Questions On Bible Prophecy – 16

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*Pastor’s Note: This will be the last of the questions posed from the excellent book by Mark Hitchcock entitled, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy, at least for the time being as there are many more questions he addresses. My hope and prayer is that these have given some insight into much of the end-times prophecy the Bible speaks of and hopefully alleviates some of the fears and confusion people have about studying prophecy. The following is the last question for the time-being that I present to you from his book:

Will Believers in Christ Know Who the Antichrist Is before Being Raptured to Heaven?

In recent times people seem to be fascinated with trying to identify the Antichrist. Many interesting names have appeared on lists of Antichrist candidates: Napoleon, various Catholic popes, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Juan Carlos and his son Philippe, Bill Clinton, or any other person one doesn’t especially like.

These failed attempts often draw a great deal of attention for a while, but they also highlight the danger of trying to identify the Antichrist. The New Testament teaches that believers will not know who the Antichrist is before being raptured to heaven. Second Thessalonians 2:2–3 says:

Please don’t be so easily shaken and troubled by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Even if they claim to have had a vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us, don’t believe them. Don’t be fooled by what they say.

For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. (NLT)

Paul wrote the Thessalonian believers to clear up some confusion they had about the coming Day of the Lord or the Tribulation period. Evidently someone had taught these believers that they were already in the Tribulation period, but Paul corrected this false teaching by pointing out that the Day of the Lord can’t come until two things happen: (1) a great apostasy or rebellion; and (2) the revelation of the Antichrist or “man of lawlessness.” Since the Antichrist will be revealed at the beginning of the Day of the Lord or Tribulation period and the church will be raptured before this time, it doesn’t appear that Christians will know the identity of the Antichrist before we are raptured to heaven. If you ever figure out who the Antichrist is, then I’ve got bad news for you—you’ve been left behind!

Having said this, I do believe that as we see the last days develop, we may be able to recognize certain individuals who could fit the picture of the Antichrist given in the Bible. However, believers should avoid ever specifically identifying any person as the coming Antichrist. Satan’s superman will be unveiled at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, after the church has been translated to glory. We should spend our time and energy looking for Christ, not the Antichrist.

Mr. Hitchcock’s teachings are informative and enlightening as well as inspirational and any book you can get for yourself from his writings will most definitely be well-worth it. I hope you are blessed AND informed and some of these questions and answers will give you a greater strength to walk in confidence and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible prophecy ALWAYS points to God and His plans for this world that He created through Christ Jesus. Therefore, for true Christians, it is meant to be a comfort that God continues as always to have everything under control despite what it might appear to the average person.

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Mark Hitchcock, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1999)

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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