The End of Days, part III
March 01 05
Last week, we talked about the signs of the times and said that based on what we see happening in the world, we know that the time for Jesus' return is near -- even at the door. The world is certainly getting worse, not better, despite our best technological and humanitarian efforts.
But some of you will say that the world is not yet at a place where it would accept the reign of the antichrist. After all, we know that most Americans are opposed to many identification technologies that would engender a "big brother" environment. If that is the case, how would the antichrist get the world to take his mark, probably a microchip embedded under the skin? We all know that we currently have that technology. It is already being used by some large corporations to track employees for safety and security reasons. Animals are microchipped so we can track them down when they wander off. Some large farming operations use chips in their cattle. The list of applications currently in use is fairly diverse and is becoming more widespread. Yet, we know that most people are opposed to any kind of human tracking system run by the government. So, even though the technology is readily available, we just don't see how the antichrist and his system would be accepted.
Well, let's think about how quickly things can change. The prevalence of guns and drugs in schools prompted many schools to implement identification systems. Terrorism around the world has caused many governments to implement identification systems and many citizens readily accept it. On September 11, 2001, the psyche of the American population changed. The Patriot Act was passed and most Americans are all for it. Even when asked about more direct identification tracking, Americans are changing. More people are now not so opposed to government ID systems. Events can change people's minds rather quickly.
Consider that just months ago, there was seemingly no way that the Israelis and so-called Palestinians would come to any agreement. Suddenly, Yasser Arafat died and now the Road Map is back on track. A massive tsunami hits Asia and the world comes together, allowing former President Clinton to strengthen his ties to the U.N. In addition, the tsunami brought people of all faiths together to work for the betterment of south Asia. There were Christians going into Buddhist and Hindu temples to pray and offer sacrifices.
As global events take place, the world seeks a leader, giving rise to the advent of the antichrist. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Another massive terrorist attack will only strengthen our resolve to eradicate terrorism through a global identification and tracking system. All it takes is one chilling event to change people's minds.
Now consider an event that will definitely change the world in an instant. Not only will people clamor for hope in a charismatic leader, but they will come under the influence of evil more than ever. What is now restraining evil will be removed one day (2 Thessalonians 2:6) and the world will look like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-38) -- one big rebellious party against God. And the antichrist will be the host. What is that event that will trigger worldwide panic and evil? We refer to it as the rapture of the Church.
We may not be able to picture in our minds today that the world will gladly take the mark of the antichrist. We may not see how it could happen that those fiercely independent Americans will sign on to a global citizenship. Yet, if the Bible is true, then it will most definitely happen. The Bible says that there will come a day when the restraint against evil will be removed and evil will have almost complete rule over the earth. Satan himself will be cast down out of heaven (Revelation 12:9) and the world will be in rebellion to God (Revelation 9:20-21, 16:9-11).
It could happen at any time. We do not know when Jesus will come for His Bride, but we do know that it is imminent. He warns us about it. He tells us to watch and be ready for His return. He tells us that He is coming to get us and take us home. When that happens, the world will be thrown into a panic and then evil will almost completely take over. So, do not be one of those scoffers that Peter warned about who say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" (2 Peter 3:4). Instead, be sober and vigilant. And always remember that we have work to do. We were commissioned to preach the Gospel until He returns. John warns us to be obedient to God so that we will not be ashamed at His coming (1 John 2:28). What will He find you doing when He comes?