Is Russia’s war on Ukraine a significant event in terms of prophecies recorded in the Bible? As many Christians debate this question, Southern California Pastor Greg Laurie explains why he believes we are living in the End Times.
“This is war at a scale we have not seen in a long time,” Laurie, senior pastor and founder of the multi-campus Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, says in a video message posted on his church’s website, referring to Matthew 24:6, which reads, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.”
The following verse, he adds, talks about plagues being around us in the last days. “If the coronavirus is not a plague, I don’t know what it is. It’s a global plague.”
Many Bible scholars believe that the mention of Magog attacking Israel in Ezekiel 38 is modern-day Russia, he continues.
According to another prophecy in Ezekiel, Jewish people will be scattered and regathered in their land again, which has been fulfilled, Laurie continues, explaining that during World War II and after the Holocaust, Jewish people from around the world began to return to their land. And Israel officially became a nation on May 14, 1948.”
But Scripture also says that a nation from the extreme north of Israel, called Gog and Magog, will march on her, he says, adding that Ukraine used to be a part of the Russian Empire until 1991.
“If you look on any map, you’ll see that is the geographical area of Russia. Are they going to be part of Russia again? Could be. But the one thing that I think of is that 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.”
And if we believe that the prophecies are coming true, “we should look up, and we should remember that God is in control,” Laurie concludes.
Joel Rosenberg, an American-Israeli communications strategist, author and nonprofit executive, also wrote a few years ago that: “The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that in the ‘last days of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north. Bible scholars refer to this eschatological conflict, described in Ezekiel 38–39, as the ‘War of Gog & Magog.’”
He quotes Ezekiel 38:14-16, which reads: “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.”
The Christian apologist website Got Questions also talks about Russia in biblical prophecy.
“Gog is a person. Whoever Gog is, he is from the land of Magog and is the leader of Tubal and Meshek (some translations add ‘Rosh’ to the list) and a confederacy of other nations: Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:5–6). And, whoever he is, he will have plans to ‘attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people,’ viz., Israel (verses 11, 14, and 18). But, regardless of Gog’s plans, the Lord God is against him and will defeat him soundly (Ezekiel 38:4, 19–23; 39:3–5).”
“Persia,” a nation listed as being in alliance with Magog, is modern-day Iran.