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Pastor John's Thoughts On the Current Conflict and End Time Prophecy

Pastor John's Thoughts On the Current Conflict and End Time Prophecy

by John Hays on March 02, 2022

Pastor John's Thoughts On the Current Conflict and End Time Prophecy

The book of Ezekiel is one of the most important prophetic books in the Bible; it provides a potential reference to Russia and the future Battle of Armageddon. In chapters 38 and 39 of this Old Testament book, we are given the identities of those forces which will attack Israel in the end times. One of those adversaries is the people of Magog. In ancient times, these people were located in the regions of modern Russia and Ukraine. Their coalition of forces will be defeated by Christ at His second coming. When contextualized with current events, this coalition makeup is nations who have recently been in the headlines. "According to the Bible, there will come a time when Russia, in alliance with several other countries, will amass a huge army against Israel to plunder the Jews' land. The nations aligned with Russia for this military endeavor are Persia (modern-day Iran), Put (modern-day Libya), Cush (modern-day Sudan), Gomer (part of modern-day Turkey), and Beth Togarmah (Armenia). Some of these nations are currently militant Islamic states with an express hatred of Israel." (gotquestions.org)

These forces will be completely defeated by Christ at His second coming. Not all Christians agree on exactly how the return of Christ will unfold, but all should agree that no one knows the precise time of the second coming of Christ (Matthew 24:36). The book of Revelation describes a terrible time immediately preceding the second coming of Christ known as the Tribulation. Believers are not united concerning whether or not the Church will go through the Tribulation. My conviction is that the Church will not experience this time of the unbridled wrath of God revealed in the book of Revelation but will be raptured (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) before these terrible events begin. At the end of this seven-year time of Tribulation, Christ will return (Revelation 19:11-16) with the Church by His side to defeat His enemies at the Battle of Armageddon. The people called Magog (geographically modern-day Russia) will lead the armies of the North against our Lord.

There is an additional reference to Magog in Bible prophecy which should not be confused with the events predicted in Ezekiel. It is found in Revelation 20:7-9, "When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea." Commenting on this passage, John MacArthur writes, "Gog and Magog. The name given to the army of rebels and its leader at the end of the Millennium. They were names of ancient enemies of the Lord. Magog was the grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:2) and founder of a kingdom located North of the Black and Caspian Seas (Modern Russia). Gog is apparently the leader of a rebel army known collectively as Magog. The battle depicted in Revelation 20:8,9 is like the one in Ezek. 38, 39 but they are NOT the same."

The question then is raised, "Are the events unfolding in Ukraine the prelude to the events described in Ezekiel 38 and 39?" The simple answer is, I do not know. Jesus told us there would be rumors of war (Matthew 24:6), but not to be deceived into thinking that this is conclusive evidence of His imminent return. So, we must exercise much Spirit-led caution in any discussion of the tragic events in Ukraine and the return of our Lord. It is a good thing, however, to long for our Lord's return and be encouraged by the hope it brings. Until our Lord returns, we should live faithfully for His glory and look for ways to spread the gospel. Related to this evil against the people of Ukraine, we can help by praying for them and looking for opportunities to help alleviate some of their suffering. One such opportunity would be to participate in a financial offering we are taking at Jersey to help the People of Ukraine. Jan and I are praying and have already given, and we would encourage you to do likewise.

Select "Ukraine Crisis" in the fund drop-down menu.

Learn more and find specific ways to pray at jerseychurch.org/ukraine.

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