Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Should Christians Resist the Antichrist and End Times?

I saw a interview of Dr. Robert Jeffress on The O'Reilly Factor. He was discussing His new Book "Perfect Ending". He is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas Texas. I do not like naming or labeling people usually in things that I write, but today I thought it appropriate. I was and have been blessed by the ministry of Dr. Jeffress in the past. I have listened to him and followed the building project of First Baptist. I appreciate that they stayed in the city instead of moving to the burbs. I also appreciate his boldness in proclaiming the gospel. If you did not see the interview please take a moment and watch it here...

I thought he was very eloquent, and explained the end times well. I was glad that he distanced himself from saying anything like Obama being the Antichrist. Being in Ministry and attending church for my entire life. I have had my steady diet of end times teaching, Bible Studies on Revelation, and novels such at Left Behind, among a smorgasbord of end times books series. Christians are fascinated with the topic. If you want to be noticed in the Christian world then maybe write a book on the topic. But something seemed off to me last night as I watched this interview. Why are we as Christians fascinated with the end times? Then I asked the question, "Should we resist the Antichrist and the onset of the end times?" I think one of the main reasons we are fascinated with the end times is because we love this world too much. Let me explain. The difficulty and hardship during the end times will come before the return of Christ, and we like to talk about it because we want to resist that evil end coming. We want to resist the Antichrist coming into this world because we as Christians want to resist evil, but my question last night was "What happens after the Antichrist returns?" JESUS comes back!!! So I thought as I was considering our fascination with opposing "one world governments" it seems misplaced. Christians who love to talk about the end of this world and seek to oppose politically or otherwise the power that would lead to an Antichrist rising up, seem to want this world to continue in its current pattern as if this world were better than HEAVEN! When Christ will return He will bring with Him the New Jerusalem (which will be better than our wildest imaginations) down from heaven and He will reign on this earth! setting all things right that have been wrong. It seems to me like people who oppose the end could also be accidentally opposing the return of the KING! They like this world too much. As Christians this world is not our home. I want Heaven. I want the rewards that come with it, as Hebrews 11:6 says "Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him". Nothing we can do in this world will prevent God's end coming. It will happen as He has pre-ordained it. The Antichrist will rise as God has allowed it, and Jesus will return as the Godhead have been planning it from eternity past!

As Christians talk about the Antichrist it seems like we also seem to be fighting it because we are afraid of what those terrible days will bring. We should not be afraid of this Antichrist. He is a vanquished foe. We can even talk about him in the past tense "For lo his doom is sure". Jesus will come and destroy him (2 Thess 2:8). Just like his death on the cross destroyed the works of the Devil, he also will destroy that servant of the Devil, the Antichrist. 1 John 3:8 says,

"Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." 

We should not resist the Antichrist because Jesus has done this work already! He is a defeated foe! To be clear I do not want you to think I am welcoming the evil of the end times. I write this to help us be prepared for the evil and persecution that believers will surely face. However our strength will rise from leaning on Christ to pull us through and strengthen us for the evils that we will face in those times.

Lastly, should we resist the proliferation of overreaching government or the onset of a one world government? Should we resist this foreordained outcome? I am not aware of any command from the Lord for doing this. However we are commanded to make Christ known in the nations (Matthew 28-18-20). And Jesus does warn us that we will be persecuted (Matthew 24:9). All this energy that we exert in the direction of fighting and delaying the inevitable, I believe distracts us and takes us away from the task Jesus has given us of making his victory on the cross, and imminent return known among the nations. As our great 'end times' book Revelation tells us every tribe and nation and tongue will worship the Lamb before the throne in heaven, 

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands." 

and so our part in that is to make Christ known among the nations so that He can return, and every nation can worship Him too. The reason that He wants the nations to know Him is that they are made up of people, and He loves people.

I am glad that I saw this compelling and thought provoking interview, so that I can realign myself with the great commission of Christ rather than the great commission to oppose the Antichrist and overreaching government. We trust Christ. a bulwark never failing. Let us rest in His strength that will one day will make itself plain!

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

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