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With the prevalence of Islamic aggression in the world today, many Christians are asking whether the Antichrist will be a Muslim. Some are not even asking, they are just declaring that he will be, like the guy on Facebook who stated that Antichrist must be a Muslim because the devil, Antichrist and Islam all hate Christians and Jews.
Whilst that might seem clear and simple, it is not a logically valid conclusion. For a start, Islam does not just hate Christians and Jews – it hates everybody. Totally non-discriminatory, it is willing and eager to slaughter anyone who happens to disagree, even its own followers.
Secondly, Islam is not the only group that hates Christians and Jews. The Jews have been the target of discrimination and persecution throughout their history; and whilst some people might think that the persecution of Christians only happened back in the days of Nero and the lions, in reality it has been going on throughout the past two thousand years, and is more prevalent in the world today than it has ever been. Whether from Muslims, Hindus, atheists, communists or a dozen other groups, it is estimated that one in every ten Christians in the world today faces some form of persecution, ranging from restrictions in education and employment to beatings, destruction of property, imprisonment and death. Even Buddhists, who would not dream of hurting a fly, seem to have no qualms at all about attacking and killing Christians.
So, to argue that the Antichrist will be Muslim simply because Muslims hate Christians is to greatly oversimplify things.
In fact, I am personally convinced that the Antichrist will NOT be a Muslim, for two Biblical reasons. The first is John 5:43 “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.”
The parallel construction of this verse demands that both parts must be referring to the same thing. In the first part, Jesus says that the Jews had not received Him. Obviously He is talking about Himself as Messiah. They accepted Him as a miracle worker and healer – they could hardly deny the evidence of their own eyes. They even accepted Him to some extent as a teacher and leader. But they (at least the majority) refused to accept that He was the One who had been promised from the days of Moses. Since “receive” in the first part of the parallel refers to the Messiah, “receive” in the second part must also refer to Messiah: Jesus is saying that someone will come who is not from the Father, but whom the Jews will accept as the Messiah. This is the Antichrist: “anti” not merely in the sense of “against,” but in the sense of “in place of.”
The Bible speaks of the devil as masquerading as an angel of light, and I believe that the Antichrist, seeking to rise up “in place of” Christ, will at least initially seek to to look as much like Him as possible so that multitudes will be deceived into accepting him as Christ.
Now here’s the crunch: no Jew is ever likely to accept a Muslim Messiah! The devil is not that stupid. He is not going to present them with someone whom they would automatically reject. No, the devil’s man will be someone whom both Jews and Gentiles will embrace as the only answer for mankind.
My second reason for believing the the Antichrist will not be a Muslim is 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” This very clearly says that, when he shows his true colours, Antichrist will deny the existence of God in any form and declare himself to be God. Here again he is standing “in place of” Christ. Note that he is not only denying the true God, but denying any god – which would have to include the Muslim god. I cannot imagine any Muslim doing this!
So, where does that leave us in our quest for the identity of Antichrist? And what role, if any, does Islam have in the unfolding of this world’s destiny?
As bad as Islam is, I believe it is simply a smoke screen being used by the devil to distract the world and provide a cover while he is setting in place the real threat: militant atheism. In fact, if we are not careful, the battle against Islam could actually be the thing that allows militant atheism to gain a foothold. In seeking to restrict the ideology that so blatantly kills, maims and destroys, there is a grave danger that laws being proposed could ultimately be used against all expressions of faith.
I believe Islam will fall, just as Communism fell. It will not be wiped out completely, but its power will be destroyed, just as was the case with Communism. And I will certainly continue to stand against the spread of Islam in the world. My concern, however, is what will be left in its wake. Just as the fall of Communism opened the door for the spread of all kinds of cults and isms – including Islam – in the countries it had dominated, I fear the demise of Islam will leave a barren wasteland just waiting to be consumed by militant atheism, and willing and eager to embrace an atheistic “saviour” who seems to offer the answers to all the needs of both individuals and humanity as a whole.
Want to identify Antichrist? Look for a charismatic secular Jew with both political presence and supernatural power. Don’t look for a Muslim.