The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, has questioned whether news coming out of the Middle East is a sign of the end times.
He noted the various incidents of persecution facing Christians throughout the world.
“The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings,” wrote Graham.
“Christians tortured, beheaded, and crucified in Iraq, with villages burned and churches destroyed, and much the same in Syria.”
Graham went on to speak of “signs of the end of the age” documented by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, including “wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence.”
“As I read the news, I can’t help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son,” wrote Graham.
“I don’t know if we have hours, days, months, or years--but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
This is not the first time that recent news from the Middle East has prompted talk of whether or not end times prophecy was being fulfilled.
Last year, as the civil war in Syria escalated, many Americans felt that the events unfolding were prophesied back in the Old Testament.