Americans believe Syria conflict could fulfill biblical prophecycomment (1)
September 26, 2013
A third of Americans believe recent conflict with Syria fulfills biblical prophecy about the end of the world, according to a telephone survey conducted in early September by LifeWay Research.
With the threat of U.S. airstrikes against Syria dominating the news cycle, 32 percent of the 1,001 survey participants agreed with the statement: “I believe the battles in Syria are all part of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation.”
One in four (26 percent) said they believe that U.S. military intervention in Syria might lead to the Battle of Armageddon prophesied in the Book of Revelation just prior to the Second Coming of Christ. One in five (18 percent) said they believe the world will end in their lifetime.
Those results surprised Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “We weren’t talking about Armageddon during the air strikes on Bosnia,” Stetzer said in a news release.
The fact that Syria is mentioned in the Bible and its close proximity to Israel, however, have prompted considerable end-times speculation.
“Many students of the Word of God see a major alignment of ancient prophecies regarding the end times being fulfilled right before our eyes,” end-times author Carl Gallups told WorldNetDaily.
Gallups, a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, Milton, Fla., isn’t alone in that assessment.
Most cite Isaiah 17:1, which proclaims: “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap.”
Hal Lindsey, author of the bestseller “The Late, Great Planet Earth” said events described by the prophet could only be accomplished by nuclear weapons.
Dispensationalism is a method of biblical interpretation that forecasts a literal 1,000-year reign of Jesus on earth, a notion affirmed by Christian Zionists, who believe prophecies about biblical Israel are unfolding today in the modern Israeli state.
Joel Rosenberg, authoer of “Damascus Countdown” said, “It’s a very sobering thought to think that a judgment of a city or a country could happen in which an entire city could be wiped out, but that is in fact what the Bible is predicting.”
Rosenberg said it is too early to know if Syria’s current actions are the same as those foretold by Isaiah, and that he thinks it is wrong for people to “try to say for certain that it’s going to happen now.”
“The bottom line is we don’t know whether these ... prophecies ... will happen in our lifetime or soon, but they could, because they haven’t happened yet.”