plague, and if COVID is not a modern-day plague, I don’t know it is, and it’s affected the whole planet [and it] still affects us to this day.”

Laurie noted Jesus told His followers to “look up for your redemption is drawing near” when such signs unfold. Matthew 24 reads:

Matthew‬ ‭24:4-8, 11-12‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

The pastor believes we’re seeing more and more of these sorts of events unfold and that they seem to be closer together — something he said is “alarming.” And while he’s not sure where — or if — the Ukraine invasion fits into the eschatological mix, he’s intently watching along with the rest of the world.

“I think there are things happening right now in our world and the last six months that are alarming, that are reminiscent of what Scripture tells us to be looking for,” he said. “So, could this lead to the ultimate invasion of Magog? I don’t know that but what I’m saying is, this is a very fascinating, alarming, and concerning development.”

With all this in mind, Laurie said his biggest concern right now is the state of our culture. But while secularization is taking hold, the preacher believes it’s still possible for revival to break out.

“The reality is: revivals often happen during times of crisis,” he said. “We need one, and I think the very backdrop of our culture reminds us of that, and it might be the perfect moment for it to happen again.”

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HD Editor’s Note: Why