With each year, I notice more and more "end times" propaganda taking root in western Christian circles. From the long-winded, evangelical Facebook post, to the fear mongering billboards along the highway, to the insinuations of Christmas store employees assisting people finding Nativity sets.
The First and Second Signs: The anti-Christ will be a religious leader and come in the name of Jesus Christ.
I have no doubts about this. However, the current assumptions about the pope and/or the papacy are nothing new. Neither are the rumors about different governments and institutions. I do, however, have to give props to the people who claim that AI will develop a new “messiah” that everyone is going to bow down to. If you’re going to be so naive as to believe that a Zuck-made user-interface is Jesus, you never stood a chance to begin with.
The Third Sign: The anti-Christ will perform miracles.
I don’t doubt this one either. Many miracles can be demon-made. You could point to something as obvious as charismatic pastors flinging ailing parishioners across the room, or something as subtle as various advances in modern medicine as a sign of the end times. And yet, these events have persisted throughout the centuries. However, we have been seeing more and more of them, as the advent of cell phones have made recording and sharing some of these ludicrous displays more feasible. There are some interesting compilations on YouTube.
The Fourth Sign: The anti-Christ will deny that Christ comes in the flesh.
Having been taken from 2 John 7, I am assuming they just meant that there were deniers who claimed Christ was not the Messiah, which has been an ever-present belief in several different religions. The exegesis of the text that is posited states that the verb is in present tense. Meaning that Christ continues to come in the flesh.
The Fifth and Sixth Signs: The anti-Christ will reject God’s law and persecute “True Christians”.
This has been happening, continually, since Christianity began. Different religions and Christian sects have rejected Church Doctrine and the teachings of the Church Fathers. They are interspersed with false teachings, and laws that go directly against God. Christians are still persecuted and killed all over the globe.
The Seventh Sign: The anti-Christ will point towards a new “Roman Empire”.
This one is just funny to me. This new “Roman Empire” is my Roman Empire. What this supposedly refers to is a “political and military powerhouse” that will “eclipse even the power and might of today’s United States”.
A Sign From Our Time: Israel Under Attack
Many have stated that the war that began this past year between Israel and Palestine is a sign of the end times. And that the events following the Holocaust (what is claimed to be the dispersing and regathering of Jewish people to Israel), were the inciting incidents for all of this. It is now being said that Russia (assumed to be Magog), having made a deal with Iran (Persia), is a sure sign that the end is nigh.
I do find it strange that the people who often worry about the end of the world, and pointing out these signs, are also those who believe in predestination. If their faith is so unshakable, if they are truly saved, then they ought to have no concerns. Some even believe that only a certain number of people will be “raptured”. So why bother encouraging others to repent? Wouldn’t you be afraid of giving up your spot?