JERUSALEM—With the world undergoing such as massive geopolitical conflict in Europe and medical upheavals with global COVID pandemic, are we just having a bad day?
Or are we actually witnessing prophetic events that correspond to what the Bible describes as signs of the “last days”?
Are the events unfolding around us connected to the prophecies that Jesus Christ spoke regarding the days before His return to earth?
“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you….You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom….all these are merely the beginning of the birth pangs.’” (Matthew 24:3-8)
“Then He continued by saying to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven….But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’” (Luke 21:10-11, 28)
Christians in the U.S., Canada and worldwide – including Israel – are asking such questions.
So, too, are members of the secular media – sometimes with genuine curiosity, though often with mocking disdain.
Consider a handful of recent headlines published in the U.S. and Israel:
Why Ukraine, the Antichrist and COVID vaccines stir interest in Bible prophecy (The Oklahoman, March 4, 2022)
Putin and Doomsday: The Far Right’s Fascination With the Apocalypse (Vanity Fair magazine, March 4, 2022)
Is a Biblical prophecy about the end of the world coming true? “Corona and the war in Europe are the first signs” (Walla News, Israeli news service in Hebrew, March 7, 2022)
Russia’s war on Ukraine has some Christians wondering: Is this the end of the world? (Washington Post, March 10, 2022)
Russia-Ukraine war: Some pastors wonder about “end of days” – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted some of America’s most prominent Evangelical leaders to raise a provocative question (Associated Press/ABC News, March 11, 2022)
HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE ASKING SUCH IMPORTANT QUESTIONS?
Despite the sneering among many in the media, many people around the world are asking whether dramatic and deeply disturbing current events have prophetic significance.
My colleague, Dr. Carl Moeller – the executive director of The Joshua Fund – and I have addressed these issues in several recent episodes of our podcast, “Inside The Epicenter.”
One of those episodes received a larger audience than any other that we have recorded. I wrote about the podcasts in a column for ALL ISRAEL NEWS: “Are there biblically prophetic implications to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—could it trigger War of Gog & Magog found in Ezekiel 38-39?”
Given the enormous interest in the troubling global headlines and trendlines, Carl and I decided to go further.
We commissioned an exclusive national poll to better understand the views of all Americans, including Evangelical Christians, on a series of questions.
The poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates. This nationally known and widely respected polling firm has performed scientific opinion surveys over the years for corporations, non-profit organizations, Members of Congress, American presidents, and foreign leaders, including in the State of Israel. Taken between March 17 and 22, 2022, the poll asked questions of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and over. It has a 3.1% margin of error, plus or minus, at a 95% confidence interval.
Yesterday, ALL ISRAEL NEWS published the first in a series of articles about the survey – EXCLUSIVE: New poll finds 68% of Americans believe Iran plotting ‘Second Holocaust’ against Israel if Tehran gets nuclear weapons – 77% of American Evangelicals agree | All Israel News.
Tomorrow, we will look at how Americans see the significance of the COVID pandemic.
Today, I want to look at how Americans see the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
IS RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE A BIBLICAL SIGN OF THE “LAST DAYS”?
Carl and I were particularly interested in understanding whether Americans of all backgrounds – including but not limited to Evangelical Christians – believe there is a larger and more profound significance to Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
Some Christian leaders have speculated that the current war is setting into motion the prophetic war described in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39), widely known among Bible scholars as the “War of Gog & Magog.”
One such leader is Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who came out of retirement to share his views on CBN’s flagship TV program, “The 700 Club.”
While I have great respect for Pat, and consider him a friend, I believe it is premature to draw such a conclusion.
The prophecies found in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, do not describe a Russian invasion of Ukraine, nor do they allude to one.
As I have written about widely – and discussed on the podcast – Ezekiel described a military alliance led by Russia and Iran against a prophetically reborn State of Israel in the “last days.” This war has never happened in human history, and the prophecy has yet to come to pass.
