The antichrist! It's a thing. It's not something we like to think about that much but it definitely is becoming more and more a reality. So, we have no cause to be afraid and we need to equip ourselves with knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and prepare ourselves to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
Jesus told us that we would have tribulation (John 16:33). It’s part of what we go through in life as Christians. But there is a specific time period that has become known as the great tribulation. Jesus' own words say it will be the most difficult period for humanity. It will last three and half years. During this time the antichrist is reigning the world and it’s a period of severe persecution against the church. It culminates with Armageddon. That’s a very quick overview of the Great Tribulation!
We see much of what the bible talks about in today's society. One example is in Brussels, where a controversial image is used by the EU. The statue of Europa depicts a woman riding a beast. Revelation 17 describes a woman riding a beast, also known as the prostitute 'Babylon', with whom the "kings of the earth" commit adultery and who intoxicates the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 17:1-2).
This image has also appeared on various Euro coins and postage stamps. In Revelation this woman is an archetype of those who war against God's people: "I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus" (Revelation 17:6).
So what does the Bible actually say about the Great Tribulation and the antichrist? Not many churches and/or preachers go into real detail with this subject. Over the next weeks we will discuss what these things look like and how we can best be prepared. Whatever you believe about the rapture, it's worth studying this out because, quite simply, it's in the Bible! Today, we’re going to see what the Bible says about the one called 'the antichrist'. Fasten your seatbelts!
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
The antichrist is going to magnify himself above all others.
Paul tells us the same thing in 2 Thessalonians 1:2-4:
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
This antichrist will require everyone to worship him. The man of sin, the wicked one, the beast, the anti-christ is ultimately a man possessed by satan and will lead the world in rebellion against God. What else can we tell from scripture? He’s full of blasphemy and opposes all worship of the True God. He opposes everything godly.
Daniel 11:36 and Revelation 13 and 17 describe the antichrist as a liar and a blasphemous beast among other things. It says a mouth is given to the beast and he opens his mouth in blasphemy. The antichrist basically hates God and openly reviles God. The point we want to make today is that the beginning of this is already being seen around the world.
Think back just 50 years ago, particularly in America, but in much of Europe too. Most people claimed to be ‘Christian’. It was a ‘Christian country’ right? No one would dare to speak against or defame Christianity. In England, a ‘vicar’ was a very highly respected position that carried great weight and respect in the community. Not so today. Why? Because the political forces at work recognise Christianity as the main enemy of their one world government philosophy, among other things. It’s a fight against godly principles and lifestyles that has driven a clear agenda to where we now see all sorts of ungodliness, disrespect for Christians and Christianity and the move to abolish Christianity from society happening around the world. This is the spirit of the antichrist.
Another aspect of the antichrist is that he exults himself above all and requires all to worship him. What is that going to look like? Well, we’re out of time this week and will pick up on that next time!
Needless to say, this is pretty heavy stuff. But it’s important, as we discussed at the beginning of this series, that we study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
So, some more great Bible passages for your own study on this subject are:
1 Thessalonians 4
1 Corinthians 15
Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is doing a mighty work in you and the Holy Spirit is ready to lead you into wisdom and truth.
We pray you have a blessed week church,
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