Two Sundays ago, I preached a message on the Antichrist. Last weekend, I read news articles that describe alignments taking place to prepare for his coming.
To be clear, I don’t know who the Antichrist is, nor would I try to guess. I also do not know when he will be revealed as such or when he will set up his one-world government. But at a rate that is unprecedented in my lifetime, I do see the world moving toward a global government, and I do see people and powers aligning for acceptance of his coming offers to bring peace.
For instance, just this past Friday, an article published by Fox Business reported that employees from Amazon, Google, and Apple voiced public support for Palestinians, calling on their respective employers to do the same.
Two days earlier, another article carried the headline “Black Lives Matter ‘stands in solidarity’ with Palestinians, vows to fight for ‘Palestinian liberation.’”
I think it’s important to point out that God loves Israelis and Palestinians, that Jesus died for all, and that all need salvation through Christ. I am grateful for missionaries in the Middle East who make no distinction between the groups in terms of compassionate gospel outreach. Every godly Christian cares for the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis and longs to see both come to faith in Christ.
On a political level, however, the recent battles in Gaza have not been between Israel and a legitimate government known as “Palestinians.” The recent battles have been Israel defending itself against terrorist attacks from Hamas. So when people in the context of this moment say that they are speaking out in solidarity with “Palestinians,” it is in reality in solidarity with Hamas.
For that reason, it is significant that BLM and large groups of employees from some of the biggest companies in cooperate America are siding with terrorists against Israel. This is not something I would have pictured happening even ten years ago. Standing in support of Hamas only increases antisemitism—in the Middle East and here in America.
I’m grateful for the recent ceasefire, and I’m grateful that President Biden (finally) condemned the recent attacks on the Jewish community. But the reality remains that the United States—once one of Israel’s most outspoken allies—has offered less vocal support for Israel recently, and large numbers of Americans are seeming more eager to support terrorists than Israel.
Students of Bible prophecy know that when the Antichrist comes onto the scene, he will not only set up a one-world government, but he will create a peace treaty with Israel.
Both of the passages below speak of the Antichrist. The first tells how ten world powers will give their allegiance to a one-world leader. And the second describes how this leader will establish a seven-year (one “week” of years) peace treaty with Israel but then break the treaty three and a half years in.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.—Revelation 17:12–13
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.—Daniel 9:27
There are aspects of these prophesies that seem unlikely—even unbelievable. How could it be that world powers would be willing to give up their authority to a one-world leader? And how could this leader consolidate power in such a way that Israel is given freedom to exist as a nation and to worship?
Truly, either one of these feats would have been almost unimaginable in recent decades. But now, we see major nations more open to surrendering sovereignty to global forms of control. And we see a renewed need for peace in the Middle East. For these reasons, it seems to me that modern-day resistance groups, corporations, and terrorists are all aligning, unknowingly, to hasten the rise of the Antichrist.
(I wrote in much greater detail about the rise of the Antichrist and the prophetic focus on Israel as well as the timing of the Rapture and Tribulation in the book Understanding the Times. The updated edition, published last month, includes recently-developing events. It is available in both paperback and kindle editions.)
What does this mean for Christians?
Politically and relationally, it means we should in this current moment resist the growing antisemitism around us. Terrorism is wrong in any part of the world, and while we should care for people in need (including Palestinian and Israeli citizens suffering because of the ongoing conflicts), we should not pretend that Hamas is anything other than a terrorist organization.
And personally—individually—these events mean we should look with renewed anticipation for the return of Christ. I believe the Bible teaches a pre-tribulation Rapture, which means that those of us who know Christ will be with Him in Heaven during the Antichrist’s reign. So if the world is aligning to hasten the rise of the Antichrist, it means the Rapture is nearer as well.
The apostle Paul seemed to believe Christ would come and rapture the church in his lifetime (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17). I hope He comes in mine.
But as much as I long for Christ’s return, I don’t want to waste the days He has given me but want to use them to declare the gospel. The fact is that there is a world in need of a Savior, and God has entrusted to you and me the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–19). We must share it.
As we see prophetic events unfolding, may it challenge us to a greater urgency in sharing the message of salvation.As we see prophetic events unfolding, may it challenge us to a greater urgency in sharing the message of salvation. Click To Tweet
Who would you share the gospel with today if you knew for certain that Christ would return this evening?
Why not share the gospel with that person today?