That said, Carl and I do believe that there is prophetic significance to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We wanted to learn how many others believe that as well.
WHAT DO 100 MILLION AMERICANS THINK?
In our survey, therefore, we asked this specific question.
“Do you agree or disagree that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which has ignited the biggest land war in Europe since World War II – is one of the signs that Jesus spoke of in the Bible when He warned that there would be ‘wars and rumors of wars’ in the ‘last days’ before His return?”
We were stunned by how many Americans said yes, they agree.
In fact, nearly four in 10 Americans (39.8%) said that they agree that the Russian invasion is a sign of biblical prophecy coming to pass and of the “last days.”
Nearly the same number – 40.3% – said they disagree.
Meanwhile, one in five Americans (19.9%) said they don’t know.
The fact that many Americans don’t agree – or honestly admit they don’t know – makes sense.
Very few Americans study Bible prophecy these days.
Many pastors and priests don’t teach Bible prophecy anymore.
Still, 40% say they do agree.
How many people is that?
According to the U.S. Census, in 2020, there were 258.3 million Americans age 18 or over.
Forty percent of that number is 103.32 million people.
That’s an enormous number.
DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE DATA
Interesting, by no means are all these Christians, much less Evangelical Christians.
I was particularly astonished to learn that 28.4% of American Jews say they agree the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a sign of the last days of which Jesus of Nazareth spoke – especially since most Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, or that he was raised from the dead, or that he is coming back to rule the earth in the last days.
To be honest, I was also astonished that more than one-third of Democrats (35.5%) believe this.
And that 57.3% of African Americans believe this.
Not surprising is that 70.1% of Evangelical born-again Christians believe this.
Here are more specifics from a deep dive into the data.
6.6% of atheists agree the Russian invasion is a sign of the “last days”
10.4% of agnostics agree
18.8% of self-identified “secular” Americans agree
28.4% of Jews say they agree
37.3% of Catholics say they agree
53.8% of all Protestants agree
70.1% of Evangelical born-again Christians agree
32.8% of Hispanic Americans agree
57.3% of African Americans agree
37.6% of whites agree
52.6% of Asian Americans agree
37.1% of Americans who live in the East agree
41.3% of Americans who live in the Midwest agree
46.8% of Americans who live in the South agree
27.7% of Americans who live in the West agree
37.9% of young people, ages 18 to 29 agree
48.9% of people ages 30 to 40 agree
39.9% of people ages 41 to 55 agree
37.9% of people ages 56 to 65 agree
36.3% of people over 65 agree
36% of men agree
43.4% of women agree
BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION
46.3% of Republicans agree
35.5% of Democrats agree
37.3% of Independents agree
44.1% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 agree
36.3% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 agree
PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN EUROPE
In the coming days, we’ll publish more stories about the poll results, and analyze what the results mean.
Dr. Carl Moeller and I will also discuss all this more on our podcast, “Inside The Epicenter,” which I strongly encourage you to subscribe and listen to.
For now, I ask Christians in the U.S., here in Israel and all over the world to pray for peace in Ukraine, that the war would end quickly, that Russia would withdraw and that calm and stability can be re-established.
Please also pray for the Lord to comfort all those on both sides of the war who have lost loved ones, and for those who have been wounded physically and psychologically but this brutal war, and the wicked war crimes that have been committed.
Please pray for the leaders of both countries, especially for the enemy – Russian President Vladimir Putin – since the Bible commands us to pray for our enemies.
Pray, too, for the Church – that followers of Jesus Christ in both Ukraine and Russia can care for the suffering, provide food and water and shelter and medical attention to those in need, and to lovingly teach the Scriptures and share the good news of God’s love to those who are spiritual rattled and searching.
Both The Joshua Fund and ALL ISRAEL NEWS are non-profit, and thus non-partisan organizations. The poll was not taken to lobby American or Israeli lawmakers, or any others, on political or public policy matters, but to better understand the views of the American people and now how best to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” as believers are commanded in Psalm 122:6.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.