THE RIPENING TIMES

Even those who only have a nominal understanding of the Bible have heard faithful preachers warn that in the last days, shortly before Christ returns, there will appear on the world scene one known as the Antichrist. He will appear as the answer man who has the solutions to the world’s woes. There are those who contend believing in such a personage is straight out of mythology, an impossibility to ever occur, and all who hold to such a teaching are deluded fools. Then there  are others who contend the Bible is crystal clear in its teaching of such a personage who will arise out of turbulent times as “the answer man,” and the current conditions of the hour reveal that the prophetic clock is ticking ever closer to the Antichrist’s appearance. After almost fifty years of studying the Bible, you can include me in the latter category, and that being true it behooves one to prepare for Christ’s return. The Church has been deployed to sound the alarm.  And regardless of the role the current pandemic has in end times prophecy, the spread of the coronavirus should force you and I to ask, “Am I prepared for Christ’s return?”

The current pandemic and the confusion, death, and economic uncertainty it has brought worldwide is proof of how easy it will be for the Antichrist to ascend to power. Now I am by no means predicting this current crisis will usher in his appearing, but only underscoring how unproblematic  it will be for him to fill the vacuum brought on by a worldwide upheaval.  When “that day” arrives of his appearing it will be on the coattails of a global crisis, worldwide economic instability, lack of strong leadership among the nations, and worldwide confusion. He will tout himself as the “answer man” to the world’s excessive and hopeless problems.

The current worldwide pandemic and the chaos it has brought, is a clear sounding prelude to “that day” which will unfold. In “that day” the Antichrist will be embraced like a bride on her wedding day! Paul Henri-Spaak (1899-1972), the former Prime Minister of Belgium, and one of the chief architects of the European Economic Community, stated before his death, “We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he God or the devil, we will receive him.” (William Cantelon, The Day the Dollar Dies, (Florida: Bridge-Logos, 2009), 9).  Such a man is on the horizon.

Before proceeding, what is meant by the term Antichrist? The Greek word is ἀντίχριστος, is made up of two words ἀντί meaning “against, oppose” and χριστος meaning Christ. The term “antichrist” is found only in First John 2:18, 22; 4:3 and 2 John 7. John uses it as a term to point out that there are many antichrists (false teachers) who will appear in the “last hour,” which refers to the time between Christ’s first coming and His Second Coming. While John uses the term “antichrist” to refer to false teachers who oppose and deny Christ, the Bible clearly teaches there will one day be a man who will rise to world power in the end times who will be the ultimate embodiment of the antichrist spirit. Paul calls him the “man of sin,” the “son of perdition,” “the lawless one” (2 Thess. 2:3-4). He will “oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

In Revelation 13:5-8, the Antichrist is referred to as “the beast.” Rising to power as a very charismatic and influential leader, with political shrewdness, strategic in organization, and economically savvy, John writes that the beast will in time speak great blasphemies against God. The prophet Daniel saw a vision of the Antichrist (chs. 7, 8, 11)  and became sick at what he saw (Dan 8:27).  Calling  him the “little horn,”  Daniel warns he will in the end wreak much havoc upon the earth.

Now the question is how is it possible that the nations will embrace one who opposes Christ and who will speak blasphemies against God? What will be the character of the Antichrist which will result in the nations of the world embracing him?

First, it will be unproblematic  for the world to embrace the Antichrist because it will be easy to deceive people because there is already an antichrist spirit that pervades much of society, which with each passing year grows more pervasive.

Second, the Antichrist will exhibit traits that will delude people, enabling him to waltz into power. He will persuade the nations he  is the answer man to the world’s woes. The Bible tells us he will be intelligent (Dan 7:8), a charismatic speaker (Dan 7:8), a shrewd politician (Dan. 9:27), attractive physical appearance (Dan 7:20), crafty in military affairs (Rev. 4), economically savvy (Dan 11:38). However, once he gets control his real character will be revealed. He will be a blasphemer (Rev. 13:6), lawless (2 Thess 2:8), controlling (7:25), an egomaniac who  will demand god-like status (2 Thess 2:4). The book of Revelation is a prophetic look into the future of the judgements that will befall the Antichrist and the people and nations who embrace him.

Third, the chaotic times of “that day”  will find the nations without protest  “turning over the keys” to him giving him control, believing that he can solve the problems that plague humanity at that time. The current pandemic has revealed how  easy it has been for political voices and the news media to control the airwaves and alter societal behavior. Yes, our current crisis demonstrates how unproblematic  it will be when the “time is ripe” for the man of sin to persuade society that he is the answer man and the nations will embrace him and hand over the keys to him.

Fourth, the Apostle Paul writes that the Antichrist’s rise to power will be unproblematic because of man’s willful  hardening his heart to the truth as found in Christ who alone can save, “and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might experience judgement who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess 2:10-12). Oh, what a sobering truth found in those verses that should alert  us to keep our hearts attuned  to Christ.

It  has not been my  intent here to look at all the features and details surrounding the Rapture of the Church and the appearing of the antichrist and the events surrounding his ascension to power and his eventual demise. My purpose has been  to warn people that the times of the seasons are becoming ripe for the Antichrist’s  appearance and it is time that we make sure our hearts are in tune with the risen Christ and our  soon coming King.  And as stated at the beginning, regardless of the role the current pandemic has in end times prophecy, the spread of the coronavirus should force you and I to ask, “Am I prepared for Christ’s return?”

Time is drawing nigh. Let us spread the hope of Christ while there is time. Paul said it well, “And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed” (Rom 13:11).

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Blessings,
Dr. Dan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s