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Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Perspective on Russia in Prophecy

I suppose it is normal at the start of a new year to think about the future more than at any other time. And there is plenty to think about. Conflict in the Middle East is intense. Israeli troops have begun a ground operation in Gaza. Terrorism has recently struck India and Pakistan. Iran may be on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. Taliban forces seem to be growing more aggressive in Afghanistan, and the Russian bear has been menacing Eastern Europe.

When Communism failed and the Soviet Union fell apart, some Christians began to question the prophetic view that Russia would be an evil end-times super power. Now, however, it is not difficult to see her in that role.

Here’s my take on Russia in prophecy. In the middle of the Tribulation, the false prophet in Israel will erect an idol in the Temple in honor of the head of the Revived Roman Empire. However, God will not allow idolatry to go unpunished. Just as He punished ancient Israel’s idolatry by sending a northern aggressor, Babylon, against Israel, even so He will send the Russian bear and its allies against idolatrous Israel in the Tribulation (Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 2:1-11). The erection of the idol in the Temple will serve as a signal to righteous Jews to flee into the mountains, “for then there will be great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21a).

Current world conditions seem as stable as a plate of Jell-O in an earthquake, but God is omnipotent and sovereign. The darkness of the Tribulation will give way to the brightness of Jesus’ return to rule the world in righteousness. Nations that oppose Him will feel His wrath, and all who love Him will bask in His radiance.

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