The doctrine of the “End Times” (eschatology) is, sadly, controversial, with some Christians polarising over different views and (many) others avoiding the subject, perhaps regarding it as a happy hunting ground for extremists. Yet nearly 10% of the New Testament is about eschatology. It is not a fringe subject. We should not neglect it.

 

The problem is that some people have a natural tendency towards naivety – readily believing assumptions about what prophecies mean and how they relate to current events. Others have a natural tendency towards rationalism – being rather cynical about the subject. I am more like the latter group but because of the importance of the subject in Scripture I seek to overcome it. However we do need to be careful in our approach.

 

Yes, there are those who jump to naïve conclusions about the eschatological significance of current events. Nevertheless I do find an approach which regards prophecies as totally symbolical, rather than referring to literal events unconvincing in the light of the evidence. For example, it is difficult to see Jesus’ prophecy of the End Times return of the Jewish people to Israel as symbolical in view of the remarkable event which has happened 2000 years later. In addition, so many of the Old Testament prophecies have come to pass.

 

One of the main areas of disagreement is over the biblical prophecy of the millennium (the future thousand year reign of Christ on earth). Some believe that happens after Jesus returns, others before he returns and others that it is symbolical about the on-going influence of God in the world. Some years ago, we brought together 75 clergy, ministers and teachers from various denominations for three days of intensive discussion on eschatology. Initially, there was a good deal of tension and apprehension. But, as we listened to one another, that disappeared and, whereas there were respectful disagreements, the conference put out a united statement as to what it agreed over (we must avoid falling out over secondary disagreements over eschatology). You can find the statement on my Christian Teaching website at http://www.christianteaching.org.uk/ChurchLeadersAgreeReturnofChrist.pdf. It ended with the words “We urge all Christians to recognize that eschatology is a vital context and incentive for growth in holiness and for evangelism.” I personally would now add “and as a motive for prayer for Revival” but that was before the Lord spoke to me about Revival.

 

We are called to live in the light of the Return of Jesus

 

On several occasions Jesus says this.

 

“Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matt 24:42; 25:13). “‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’(Mark 13:32-37).

 

“‘Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will make them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or towards daybreak. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.’(Luke 12:35-40).

 

Similarly, Paul writes:

 

“The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thess 5:2-6).

 

Unfortunately many Christians seem to ignore this teaching. But, the Lord says we need to be eschatological in outlook.

 

We are called to take note of the “signs of the times.”

 

It is also clear that Jesus wants us to note the signs of the End Times.

The disciples askedWhat will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth-pains” (Matt 24:3-8).

He is speaking here of long term, repeated signs pointing towards his return – false messiahs, wars, earthquakes, famines, persecution. They do not mean the End is imminent. They are like motorway signs repeatedly pointing towards a distant destination. But he goes on to refer to later signs which are closer to the destination – the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ antichrist, the great distress (often called “tribulation”), cosmic signs – and he adds “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [the End] is near, right at the door” (Matt 24:33). He also speaks of the fall of Jerusalem, the exile of the Jewish people to the nations and their eventual return to Jerusalem. (See the footnote for comment on the controversies surrounding Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians).[i]

 

So Jesus wants us to take note of what is happening in society and the world and to understand its significance vis a vis the End. In other words, we have to be prophetic (although we need to be careful and properly critical, rather than jump to conclusions). But many of us never stand back to see the bigger picture. We have our eyes down on the details of everyday life, including church life.

 

The interesting thing is that some secular scholars do stand back to see the bigger picture in connection with the threats to the future of the world and they speak about it in the ways prophets should do. So there is a secular eschatology over such things as dangers from global warming, viruses, war (nuclear and cyber), genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.

 

Many Christians need to wake up to what is going on. And we need to be discerning because often something developed for good reasons can go wrong and have bad effects. Here are some concerns very briefly:

  • The dangers in globalisation in our ‘global village’ becoming oppressive. (The current moves against globalisation could misfire and are very likely to be reversed by the pressures of inevitable international interdependence in trade, security, etc).
  • The dangers of the development of dictatorships (including through the growth in populism, political leaders on the extremes of politics, surveillance etc).
  • The growing influence of a major world religion, Islam, which believes in a Christ who is not divine, didn’t die on the cross or rise from the dead but who will come to earth in power.
  • More widespread worldwide persecution of Christians than has ever happened previously (Jesus foretells an increase in persecution).
  • Huge problems with water sources, extreme weather, mass migration, starvation, conflict caused by global warming, pollution etc (which seems relevant to New Testament prophecies)
  • The possibility of sudden global economic collapse (foretold in the New Testament in the End Times).
  • Israel becoming more central to world affairs and the nations (particularly the UN) becoming more negative towards her (also prophesied in Scripture). There is also a growth in antisemitism.
  • (I might also refer to the serious concern that NASA etc., have about the possibility of a large asteroid or meteorite colliding with the earth which seems to relate to the prophecies about cosmic signs, even though some of the language may be symbolical).

