While some have suggested the upcoming Great American Eclipse could be a sign of God's impending judgment on the U.S., Greg Laurie, senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, says that may not necessarily be the case.
"For me personally, I am not attaching any great significance to a solar eclipse," he told the Christian Post. "There are many signs that Jesus told us to look for that would alert us to the fact that His coming is near."
He added, "The fact is, those signs are all around us. Only a fool would ignore the writing on the wall. As far as the solar eclipse goes, I personally don't attach any great significance to that in particular."
As earlier reported, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, recently warned that the August 21 eclipse could be a sign that God's severe judgment is soon coming on America.
In a blog post titled "Is God's Judgment Coming on America?" Lotz first quoted Joel 2:31 - "The sun will be turned to darkness...before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. "
"A few years ago I was teaching through the book of Joel when the ancient words of his prophecy came up off the page," she said. "I knew with hair-raising certainty that God's severe judgment was coming on America! I have taught Joel several times since. Each time has served to confirm with deep conviction that God is warning America of impending disaster and destruction."
The evangelist explained that she felt "compelled to issue the warning once again."
"The warning is triggered by the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, nicknamed America's Eclipse. For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be seen from coast to coast in our nation," she wrote. "People are preparing to mark this significant event with viewing parties at exclusive prime sites. The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate."
While Belshazzar and his friends partied and had a good time, "they were oblivious to the impending danger," said Lotz.
"Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed," she said, explaining that Jewish rabbis have traditionally seen solar eclipses as "warnings from God to Gentile nations."
"Therefore, my perspective on the upcoming phenomenon is not celebratory," Lotz wrote. "While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is."
Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the "Blood Moons" phenomenon, also suggested the upcoming eclipse could be a direct warning to the United States.
"From a biblical point of view, a solar eclipse is meant as a sign from God," Biltz told WND. "In Genesis 1:14, God declared this to be so. It is a sign that is beyond man's control, something he can't manipulate. Solar eclipses become biblically and prophetically significant and relevant when man understands their timing according to the biblical calendar and where they happen. Then we look for the patterns.
"As the sun is larger than the moon, the sun represents the nations of the world and the moon represents the nation of Israel, as their calendar months are based on the cycle of the moon while the nations of the world follow the sun for their calendar. When there is a total solar eclipse, it is a warning to a specific nation or nations depending on its path."