Pin the Tail on the Antichrist
What a time in history we live in. Communication and access to so much is immediate. We have social media, instant news, up-to-the-minute information about things happening around the world at our fingertips.
These can be good things. On the flipside though, they can - because of the volume of information available to us - give us some stuff that is not worth reading or paying attention to.
This is true even within the Christian world. There are good things that we can read and listen to. There are other things that require a discerning ear and eye, of which no doubt you would agree.
One such area of interest is regarding the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are prophecies found in Scripture that are being fulfilled today, and a number yet to be fulfilled in the future. As each calendar day passes we get closer to the return of Jesus.
Prophecy is one of those areas that I believe we need to use discernment. There are many ministries that are dedicated to covering end times events and teaching what Scripture says about them. Some of those ministries are solid and Biblically-based, well-balanced in their approach to looking at what is happening in the world around us. I know of some and you probably do also. I have learned of one over the last couple of years that I had not heard of that takes a solid approach to looking at the Bible and future events.
Others, though, have a tendency to try to “read into” the Bible all kinds of thought, from the time of Christ’s return to naming the anti-Christ to hidden prophecies in Scripture that for some reason no one had been able to find until someone, in a book or on the radio, “discovered” them and brought them to our attention.
Here is one of the latest dates regarding the return of Christ – April 23, 2018 is being promoted as the time of the Lord’s return, when He takes believers to heaven. Reading into Rev. 12:1-6 and other passages of Scripture, and misreading and abusing Biblical texts, etc., the main proponent of this, David Meade, has set next Monday as the day.
Others believe that since this is the 70-year anniversary of Israel there may be prophetic inferences tied to this. That might be, but it might not be. A few passages I have read that are used by some to focus on this special year (Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2-3), when taken in context where they are found in the Bible, have nothing to do with the rapture or the end of the world.
The fact is, Christ can return at any time. We know that from Scripture. But we have to be discerning when we hear people promoting their viewpoints.
A number of years ago a book came out, “Hidden Prophecies In The Psalms”, that made all kinds of prophetic claims, unlocking historical events that were supposedly hidden throughout the book of Psalms. Bible scholars debunked the claims of that book that tied each Psalm to various years of the past century, yet some Christians bought into it.
The same has been true regarding who the Antichrist would be. One of the newest theories is that it might be a Muslim. I personally do not believe that. I think it is either a Jew or a Gentile who rises out of what we might call the “Revived Roman Empire”, whatever that will look like (Dan. 7:7-9, 19-27, as examples of passages referring to this future world ruler).
Nobody of Jewish blood will follow a Muslim, at least in my humble opinion. One ministry that deals with end times prophecy makes an interesting point. We know that our spiritual enemy does not know when Christ is going to return so the thought is that there may be someone on earth at each period of time, such as each decade or so, that could rise up to fill the role of the Antichrist, because the return of Christ is a mystery. I have no problem with that thinking because, well, we don’t know all the behind-the-scenes stuff going on and God is the One Who will send the Son back.
Over the years, there have been many different individuals touted as the Antichrist. Some have been religious leaders, others political giants. From Ronald Wilson Reagan (because his first, middle, and last names have six letters, thus 666), to Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and on and on, guesses have been made regarding who the Antichrist might be.
To be honest, I have no idea. 2 Thess. 2:2-12 speaks to this future world ruler, and there will be a time when he will be revealed. There is much to know from Scripture regarding what we call “end times” theology but I would encourage us to be discerning and always check out from a Scriptural perspective what someone is saying, especially if they are quoting the Bible to back up their claims.
Christ is coming back some day. It may be today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. We don’t know. But as one college professor told us in class one day, “live like Christ were coming back today, and live as if He were not returning for ten years.” For a Christian it should not matter. We are to live a life that honors God. God bless.