 

See my Christian Teaching website for detailed teaching on eschatology in both a full version and a summary http://www.christianteaching.org.uk/eschatology.html.

 

I find no difficulty in seeing the relevance of all these issues to biblical prophecy about the End Times and I think this is justified by reasonable thinking, not naïve jumping to conclusions.

 

We are called to hasten the return of Christ by praying for revival

 

We have noted that the New Testament makes it clear that we are not to ignore the “signs of the End.” Nor are we, as some do, just to be excited by the subject. We are to “look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:12). The apparent delay in the coming of the day of God is because God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Similarly, in Acts 3:19-20, Peter says: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.” Hence in the predominantly eschatological Book of Revelation Jesus called the church not just to take an interest in the End Times but to come to repentance (Rev 2-3).

 

So praying for Revival (alongside evangelism and living “holy and godly lives”) is a very important way of speeding the coming of the day of God, the return of Christ.

 

What Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost is very significant:

“This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:16-21).

 

He uses the term “the last days” and we need to remember that the last days began at the time of Jesus’ first coming. When we use the term we often mean “the end of the last days.” But Joel’s prophecy about the outpouring of the Spirit is definitely related to “the end of the last days” or what we call the End Times. It is associated with cosmic signs of the End e.g. by Jesus in Mark 13:25 and Luke 21:25. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that there will be a major outpouring of the Spirit (Revival) in the End Times.

 

Some Christians who are interested in eschatology focus on doom and gloom and almost seem to be excited about it. Others are fascinated by eschatology but it doesn’t affect their lives or motivate them to greater obedience and witness. But if we are truly eschatological we will seek to do something positive in the light of the doom and gloom, including living holy lives, doing evangelism, but also praying and preparing for revival, which is much more far reaching, in terms of the numbers affected, than our evangelism. In that way, we will be speeding the return of Christ.

 

When the Lord spoke to Patricia (my wife) and me about Revival he seemed to be underlining Luke 1:17 “Make ready a people prepared for the Lord” which was John the Baptist’s calling. And that is an excellent motive for prayer and preparation for Revival. We are praying for the formation of a people prepared for the Lord – a more numerous people than can be achieved by evangelism (although evangelism remains an important priority).

 

So, by the grace of God, we are seeking to hasten the return of the Lord by making ready a people prepared for the Lord through Revival.

 

However we are also seeking to have a positive impact on society and the world by praying and preparing for Revival. It is a historical fact that the Wesleyan Revival had a profound positive effect on 18th century society which previously was described as a spiritual and moral quagmire. How we need that again.

Conclusion

 

Prayer and preparation for Revival is properly related to eschatology. We Christians are not only called by God to
live in the light of the End Times and to take note of the “signs of the times.” We are also called to pray and prepare for Revival in order to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” for his return and to seek to counteract the negative “signs” in society and the world.
Tony Higton

 

[i] I am very aware of the justice issues in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. I was General Director of the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People and Rector of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem and had contact both with Jewish Israelis and Palestinians/Israeli Arabs. I have seen the conflict first hand (and heard the bombs going off). For years I have encouraged Christians (via a mailing list and website http://www.prayerforpeace.org.uk) to pray about the needs, pain and fears of both Israelis and the Palestinians. Both sides act wrongly at times. But we must not ignore Jesus’ prophecy about the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem (plus Old Testament prophecies on the issue) as a sign of the End Times.

It is interesting that the dangers secular scholars see as threatening the world or the survival of humanity are remarkably parallel to the dangers Jesus told us to take note of as reminders of his return. I regularly stress that these events are not to be regarded as signs of Jesus’ imminent return but as reminders that he is coming back.

Jesus spoke of earthquakes, war, famine, disease etc. He also mentioned “stars falling from the sky.” Dr Seth Baum, founder of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, a secular organisation, lists various “Catastrophic Threats to Humanity :

Environmental change: climate change, biodiversity loss, biogeochemical flows (interference with the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles), stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, global fresh water use, land use change, chemical pollution, and atmospheric aerosol loading.

Emerging technologies: artificial intelligence (robots and intelligent computers), biotechnology (genetic manipulation), geoengineering (climate engineering), and nanotechnology for atomically precise manufacturing.

