The Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, believes the escalating in crisis in the Middle East may be a sign of the end times.
In an article titled "Is the World Coming Apart in Seams?" Graham recounts the extreme persecution facing Christians around the world, stating that "there seems to be no end to the bad news."
"The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings," wrote Graham.
"Christians tortured, beheaded, and crucified in Iraq, with villages burned and churches destroyed, and much the same in Syria."
Graham references the "signs of the end of the age" documented by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, including "wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence."
"As I read the news, I can't help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son," wrote Graham.
"I don't know if we have hours, days, months, or years - but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth."
Graham also cites on the rapid spread of Ebola, which has killed over 1,900 people in four Western African countries and infected three American missionaries.
"We have seen firsthand the pestilence of Ebola. This year the virus has already claimed the lives of over 1,000, making it the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. A medical doctor serving with Samaritan's Purse in Liberia was infected with this deadly virus, but through the prayers of many righteous, God spared his life. All this reminds me of the urgency of preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity. Jesus tells us, "As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work" (John 9:4, NIV)."