Are Syria, Colorado signs of end times?

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 1:15 p.m. MDT

Thirty-three percent of Americans "believe the battles in Syria are all part of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation," according to a LifeWay survey.

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Many Americans don’t see the Syria conflict as just an international issue.

Some consider it to be the end of the world.

Based on a LifeWay Research poll, about 33 percent of Americans see the recent Syrian conflict as the beginning of the end times. LifeWay asked 1,001 Americans in a telephone survey if they agreed with the statement, “I believe the battles in Syria are all part of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation.” About half (49 percent) disagreed.

Roughly a quarter (26 percent) agreed with a similar yet different sentence, “I believe that U.S. military intervention in Syria might lead to the Battle of Armageddon that’s spoken about in the Book of Revelation.”

But the biggest difference came on the question of when the world will end. Asked whether it would end in their lifetime, 18 percent said it would and 70 percent disagreed.

LifeWay’s research included a history of Israel and the end times, specifically about a prophecy mentioned in the Book of Revelations.

According to The Huffington Post, results of the poll mask imporant differences between Americans who live in different places and have different incomes. Southerners and members of households earning less than $25,000 a year were significantly more likely to see a link between events in Syria and the Bible, according to the survey.

The Huffington Post also pointed out specific scriptural verses that connect Syria to the end of days, including Isaiah 17:1 in the King James version of the Bible: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Damascus is Syria’s capital city.

It’s not only events in Syria, though, that some Americans believe is a sign the end is nigh. Colorado’s recent floods, according to a Washington Post column, were described to be of "biblical proportions." The author, Brad Hirschfield, questioned why weather stories have such an impact on American society.

“We long for the mysterious, the enormous, and what experts at the National Weather Service even refer to as events of ‘biblical proportion,’ ” he wrote. “They clearly are not attempting to engage audiences in debates about disaster theology, but the language remains resonant precisely because it takes us back to a moment when people stood small and vulnerable before whatever God(s) they believed in.”

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

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