Large-scale violence.

Pandemics: Pandemics can be of natural or artificial origin, or both.

Natural disasters: asteroid and comet impacts, supervolcano eruptions, solar storms, and gamma ray bursts from the sun. (He also mentions the very long-term issues of the gradual warming of the Sun, which will ultimately make Earth uninhabitable for humanity in a few billion years and the Milky Way collision with the Andromeda Galaxy)

Physics experiments: This includes high energy particle physics experiments such as at the CERN Large Hadron Collider going wrong.

Extraterrestrial encounter.

Let us examine some of these concerns:

Asteroid strikes

There is considerable interest in the danger of a devastating asteroid strike on Earth. The world’s first Asteroid Day was held on 30th June 2015, the anniversary of the “The Tunguska Event” when an asteroid destroyed thousands of square miles of forest in Siberia on 30th June 1908.

Some 150,000 asteroids have been registered but there are many more. Some are about a mile in diameter and, if they impacted Earth they could destroy civilisation. It is not just the impact damage but the ensuing serious weather changes and starvation. Asteroids only 450 feet across could cause severe regional damage.

In September 2014 an asteroid the size of a house came within 25,000 miles of Earth. In August 2027 an asteroid 0.6 miles across could approach within 19,000 miles.

Paul Cox, technical and research director of the Slooh Space Telescope in the Canary Islands, commented: “We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids – sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth. We need to find them before they find us!”

One of his colleagues, Dr Bob Berman said: “On a practical level, a previously unknown, undiscovered asteroid seems to hit our planet and cause damage or injury once a century or so, as we witnessed on 30 June 1908 and 15 February 2013 [The Chelyabinsk meteor which entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia].”

Global warming

Scientists have reported that the first half of 2015 was the hottest since records began. June was the fourth month of the year to break a temperature record. The average June temperature across the world was 61.48°F, 0.22°F higher than the record temperature last year. Earth has broken monthly heat records 25 times since the year 2000 but hasn’t broken a monthly cold record since 1916.

The reduction in Arctic ice is an indicator of global warming. From 2010 it reduced by 14% but in 2013 it increased by 41%. Those sceptical about global warming seize on this as proof global warming isn’t happening. But scientists respond that there are occasional cold years, but they don’t alter the fact that overall the temperature is rising. In fact, they point out that the temperature in 2013 would have been considered normal in the 1990s but since then, with global warming, has become below normal. The melting trend resumed in 2014.

The sun’s activity (processes which produce heat) vary over a cycle of 10-12 years and some scientists are predicting that solar activity will fall by 60% between 2030 and 2040 causing a “mini ice age.” However, as on previous occasions, this will be a temporary reduction and won’t affect the overall warming of the earth.

Pope Francis has produced an encyclical about the problem of global warming. He refers to the earth as a sister who “cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irre¬sponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.” He adds that “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system… Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.” He expresses particular concern for the poor who will face the worst consequences of global warming. He warns that the results of global warming could cause wars. He writes: “Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth.”

Johan Rockström is an internationally recognised expert on global sustainability who teaches natural resource management at Stockholm University. In January 2105 he wrote a paper in the Science journal about the damage humans have done to the environment in which he said that in order to keep the earth hospitable :

• We should keep carbon dioxide levels to less than 350ppm (parts per million) but the level reached 400ppm in March 2015.

• We should maintain 90% of biodiversity (variety of plants and animals) but it has dropped to 84% in parts of the world such as Africa.

• We should limit the addition of phosphorous, nitrogen, etc., to crops to 11 trillion grams of phosphorus and 62 trillion grams of nitrogen but we are adding some 22 trillion grams of phosphorus and 150 trillion grams of nitrogen.

• We should maintain 75% of the earth’s forests but the level is down to 62%.

• We should limit the emission of aerosols (which affect climate change and organisms) into the atmosphere to a technical level of 0.25 but it is up to 0.30 over S Asia.
Global warming is a major factor in various negative developments in the natural world:

• Large areas of the Atlantic Ocean, up to 100 miles long, are no longer able to sustain any animal life.

• We are producing the same amount of carbon dioxide as occurred in the Permian Era when ocean acidification led to a mass extinction not only of sea creatures but of some terrestrial life forms and forests. Prof Rachel Wood of Edinburgh University said: “The data is compelling and we really should be worried in terms of what is happening today.”

