Christian Community Examines Middle East Conflict From Biblical Perspective - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/23/06-Tyler

Christian Community Examines Middle East Conflict From Biblical Perspective

Pastor Dale Perry reminds his congregation of Israel's ancient struggle against oppression.

"Folks, ever since Israel became a nation, they have been in trevail. They have been in pain. They have had a struggle," Perry says from the pulpit.

Whether you're talking about the Greeks, the Romans, Stalin, or Hitler, the country that gave birth to Christianity has been under fire for centuries; most recently by radical groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Perry continues, "They keep sending bombers over there [Israel] that will walk into their restaurants and blow themselves up, and we wonder how in the world they can do that? It's because they hate Israel."

Perry believes that hatred is the devil's way of destroying the birthplace of Jesus and the Jews living there who are God's chosen people. He also believes God will win out in the end.

"Is Israel going to be annihilated and shoved into the Mediterranean as most of those radical groups want them to be? No. God will protect them, and god will protect me as one of his children," Perry said.

Many Christians believe when Israel became a recognized nation in 1948 the countdown to the 2nd coming of Christ began. Matthew chapter 26 is the reference.

"He says all the events that take place in the regathering of the nation Israel... he said watch that, because he says it will be during that generation that you will see my [Jesus] return," says Perry.

As tensions continue to escalate in the Middle East, many Christians are convinced the rapture is nearing and that Christians will soon be reunited in heaven.  Pastor Dale says until that day, there is a spiritual lesson to be learned in watching the Middle East conflict.

Perry explains, "I believe people become afraid of 'What's this world coming to,' and 'What's happening?' And all God is doing is trying to get our attention to help us realize that He is in control."

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com 

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