The climax of history is approaching. The end of the world may be near. Yet, Jesus tells us that we need not worry. Why?
Because we are engraved in the palms of his hands. Because we are carried in his arms. Because we are the apple of his eye.
The time is coming when the world will fall under the spell of the ruler drunk with ultimate power. The Bible calls this leader the Antichrist. The world will fear him; the West will welcome it. America is currently preparing its way. However, followers of Jesus should remember the words of the Lord: “Be careful not to be alarmed.
We must live faithfully and boldly, knowing that the rise of the Antichrist is coming.
In the book of Revelation, John talks about his vision of the End Times. In Revelation 13, John gives us a detailed description of the Antichrist. John describes two beasts, one coming out of the sea, the other out of the land (verses 1-18). The first beast represents the Antichrist, the final world ruler, who will be destroyed at the second coming of Christ. The second beast is likely a satanically inspired religious leader who supports the political rule of the first beast. It is clear that the two “beasts” are possessed by the “spirit of the antichrist”, a spirit which denies that Jesus is the Messiah and the Savior of the world.
But there will come a time in history when the Antichrist with a capital A will be revealed. He will rise just before the return of Christ. He will literally take over the entire planet, all the nations of the earth. He will rise at a time of great confusion and chaos in the world. It will arise in conditions of global fear and turmoil. It will arise when the world is in political and financial upheaval.
Just as the whole world desperately needs order and security, a man will step forward with a message of hope and peace. Daniel 7:8 describes this leader as possessing “a mouth that spoke boastfully.” I believe this describes a person who is a powerfully charismatic speaker, exudes seductive charm, and seems superhumanly brilliant. He will be everything people want a world leader to be. His speeches will strike a chord in the human heart. People will be drawn to him and he will unite the world under his rule.
For a time, he will deliver exactly what he promised: peace. Prosperity. Security. Hope. But once he has the world in his grip, he will take off the mask of the Messiah-like peacemaker and reveal himself as a ruthless dictator. Above all, he will deny that Jesus is the only one worthy of worship. Instead, he will demand that the world worship him.
Our world is already prepared for the Antichrist. There are countless forces today that would normally oppose each other, but they have joined forces in their opposition to Jesus Christ. They are united in their denial that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
Yet these opposing groups have one belief in common. They are all united in their total rejection of Jesus’ claim to be the divine Son of God and the only way to God the Father.
The Christian world does not even agree on Jesus’ claim to be the only way to salvation. A 2018 survey by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research found that many Americans who claim to have “evangelical beliefs” have shocking, unbiblical notions about Jesus and salvation.
The Bible tells us, “There is not one righteous, not even one. . . for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:10,23). Still, a majority of self-described “evangelicals” – 52% – agree with the statement: “Most people are basically good.”
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is none other name under heaven given to mankind whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Yet a majority of self-described “evangelicals” – 51% – agree with the statement: “God accepts the worship of all religions”.
I’m not going to water down the truth. I will tell you plainly that being a Christian in the end times will be incredibly difficult. It will mean being hated and persecuted for your faith.
But I guarantee that if you are hunted down, abused, and killed for your faith in Jesus, it will be worth it. You will have eternal life with Jesus in heaven. When he returns, you will be full of joy at his appearance while others despair. Only Jesus offers real security in a collapsing world.
Dr. Michel Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He graduated from Moore College in Australia and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Emory University. He founded the Church of the Apostles which was the launching pad for Open the wayinternational ministry. Dr. Youssef is the author of over 50 books, including the popular titles “Hope for This Present Crisis” and “Saving Christianity?” His latest book, “Is the end near? »released on October 4, 2022.