Are we living in the last days? My current message series on prophecy has stirred some interesting conversation. People have responded anywhere on the spectrum from great fear to unbridled excitement. This past Sunday I preached on Daniel chapter 2 and 7 and talked about some of the things that would take place during the tribulation period. One thing that came to me while I was preaching yesterday was that the antichrist is the one who brokers the peace treaty between Israel and “many” (which we can assume to be some of Israel’s Islamic enemies) to begin the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). In order for the antichrist to be involved in this peace treaty, he must be a person of prominence in our world (like a prominent world leader, secretary-general of the U.N., a president or leader of another country, etc.). Someone will not gain that kind of position without some political posturing. This will take some time, and it will mean that though I believe the church will be raptured before the tribulation, we will be here to recognize the antichrist’s ascent to prominence. I also spoke Sunday about the fact that scripture speaks of the rise of the ten kings who lead the ten different divisions of the final world government. The antichrist will come and “subdue” three of those leaders. Again, it will take time for the one-world government to form and the ten leaders to take their place of world leadership. My point is, if we are living in the last days (which I think we are), then the one-world government is in the early stages of being formed. The ten leaders are jockeying for position, and the antichrist is alive and well, though possibly still relatively unknown.
While I’ve been preaching this series now for three weeks (you can listen to the messages at www.sonrisebaptist.org), I am convinced more than ever that Christ’s return for His church will be soon. There is no doubt that God is setting the stage for the final act (the tribulation period). How should we respond as believers? Surely we can’t just go on living our typical, apathetic lives. What should the church be doing in response to our current events?