Monday, September 16, 2013

Many Americans link U.S. military strike in Syria to End Times. By Bob Smietana

(LifeWay Research)  The threat of airstrikes against Syria has more than a few Americans thinking about the end of the world.

A recent poll from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found that almost one in three Americans see Syria’s recent conflict as part of the Bible’s plan for the end times.

One in four think that a U.S. military strike in Syria could lead to Armageddon. One in five believes the world will end in their lifetime.

Those results surprised Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.

Previous U.S. military action, like the war in Afghanistan or air strikes during 1990s war in Bosnia, didn’t get the same reaction, said Stetzer. But the fact that Syria shares a border with Israel, and is specifically mentioned in the Bible, has people thinking about the end times.

“We weren’t talking about Armageddon during the air strikes on Bosnia,” he said.

Israel and the End Times

Israel plays a major role in biblical prophecy, particularly in the Christian theology known as premillennial dispensationalism.

That theology inspired the best-selling Late Great Planet Earth in the 1970s as well as the Left Behind book series. A big budget remake of Left Behind is currently in the works.

Most premillennial dispensationalists believe Christians will instantly disappear from the earth during an event called the rapture, followed by seven years of war and catastrophe. After the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will return and set up his kingdom on earth.

Stetzer said he could see why linking Bible prophecy to Syria is appealing to many Christians.

It’s not that Christians want the world to end or want to see airstrikes, which will lead to suffering, Stetzer said. But they do want Jesus to return to set things right.

“For Christians, the end of the world doesn’t mean despair,” he said. “The end is really a new beginning.” ... ► Read the full article by Bob Smietana in LifeWay Research

Author: Bob Smietana is an award winning journalist and features editor for the Covenant Companion magazine, a correspondent for Religion News Service (RNS), and freelance religion writer whose stories have appeared in national and regional US newspapers (including the Washington Post, LA Times, and Chicago Tribune) and national religious magazines, such as Christianity Today, the Christian Century, Sojourners, and US Catholic ... more


1 comment:

  1. • Survey: 1 in 3 Americans believe conflict in Syria is a sign of biblical end times.

    Source: End The Lie│