Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, has responded in a video to Christians wondering if there’s a connection between end-times prophecies and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Laurie candidly shared why he believes “we’re living in the last days” and explored many signs worldwide that might point to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
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“I believe Christ could come back at any moment,” he said. “There are signs of the times the Bible tells us to be looking for.”
The popular pastor shared 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. Matthew 24:4-14 (NIV) reads:
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
While Laurie didn’t directly tie the chaos in Ukraine to these prophetic elements, he noted there are reasons why so many are asking eschatological questions about current events.
Ukraine, COVID-19, and government overreach are just some of the issues sparking a slew of curiosities among the faithful.
As for Russia’s invasion, Laurie noted the consternation is understandable, proclaiming, “This is war on a scale we have not seen in a long time.” He spoke about Ezekiel 38’s prophesies of a “Gog from Magog,” noting “Magog” is believed by many to be Russia.
“When I see the aggression of Russia or ‘Magog,’ if you will, it’s a reminder that that’s what we’re going to see when ‘Magog’ attacks Israel,” he said of the prophetic events discussed in Ezekiel.
Beyond that, Laurie pointed to COVID-19 and pondered the plagues that could precede the end times.
“If the coronavirus is not a plague, I don’t know what it is,” he said.
Laurie also spoke about his belief that the Bible prophesies a coming antichrist who will rise on the international stage. Some of what is happening today, he said, could be providing glimmers of what’s to come in that regard.
“I believe a lot of this government overreach — imposing themselves on their people — is a sign of what is going to come later when the antichrist emerges on the scene,” he said.
Laurie spoke about many issues in the short video but concluded by noting why he believes Bible prophecies are, indeed, unfolding in real-time. Rather than panic, he called followers to Christ.
“We should look up, and we should remember that God is in control,” he said. “We win in the end.”
Faithwire has extensively explored the Gog and Magog issue, explaining what many Christians believe about the end times. Watch our interview with author Jeff Kinley for a full explainer and to see where Russia fits into the mix:
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