Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Antichrist is Coming

Not long after committing my life to the Lord in 1991, I developed an interest in end-time prophecy. One thing that helped me learn more about the subject was a series of films produced by Mark IV Pictures. The first of which was the 1972 release “A Thief in the Night.”

As I’ve become friends with Christians from different denominations, I found out about the varying beliefs out there on how end-time events will pan out. Among the doctrines I’ve heard taught is that we are either in the tribulation, it’s already happened, or there is no tribulation. Yet the Bible talks about a world ruler who will emerge before the return of Christ. Even non-believers know about this man called the Antichrist. 

1 John 2:22 says, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” The Greek word for antichrist is antichristos which means “the adversary of the Messiah.” Other verses in John’s epistles make it clear the Antichrist and the spirit of the antichrist are two separate entities...

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” - 1 John 2:18

“and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” - 1 John 4:3 

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” - 2 John 1:7

The Antichrist is referred to by other names in Scripture. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 calls him “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 identifies him as “the lawless one.” Many verses in Revelation refer to him as “the beast.” Among the most well known are in chapter 13 verses 16 and 17...

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The identity of the Antichrist won’t be revealed until he signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). Nevertheless, some Christians have tried pinning the tail on the Antichrist. One woman I know believes Barack Obama is the Antichrist. While I don’t agree with her assertion, I do agree some of the President’s policies such as ObamaCare are setting the stage for the Mark of the Beast system. There are reports that a microchip connected with this health care plan will someday be inserted in people’s right hand or forehead. As a “pre-trib” believer, I don’t expect to be around when the actual Mark of the Beast becomes mandatory. 

Regardless of your eschatological beliefs, I exhort you to focus on fulfilling the Great Commission instead of defending end-time doctrines that might differ from mine. Jesus said in Luke 19:13 (KJV), “Occupy till I come.” The only thing we can take with us to heaven is souls.

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” - Matthew 12:30

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