On Aug. 21, the U.S. will experience its first total solar eclipse in nearly a century, and excitement about the celestial event is high.
But for some Christians, on that day when the moon eclipses the sun and darkness washes over the land for a few short minutes, it spells the beginning of the end - the start of an extremely tumultuous time within the Biblical apocalypse called the Great Tribulation.
To Christians like the group Unsealed, the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse is an end-times sign such as described in Acts 2:19, "I will show wonders in the heavens above" and Luke 21:25, "there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves.”
The eclipse is also surrounded by what many are calling other end-time signs such as the threat of World War III with the U.S. and NATO pitted against Russia, North Korea, Iran and China, as well as other conflicts such as China against India and India against Pakistan; 2017 being the year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar, which is the Year of the Sword; the four blood moon tetrads that took place in 2014 and 2015; what appears to be an increase in natural disasters such the record-breaking flooding that occurred globally in 2016 and record-breaking heat waves globally; and many are calling the biggest sign yet the upcoming Sept. 23 celestial event where the sun will be in the constellation Virgo along with the moon near Virgo’s feet, Jupiter will be in Virgo, while the planets Venus, Mars and Mercury will be above and to the right of Virgo in the constellation Leo. Some people are claiming that this celestial alignment is a once in history event that will fulfill the Revelation 12 prophecy.
Dr. Michael Altman, an assistant professor in The University of Alabama’s department of religious studies and a scholar of religion in American history and culture, is available in the weeks prior to the Aug. 21 eclipse to speak to the media about these signs in the sky and their possible implications.
Altman can be reached at email@example.com, 205-348-7223 (office), or 803-331-6285 (cell).