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Experts: Probability of Middle East War Has Risen Significantly; Factors That Could Cause It To Explode Further! 

There are a lot of crazy stories being circulated today in the world of Bible prophecy. I won't get into them because the divide is as wide as the differences between pre-and post-tribulation period rapture theories. I've always said common sense Bible teaching is simply not enough to convince post-tribulationalists to turn from their errant ways.

However, along those same lines, there are many in the prophetic world (pre-trib.) who just know the Middle East is weeks away from exploding into a molten fireball followed by the rapture of the church.  

Certainly, anything could happen, but the Bible is clear that the rapture will take place on an ordinary day with ordinary everyday event's taking place. I look for the rapture to take place at any moment...even today.  And yes, the Biblical wars described for the end-times will take place in time. We Christians may even be here to witness firsthand some of them take place.

With that said, what are the experts saying about the prospects of the Middle East exploding into war?  This is what a recent article (July 19, 2012) from The National Interest had to say about the probability of war with Iran:

The closest things we have to consensus views on the likelihood of war breaking out with Iran rate such a war as unlikely in the near term, in the sense of a less-than-even chance. The most recent (i.e., last month) iteration of a poll of twenty-two experts done for The Atlantic (I am one of the “experts”) yielded an average probability for either the United States or Israel attacking Iran in the next year of 36 percent. Turning to those who put their money where their prognostications are, participants in the online prediction market Intrade currently rate the chance of a U.S. or Israeli airstrike against Iran sometime before the end of 2012 as about 33 percent. The most likely outcome of a situation, however, is not the only outcome we should worry about, and we should especially worry about outcomes that, although less likely, would be especially damaging to our interests. A former vice president of the United States once said that even if there were only a 1 percent chance of a really bad thing happening, we need to work to prevent it from happening. He was wrong in his dismissive approach toward probabilities. But the 33–36 percent range represents far more likelihood than 1 percent, and war with Iran would be a really bad thing for the United States (The National Interest).

The article goes on to say that there are a number of factors that could bring the region to war even if the powers that be are trying to avoid it. It should also be mentioned that the likelihood of war back in late June was only 20%.  Here is one of the more telling factors that could bring war.

Another factor is the chance of an accidental altercation involving U.S. and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. That chance increases as the United States beefs up its naval forces in the Gulf with an additional aircraft carrier and conducts additional exercises there. U.S. naval officers have reported that insofar as they have communications with Iranian counterparts at sea, the latter appear to behave professionally and do not seem to be looking for a confrontation. But the more military activity there is in the area, the greater is the risk of an incident that stems from nervousness or faulty communication (or even intentional action by a hot-headed low-level Revolutionary Guard commander) and then spins out of control (The National Interest).

Time will tell how this Middle East Arab Spring will finally play out.  Although Syrian President Basher al-Assad is still in power, his days may be numbered. However, it is unlikely he will be forced out of power within the next few weeks. The Syrian war machine is a very powerful military force that will not be easily defeated. The most likely scenario will be a continued snowball effect of defections from key individuals from both the military and Assad's inner circle. If this continues to accelerate, Assad may be be forced to abandon his throne sooner than later.

But that isn't Israel's, the US's or Russia's primary concern. Yes, I said Russia! They all have a worried interest in where and whose hands Syria's chemical weapons stores ultimately end up in. It would be Russia's worst nightmare if Chechen rebels, whom they've been battling for years, were to gain access to these WMDs.  Frankly, all three have a vital interest in maintaining the status quo, but if that's not possible, they will need to work together to ensure that these weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.

But getting back to a Middle East that is about to explode. Yes, it's coming, and when it does, this world will dramatically change forever.

Are you ready to meet the Lord?  If not, your time is running out!

Terry Malone

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Home Page                                                                   Last Updated July 23, 2012 

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