There is a long history of prophetic speculation. When I say a long history, I mean a l-o-n-g history. In addition to centuries of prophetic claims about the end, there is also a great deal of confusion about end-time themes. One of the most abused prophetic topics is the antichrist. There have been as many antichrist candidates as there are stars in the heavens. Well, not quite, but it seems that way.
Today’s popular version of antichrist can have dangerous consequences. He’s always just around the corner and there is no hope for the United States because of the antichrist. Not to worry because Christians are going to be “raptured” (see my book Truth About the Rapture), taken to heaven prior to a seven-year tribulation period. This means that the trouble we see in the world today is a prophetic inevitability. There is no way to work against it since the antichrist will rule the world.
The odd thing about speculation about an/the antichrist is that many people who write and speak on the subject fail to cite the passages where the word ‘antichrist’ is used. The most recent example is pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie whose definition of antichrist is not found in the Bible:
- “In fact, he will be a very charismatic world leader. A great orator, very convincing, probably very handsome.
- “He is going to do things that no world leader has ever done before. He is going to solve the Middle East conflict and is he is going to rid the world at least temporarily of terrorism. He is going to be hailed as the greatest peace talker that ever lived.”
- The antichrist, he said, will even “get the Jewish nations and the Arab nations to sign a peace treaty that will pave the way for the long-awaited Third Temple. The antichrist will be a satanic superman. But it’s all a mask hiding who he really is, [namely] the most evil man that ever lived.”
- “The dominant force of the end times is going to be a confederation of ten nations led by an individual called the antichrist.”