“I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). Present day events are leading us to the fulfillment of this prophecy on a worldwide level. The world is preparing to receive the person known as the antichrist.
The underlying spiritual conflict reflected in Jesus’ quote has continued from His time to ours and has ripened as the time for fulfillment draws closer. There are two choices set before mankind, two ideals, two worship orders, and both have an ultimate embodiment in human flesh. God has come down to this world and revealed His holiness and His love in the incarnation of His Son and by His suffering in our place on the cross. This resurrected Saviour is God’s Christ, and the message of salvation through Him has been preached to this world now for about two thousand years. Prophecy teaches us that the true nature of rejection of Him will also have an embodiment. Satan will send his own man to a world that says no to God’s grace in Jesus Christ. This person will establish a worldwide order of wickedness, in complete opposition to the truth of the Bible and is rightly called the antichrist. The spirit of this rebellion against God is being revealed in increasing magnitude in the world today, but will also come to a fulness in the person and kingdom of the antichrist. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (I John 2:18).
The antichrist is a fascinating figure for students of prophecy and also for a wider interest group since he has been the subject of the film industry. Only the Bible faithfully reveals what may be known about him. It may be interesting to sift through the details of ancient prophecy and speculate as to his national origin, his religion, and other questions such as who today could possibly be this evil figure waiting in the wings. However, the big picture and its revelation of the underlying conflict between God’s Messiah and Satan’s man is perhaps the most profitable thing to meditate on. The antichrist will come for a final world showdown which will end with the return of the true Christ as King of Kings. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8). But the most important question for you and I as individuals right now is whose side we are on.
There is no question as to who will win the battle for the earth when Jesus Christ returns to claim His rightful throne. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:7-8). The challenge before us today is to personally believe in the testimony of Jesus Christ found in God’s Word and wait for His coming kingdom. “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (II Thessalonians 1:10).
When the message of salvation through Jesus Christ is genuinely received, it manifests itself by the establishment of Bible Christianity. Jesus Christ came to forgive men of their sins and lead all who believe in the ways laid out in the Bible. Antichristian thought of course establishes an order of things contrary to Christ. This is the only explanation for the radically changed social and moral order taking form round about us today. The road is being paved for global acceptance of Satan’s substitute for God’s Christ, the one called also in Scripture the Man of Sin.
We all must decide which order we will be a part of. Only Jesus Christ can deliver peace with God and eternal life. We must personally take His salvation by faith as Peter challenged others many years ago. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).