• Water shortage around the world is causing hardship, violence and political tension because 50% of the world’s water is transnational, i.e. flows across national boundaries. Thousands of rivers have disappeared. As the world population has tripled in the last century, water demand has increased sixfold. The UN’s recent annual World Water Development report predicts demand will increase by 55% by 2050 and if usage remains as now the world will only have 60% of the water it needs by 2030. This could lead to crop failure, ecosystem breakdown, an increase in disease and poverty, violent conflicts and industry breakdown.

• A report in the journal Nature Climate Change says that heatwaves that previously occurred once every three years are now happening every 200 days due to global warming.

• It is true that there has been a dramatic growth in plant cover around the world in the last decade, including through a major tree-planting campaign in China and natural growth in grasslands and non-tropical forests in former Soviet States, Africa and Australia because of heavy rainfall and abandoned farms. However the problem is that the extra carbon being stored by this additional vegetation is only 7% of the 60 billion tonnes of carbon which has been emitted into the atmosphere during the same period. The remainder will stay in the atmosphere.

The Pew Research Center published its “Global Threats Report” in July 2015 which revealed that the majority of people in Latin America and Africa (19 out of 40 nations surveyed) regard global warming as the worst threat facing the world. Many people in Asia also regarded it as a big threat. (By comparison, Europe and the Middle East regard ISIS as the top threat).

Nuclear accidents

The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created a symbolic clock which represents a countdown to a global catastrophe. In January 2015 the clock was advanced to three minutes to midnight, the closest it has been since 1987 during the Cold War. The scientists concerned warn of the risk of global warming and nuclear accidents. Since 2009 all nuclear powers are expanding nuclear reactors and weapons programmes. The West hopes that the Iranians will not develop nuclear weapons but others, especially the Israelis, do not expect them to keep their word, which is hardly an irrational fear, despite all the precautions. North Korea has nuclear weapons, as does Pakistan. The Saudi Arabians are speaking of the possibility of obtaining nuclear weapons because of their fear of the Iranians. Many people are worried that terrorists will get hold of nuclear devices.

Volcanoes

Bill McGuire, Professor emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London has recently written a book on how climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. He says: “We ignore volcanic threats at our peril.” He described how the eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia in 1815 produced pumice which clogged shipping routes for years and created a thick covering some 300 miles away. It also produced a sulphurous fog over eastern N America and Europe which reduced summer temperatures by 2 degrees centigrade, incessant rain and very powerful storms. This led to harvest failure and famine, causing disease and death on a large scale. If such an event were to happen now the effects on our interconnected world markets could lead to a collapse of food production.

Much larger eruptions in the past have produced hundreds of times more sulphur and volcanic winters lasting for years with one third of the Earth covered in ice and snow. The Yellowstone supervolcano in America is thought to be overdue for a major eruption. It is possible it could produce so much sulphur dioxide that it could block the sun for 5-6 years causing worldwide famine and even an end to civilisation.

Global warming will affect ice-covered volcanoes, facilitating eruptions.

Conclusion

The Lord wants us to take notice of all these things as reminders that he is returning to bring a transformation of nature and of human nature. But he also wants us to pray about them and the people affected or likely to be affected by them.

UPDATED 17th August 2013

 

“RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE LESS INTELLIGENT THAN ATHEISTS”

 

So claims a recent research report. Most intelligent people will conclude that this is self-evidently untrue. Dr. Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent is an atheist and he thinks the report is invalid. He calls it “‘scientism’ at its worst.” He points out that comparing the intelligence of different groups is very difficult. He adds:

“At most what the majority of papers reviewed in this analysis show is that because smart people spend more time in education and because high schools and especially universities tend to be secular institutions they will produce proportionally more atheists people than those who drop out. Secularism and atheism is part of the cultural script of higher education to which a significant minority readily conform.”

 

He goes on to point out that the report is significantly motivated by anti-religious prejudice and

concludes: “I don’t think that atheism can be equated with intelligence any more than religion with stupidity. Why? Because the experience of life shows that the ranks of atheists have their fair share of idiots.”

See http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/frank-furedi-8192062.html

 

QUEEN’S SPEECH ON NUCLEAR WAR HAVING BROKEN OUT

 

Under the 30-year rule, a draft Queen’s speech from 1983 which would have been broadcast if nuclear war broke out, has been published.  The speech said:

“Now, this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds …. Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me. But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all, the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength.  My husband and I share with families up and down the land the fear we feel for sons and daughters, husbands and brothers who have left our side to serve their country …. As we strive together to fight off the new evil, let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be. God Bless you all.”

My comment is: “Don’t throw the speech away. The terrorists and rogue states could still use nuclear weapons. ‘You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.’” (Matt 24:6). 

