The current war here between Hamas and Israel is terrible, and traumatic, and is drawing the attention of the whole world. Many people are Tweeting me to ask if this is a prophetic war and whether it will lead to the battle of Armageddon.
Operation Pillar of Defense is not the beginning of the battle of Armageddon. It is not the end of the world as we know it. There is no evidence — at the moment, at least — that it is one of the specific wars against Israel that are mentioned in Bible prophecy. Still, this war could begin to establish the conditions that will lead to some of the most dramatic End Times prophecies in the Bible coming to pass in the not-too-distant future. Please keep praying for the Lord to comfort and protect the millions of Israelis and Palestinians on both sides who are being so deeply affected by the current conflict.
That said, let me share with you a little story I think you might find interesting in this context. About five years ago or so, McDonald’s built a new restaurant in the town of Megiddo in northern Israel. I’m not making this up. It is literally around the corner from the Jezreel Valley. It’s next to the site of the ancient mountain of Megiddo that has been conquered at least two dozen times in history. It is right next to the site that Bible prophecy says will be the location of one of the most dramatic and horrific battles in all of human history. I call it the “Armageddon McDonald’s.” Lynn and I have taken many tour groups to see it, and our kids have had plenty of french fries and hot fudge sundaes there.
A few years ago, I was speaking on Bible prophecy at a conference and I told the people about the Armageddon McDonald’s. “I can’t say for certain why McDonald’s built a restaurant there of all places,” I told the audience. “But maybe they heard about the prophecy and said, ‘Are you telling me that all the armies of the world are coming here one day? Is that what the Bible really says? Wow. Well, they’re going to need to eat, right? Let’s build a restaurant there. We’ll make a fortune!’” The audience laughed. “Of course, I don’t think people will be ‘loving it’ when that terrible war comes,” I added. “And I’m guessing the fries will probably be burned on that day.” After the event, I was doing a book signing. One woman came up to me and said, “I really liked your talk. Thanks for giving a plug for the McDonald’s corporation.” I laughed and said I wasn’t really endorsing a company. She told me that she was a McDonald’s franchise owner, and then she said, “According to Bible prophecy, where else should we build restaurants?” True story. I think she was kidding, but it was a priceless question. I said, “You could always try the city of Babylon in Iraq. The book of Revelation says in the last days Babylon will be the wealthiest, most powerful city in the world. Sure, the most evil, too. But people are going to need to eat!”
Yesterday, I was telling this story to a group of pastors from the U.S. and Europe that I’m in Israel with. They wanted to see the Armageddon McDonald’s for themselves. So after finishing our time at another Bible conference, and spending some time praying along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we stopped by for some sundaes. As we ordered, I asked the kids working there if they knew that the end of the world as we know it was going to take place there. They didn’t. I asked if they knew that the Bible says that all the armies of the world will come there to try to destroy Israel? They didn’t. Did they know that Jesus Christ will come and destroy those armies? No. Did they know that the Lord Jesus will also save the nation of Israel, physically and spiritually — everyone who calls on the name of Jesus and receives Him as their Savior and Lord? They did not. But to their credit, they were certainly intrigued. Good for them.
I chatted with one Palestinian Arab Muslim girl who worked at the cash register. I told her I was sorry that I didn’t have any books about the battle of Armageddon or Bible prophecy with me, but that I would post this blog this morning to tell her a little more about it.
- Here is a link to Revelation chapter 16 that tells about that the battle of “Har Megiddo” — the mountain of Megiddo — what we know in English today as “Armageddon.”
- Here is a link to the whole book of Revelation so you can read about these prophecies in context.
- The battle of Armageddon, it should be noted, is only one of several major, horrific wars that will face the nation of Israel in the last days. Another prophetic war is called the “War of Gog and Magog,” and that involves an alliance between Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Sudan and several other nations. Here is more information of the War of Gog and Magog.
- One important difference between these two prophecies: The battle of Armageddon involves all the nations of the earth attacking Israel. The War of Gog and Magog involves a limited coalition of nations attacking Israel.
- One important similarties of these two prophecies: The God of Israel supernaturally intervenes to save the people of Israel.
- What is Bible prophecy? Why is it important? Here are notes from a sermon I gave earlier this year on “Rediscovering The Purpose and Power of Prophecy.”
Last point: the most important thing for everyone in Israel and around the world to know is where they are going when they die. Will you go to heaven, or to hell? Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. He said the only way to get to heaven is through Him. Is He right? Have you ever examined the evidence for yourself? Have you ever taken the time to read the New Testament to see for yourself whether the claims of Jesus are true or not? I encourage you to do so.
Here are three resources that I hope you’ll find helpful:
- Here is a short, concise explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Here is a link to the audio of me explaining how my parents and I came to faith in Jesus Christ, and how He changed our lives.
- Here is a link to the New Testament — beginning with the book of Matthew (describing the life of Jesus on earth) — so you can read it online.
I’m praying for all who read this blog to use these resources and make a decision one way or the other — for Jesus, or against Him. And I pray you say “Yes!” to Jesus, so that you will be adopted by God into His family, receive His peace and love and mercy, and so that you can spend eternity with the Lord in heaven and never have to fear these terrible wars, nor fear hell. God bless you.