Pastor Greg Laurie tackled Revelations 6-19 last week and told the congregation of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California that these are the last days.
"We are living in the last days and, yes, the worst is yet to come," he said. "We have never been closer historically to seeing these events play out in real time before our very eyes than we are at this moment."
He first mentioned how common terror attacks are now that they don't really come as a shock anymore. There's the issue of global economy and instability, and therefore, fear. Citing scientists and Nobel Laureates, he discussed the metaphorical "Doomday Clock," which puts the probability of a nuclear apocalypse to just three minutes. (The possibility countdown was five minutes to midnight in 2012 -- midnight representing the time of doom -- 17 minutes in 1991, and seven minutes in 1947 during its inception.)
Laurie read the Biblical passage, "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be when the Son of Man comes." The current times is similar to that before the great flood, which was filled with violence and killing, and he said it's going to get worse -- the antichrist is going to rise.
He discussed the showdown between Iran and Israel that the Bible predicted. The scenario, Laurie said, is in Ezekiel 37 and 38, wherein a large force comes from the north, named Magog, that attacks Israel.
"One of the allies of Magog is identified as Persia, which is the name of Iran until fairly recently," he said.
He said these are the signs of the end times. After quoting evangelist Billy Graham's book titled "Approaching Hoofbeats: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," wherein Graham said he could hear the hoofbeats of the horses growing louder, Laurie said the sound is thundering now after the events that happened since the book was published in 1983. Among the things he enumerated are the computer age with the rise of global access to information, militant Islam emerging as the world's most dangerous force, escalating violence in the Middle East, and the increasing isolation of Israel.
There will be 21 judgements to be unleashed on the world during the seven-year Tribulation period, he explained, and the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bulls describe a series of events that will happen. Revelation 6 gives an overview of these events that will take place during the end times.
Laurie said the the period will begin with the arrival of the antichrist -- a charismatic world leader who would come during an economically difficult time and will bring stability and world peace. For the pastor, the time is ripe for the antichrist to emerge.