My wife and I recently had a date night. This time we didn’t go out for a night on the town. We waited until the children were asleep and shared a dessert and a movie. On this particular evening, we had a hard time finding something good on iTunes. Eventually, we settled for a movie that looked a bit spooky, but it had clean ratings and good reviews. We soon discovered that the film was a portrayal of end time events. It started with a scene from a young couple’s wedding. The reception was brought to a screeching halt when the earth shook, the power grid went out, and giant hawk-like demons descended from the sky. Wedding guests rushed from the banquet hall. Many were swept away by the screeching demons. The movie was entertaining, but it was clearly a work of fiction. The Bible doesn’t speak of swooping demons of prey terrorizing believers during the end of the age. It does, however, clearly depict some other characters. Let’s consider three.
The Bible teaches that the last days will be marked by an increase in hostility towards believers. Perhaps we are seeing this played out before our eyes at the present time. Many have remarked on the way in which persecution is at an all-time high. Brothers and sisters are being killed in Asia, Central America, and the Middle East. Jesus foretold of such (Matthew 24:9-10). The book of Revelation describes a great number of people who “had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony they had given” (Revelation 6:9). It is important for us to remember that the world has never been, nor will it ever be, a friend of the church. As the timeline of human history draws to a close, the true Christian faith will become more and more despised.
The False Prophet
Though the church will be persecuted, religion itself will be unpopular during the last days. False religion has always been en vogue, and the same will be true at the end of time. The Bible teaches that there will be a flashy figure who leads the world astray (Revelation 13:1-7). Nearly everyone on earth will worship in his counterfeit system of religion (Revelation 13:8). Jesus spoke of the effect of this damnable character. He said, “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11-12). In an age of inordinate tolerance, in which the faith is often contaminated by extracurricular claims and unorthodox addendum, may we stand on guard. May we stick to the plain gospel truth and the Good Book!
It’s sad that Jesus sometimes gets gypped in all of our end-time hysteria. It seems that the Antichrist and the Devil get more glory. Let’s remember that Jesus is the final dot on the timeline of human history. All of humanity is heading towards Him! The Bible says that He is the “Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8). He is the “First and the Last” (Revelation 1:17). All things began by Him (John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16), and all things will end by Him (Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7 and 19:11-15). Since Jesus is the exclamation point of the last days, let’s live for Him in the time that we have!
Dr. Patrick Latham