In a world filled with turmoil and uncertainty, Steven Khoury, the pastor of The First Baptist Church in Bethlehem, ministers to his congregation in the heart of the West Bank, a region marked by complexity and conflict. Despite the challenges, he remains resolute in his faith, believing that the Bible’s prophecies about the end times are manifesting in our world today.
Amid the recent upheaval triggered by events like Hamas’ attack on Israel, Khoury’s life in Bethlehem is far from ordinary. He admits that the role of a Christian pastor in this tumultuous region is both a joy and a source of overwhelming anxiety. “There’s never a dull moment,” he quips to CBN Digital, acknowledging the ever-present tension.
The Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and the subsequent turmoil have brought shock and hardship to the region. Beyond the emotional toll, roadblocks have disrupted travel, and food supplies to supermarkets have dwindled.
“In the last 23 days, traveling has been limited almost… to a stop,” Khoury reports. “No food has been transported to supermarkets and beyond. While the situation has improved somewhat in the last week, supermarket shelves initially ran low due to the lack of food transportation.”
During despair and fear, Khoury’s ministry takes center stage. His teachings emphasize the power of love, even for one’s enemies. “We teach our people to love those who persecute them, to reach out to those who are different, regardless of who they are,” he explains, “and to be the light and salt of the Earth.”
The region’s history has always been marked by palpable tensions, but in the current climate, the unrest has escalated to new heights.
Khoury, like countless Christians worldwide, observes the unfolding events in Israel and ponders their eschatological significance. With experience in preaching about the end times, he draws attention to recent developments that are aligned with biblical prophecies.
It’s interesting to note that Hamas’ leaders recently convened in Moscow, raising questions about the nature of their discussions. Khoury references an Old Testament prophecy concerning Gog and Magog, as described by the Prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39. These Scriptures prophesy that Israel will be attacked by a host of nations bent on her destruction.
Many Christian leaders interpret Magog as Russia, with Persia (modern-day Iran) counted among the nations aligned with Magog. Given Iran’s connections with Hamas, these present-day dynamics are undoubtedly noteworthy, particularly in light of reports about Hamas leaders visiting Russia.
Khoury raises a thought-provoking question: “Could the ongoing events be the early stages of the prophetic passages in Ezekiel 36, 37, 38 and 39 coming to life? I think it’s very possible, as many wars today are led through proxy conflicts.”
While Khoury remains cautious, acknowledging that the current chaos may subside and calm could be restored, the prevailing situation has him deeply contemplating the unfolding of biblical prophecies.
In these times of uncertainty and upheaval, many find solace in the Word of God. The Bible offers guidance and assurance that God remains in control, and His divine plan will ultimately prevail. While the world grapples with challenges, people of faith can take comfort in their beliefs and the anticipation of Jesus’ return.
The end times may bring uncertainty, but they also bring the promise of a glorious future when Jesus returns to establish His eternal kingdom. As we navigate these turbulent times, let us cling to our faith and eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s promises. In a world full of questions, the enduring hope of Jesus’ return remains a source of joy and encouragement for believers.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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