Over the past several years, I have been repeatedly asked whether the Bible speaks to the future of Syria. Pastors and other Christian leaders have asked. So have a number of U.S. leaders and those from other countries.
As the implosion of Syria accelerates, the question of what Bible prophecy says about the future of Syria is being asked more frequently. More and more media outlets are examining this question. During the horrific civil war that is underway there, more than 110,000 Syrians have been killed thus far, including, reportedly, through the use of chemical weapons in Damascus. More than two million Syrians have fled their country. Another five million more Syrians have been “internally displaced” — they have fled their homes and villages because of the brutal violence, but have not yet actually left their country. The country is steadily falling apart and there is a real question how in the world Syria would ever be put back together.
The larger question is whether the situation will actually go from bad to worse. Does the Bible predict the catastrophic destruction of Damascus? If so, did those prophecies already come to pass, or will they happen in the future? If so, why will Damascus be destroyed, and how will it happen? What are the implications of such a thing happening? And how should Christians live in light of such coming events, if they are legitimate?
- Yes, the Bible says Damascus will be “cease to be a city” in the future.
- No, these prophecies have never been fulfilled.
- No, we don’t know that these prophecies will come to pass soon, or even in our lifetime.
- But yes, it is possible that Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 could come to pass in our lifetime.
- No, we should not overreach, or sensationalize the text.
- Yes, we should encourage people to study these texts carefully.
- Yes, Christians need to be praying for the people of Syria now. We also need to show compassion to the people — and the Church — in Syria now, regardless of whether the prophecies will come to pass soon. After all, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies.
Given how often I’m being asked to discuss this, I preached on these Old Testament passages at Topeka Bible Church in Kansas. I have also decided to post 24 pages of my personal study notes on this subject. I hope they are helpful.
- Sermon on Bible prophecy and the future of Damascus — delivered at Topeka Bible Church (9/8/13)
- Interview with Fox’s Neil Cavuto on the Bible and the future of Damascus (9/9/13)
- Interview with Fox’s Martha MacCallum on the Bible and the future of Damascus (9/10/13)
- Growing number of media stories focus on Isaiah 17 & Jeremiah 49 prophecies on the future of Damascus.