 

ARCTIC METHANE CATASTROPHE

Recently I posted a piece which I related to Matthew 24 on the alarming quantities of Methane being released from the Arctic (due to global warming) which, if it continues will cause catastrophic damage in terms of extreme weather, damaging rise in sea level and spreading of deserts.  Inevitably some people have criticised the Report, saying it won’t have catastrophic results. If you’re interested see the article “Arctic methane catastrophe scenario is based on new empirical observations” in The Guardian which states that these criticisms are based on outdated assumptions. Methane levels are at unanticipated record highs. Prof Peter Wadhams, head of Polar ocean physics at Cambridge University said critics were unaware of unique and unprecedented factors. See http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/31/artic-methane-catastrophe-empirical-evidence

AN OPEN LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP TUTU

Dear Archbishop Tutu, I respect you for all you have done to promote racial justice and equality. I also agree with you that homosexuals, as people, should be treated with respect. However I want to ask a few questions about your comments that you wouldn’t want to worship a homophobic God and would prefer to go to hell rather than a homophobic heaven.

Question 1: Are you aware that the word “homophobic” is an irritating propaganda word meaning “fear of homosexuals”? The God of the Bible clearly disapproves of gay sex, but surely you do not mean he is homophobic by that definition.

Question 2: Since the God of the Bible clearly disapproves of gay sex, are you really saying he must change his mind in order to have Desmond Tutu worship him and be with him in heaven?

Question 3: Since Hell means eternal separation from God how can you possibly say you would prefer to go there. Don’t you feel you should take hell more seriously, especially as you have a lot of influence over many people?

WILL JESUS RETURN BY 2070?

 

A YouGov/Times poll has just found that only 4% of Britons believe Jesus will return to earth by 2070. This is similar to another YouGov poll in 2010 which found that only 5% of Britons believe the Second Coming would happen before 2050.

However more do believe there will be another world war (28%), there will be a major terrorist attack in the UK involving a nuclear weapon (28%) and that an asteroid will hit earth causing massive loss of life (9%). If they happen, these would all be what Jesus calls “the beginning of birth pains” of the Messiah.

 

Belief that Jesus would return by 2070 came at the bottom of a list of 39 results which also included:

 

The world will face a major energy crisis        71%

China will overtake the United States as the world’s main superpower            59%

Astronauts will land on Mars   48%

We will find evidence of life elsewhere in the universe          42%

The member states of European Union will become one unified country        20%

We will make contact with alien life    15%

The British Monarchy will be abolished          14%

Jesus Christ will return to earth            4%

 

We don’t know when Jesus will return but we should be looking forward to it and speeding its coming (2 Peter3:12). These statistics could encourage people to ignore it.

ISRAEL PROVIDES HOSPITAL TREATMENT FOR INJURED SYRIANS

 

You will probably know that, after years working in Israel, I am deeply concerned about the needs, pain and fears of both Israelis and Palestinians and seek to facilitate informed prayer for them. I am a critical friend of Israel, in the sense that I am concerned about her faults, for her own sake as well as the sake of the Palestinians. One example is the current discussion in Israel about expanding the West Bank settlements, just after the peace talks have re-started.

 

However, Israel gets a bad press and some Christians seem unable to say anything positive about her. In the light of that, how about 13-year-old Zeinah, a Syrian girl, injured in a blast? She regained consciousness in an Israeli hospital. Over 100 injured people, including children, have been transferred to Israeli hospitals for treatment since February 2013. The transportation back and forth is done in complete secrecy – when the patients arrive not even the doctors know much about them, sometimes not even their name or age.

An Israeli doctor commented: “For the Syrians, we are monsters. On this side of the border, there are monster- Jews. You probably saw some of the propaganda – of Jews cutting pieces of Arabs and eating them, all the blood and stuff. So they grew up on this feeling and their anxiety is even greater, especially if they arrive alone. It’s really heartbreaking to see.”

However Zeinah commented: “Everyone is worried about me and is helping. But I miss my parents and siblings, friends and my country. These doctors saved my life; if I was not cared for, I would not be alive right now.”

In June, one patient arrived with a handwritten note in Arabic from a Syrian doctor asking his Israeli counterparts to save the patient’s life, outlining the previous medical care the injured man had received and thanking the doctors for the help.

 

See the (secular) report in http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/i-lost-consciousness-in-the-blast-when-i-woke-up-i-was-in-a-hospital-in-israel-casualties-of-syrias-war-find-salvation-in-an-unlikely-place-8752933.html