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Is the Blood Moon on July 27 a prophetic sign?

President Yoweri Museveni was the chief viewer of the total solar eclipse in Pakwach town, Nebbi district in 2014. Photo by Faisal Kasirye

The highly anticipated celestial event, widely known as ‘blood moon’ will be visible from the large parts of Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, South America on July 27.
 
The eclipse – reportedly foretold by the Bible, will be observed in two parts, the first one being a total lunar eclipse that might last an hour and 43 minutes, according to lunar scientist Noah Petro, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, followed by a partial eclipse that would last a little more than an hour. 
 
This is said to be the longest total lunar eclipse of this century when the moon will be seen coloured in a reddish hue.  During this event, Planet Mars will be the closest it has to Earth in 15 years on the same night. 
 
There are passages in the Bible referring to the Blood Moon and some Christian believe it’s a sign of the Lord’s imminent return to the world, CBN News reports. 
 
So is the July 27 Blood Moon a sign from God about Jesus’ second coming?  According to US pastor Paul Begley, the combination of Mars at opposition and the Blood Moon is a direct sign from up above.
 
“July 27 is not the end of the world. I repeat it’s not the end of the world but certainly, the Bible says there will be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars,” he told local USA media. 
 
Instead, the pastor argued we are living in the end times and something of Biblical proportions is happening before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
 
The phenomenon is not safe to view with naked eyes. “Special filters are required to protect our eyes like those used for watching solar eclipses. One does not need a telescope to watch the eclipse, though a good pair of binoculars will enhance the experience,” experts have warned.  
 
“The next total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, will be only for one hour and two minutes because it will pass to the north of the shadow’s centre,” New Delhi Television Limited say. 
 
Got Questions.org notes, “References to a moon like ‘blood’ are found in two passages of the Bible. Joel 2:30–31 says, ‘I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’
 
“In Revelation 6:12, John describes one of the seal judgments of the Tribulation: ‘I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.’ Other passages refer to the moon being ‘darkened’ (Matthew 24:29; Joel 2:10).
 
Last August, astrophysicist and apologist Jeff Zweerink told The Christian Post that Christians should use celestial events as an opportunity to share the Gospel with nonbelievers. 
 
“God has made a pretty spectacular creation for us to live in,” said Zweerink, who’s a project scientist at UCLA and research scholar for the apologetics ministry Reasons to Believe.
 
These events, he said, gives Christians “an opportunity to talk to non-Christians about the Gospel and the Creation that God has made. And Creation is remarkably reliable,” he added. 
 
Naturally occurring phenomena can be predicted and talked about thousands of years into the future as well as in the past because of its reliability.
 
“That’s a very biblical principle,” Zweerink said. “God’s reliability in keeping His promises is likened to how Creation behaves.”

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