As the world watches the events unfolding between Russia and Ukraine and eschatologists question whether it is a significant event in biblical End Times prophecy, one Regent University dean says it is an opportunity for the Church to share the Gospel and pray for those who are suffering.
Many scholars point to Russia's actions against Ukraine as a precursor to events in Ezekiel 38, which describes several nations rising against Israel.
Dr. Corne Bekker, dean of Regent University's School of Divinity, agrees Russia's war on Ukraine may be a preface to this End Times event, but told CBN News' "The Prayerlink" that should not be the Church's focus.
"We have to remember what Jesus said. He said in Matthew 24 that you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, and about wars, but let your hearts not be troubled; this is not the end yet," Bekker said. "Then he goes on further and he says, ultimately this Kingdom... this Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations as a testimony to all people by God's grace, and then the end will come."
"Our focus must be on the proclamation of the Gospel," he added. "Widely throughout scripture we see God proclaim judgment and then God's people step in and pray for a reprieve. [They] pray for a time of peace, so more people can come to the Lord, and I think this is an opportunity for us."
Bekker believes prayer is powerful during times of crisis.
"The New Testament says that the prayer of one godly man can have a great effect," he explained. "At one point God says he is going to judge the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And yet, Abraham interceded. One man intercedes and God reprieves and he saves a family."
"Another example is Jonah the prophet," Bekker added. "He was sent to Ninevah, which is the capital of the Assyrian kingdom, an absolutely corrupt place. And God said I am going to destroy everyone. And this reluctant prophet in his obedience goes to proclaim the Word of the Lord. God saves that city for another 155 years."
"What a moment for us now to pray," he continued.
"The Apostle Paul says that prayer, supplication, intercessions be made for all people, especially those in authority," Bekker added, "so that all people can come to the saving knowledge of Christ. This is how we have to pray so that Russia and the Ukrainian folks can all come to the knowledge of Jesus."