Megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie is decrying the “shocking and horrifying” scenes coming out of Israel after Hamas’ deadly terror attack.
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“To see these images of civilians being targeted, women … even elderly people who have survived the Holocaust, and then children — most recently, hearing about babies that were murdered and decapitated,” said the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. “This is evil on another level.”
Laurie, whose story was recently told in the feature film “Jesus Revolution,” pushed back on claims Israel is “occupying” or “colonizing” the land, proclaiming, “God gave the land to the people of Israel” and said the Jews wish to “live in peace.”
Yet he said Hamas and other terror groups seek Israel’s total destruction, making it difficult to negotiate or come to an agreement.
“Hamas has said repeatedly, publicly, ‘We want to wipe Israel off the face of the map,’” Laurie said. “It’s pretty hard to negotiate with that kind of mentality.”
The level of depravity and atrocity, he said, hasn’t been seen since the Nazis during World War II.
Watch Laurie explain:
When asked why the Jewish people have historically faced so much persecution, Laurie said the battle is spiritual in nature.
“Satan hates what God loves,” he said. “God loves and chose the Jewish people. [In] the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord explains even why he says, ‘I didn’t choose you because you were more than other nations. You were fewer. I chose you because I loved you.’”
Laurie continued, “The same is true of all of us who are believers. He chose us because He loved us, an everlasting love. He has drawn us to Himself.”
The preacher went on to detail how antisemitism is nothing new, explaining how its roots go back to the Old Testament book of Exodus, when Pharaoh ordered all Jewish boys to be drowned.
“The Jewish midwives would not do that, and, ultimately, God raised up someone to deliver them named Moses and they freed the Israelites,” Laurie explained. “But fast forward to the book of Esther, and there’s a wicked plot hatched by a man named Haman to kill all the Jewish people, but God had his woman in the right place at the right time for such a time as this … Queen Esther.”
After other instances unfolded, the 1900s saw the rise of Nazism in Germany with a sweeping attempt to “wipe out the Jewish people.” Hamas’ actions are simply a new version of the same tragic attempt.
“It’s devilish,” Laurie said. “Anti-Semitism is devilish, and you’ll often find that the same people that hate Israel also hate Christians.”
He said he’s praying for healing as so many in Israel are living in fear and terror, and as hostages remain confined.
Laurie also spoke about the biblical end times and how Israel comes into play. Among the biggest prophetic signs, he said, is Israel’s re-emergence in the homeland, something that unfolded May 14, 1948, when the Jewish state was formed following the Holocaust.
“Israel being in the land is a sign of the end times,” he said. “The Bible also says that Jerusalem would be at the center of world conflict in the end times.”
One of the other elements he mentioned is the Prophet Ezekiel, who writes in Ezekiel 37 about an attempted invasion of Israel many believe hasn’t yet unfolded.
“You read … about a large force identified as Magog marching on Israel after they’ve returned to their homeland,” Laurie said. “So, this event hasn’t happened yet. Who is Magog? No one can say with absolute certainty, but many Bible scholars and prophecy experts believe Magog is Russia.”
Considering contemporary headlines focusing on Russia, the idea the nation might be involved in end times events is certainly intriguing. Add into the mix the fact another nation mentioned by Ezekiel is Persia, the ancient name for Iran, and the situation becomes even more eye-catching.
Hamas terrorists have been praised by Iranian leaders, and Iran — Israel’s main enemy — has been funding Hamas. And that’s not all.
“It’s worth considering that Russia and Iran have come together in recent years and formed an alliance,” Laurie said. “The Iranians have provided the weaponized drones that have been used in the Ukraine war.”
He was careful not to definitively tie any current happenings to specific end times events, but stressed the interconnected nature of these nations.
“I’m not a sensationalist,” Laurie said. “Jesus said, ‘No man knows the day, the hour when the son of man will come’ I believe Christ could come for us in my lifetime. I believe he could come today, but he might come 10 years from now or 20 years from now.”
He added, “All I know is, I’m gonna get to heaven.”