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Antichrist, America & the End of Days | The Bad News and Good News

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 8, 2022 3:00 am

Antichrist, America & the End of Days | The Bad News and Good News

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 8, 2022 3:00 am

For many, the Antichrist is a man shrouded in mystery. How could he be adored by so many, and then soon bring death and destruction upon the planet? He’ll bring a divided world together, and then tear it apart. How can that be? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie gives us a detailed view of this man of sin, this son of perdition, from the clear vantage point of Scripture. Pastor Greg clears up the mystery, and solidifies our hope in the soon return of Christ.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. Antichrist is coming to dominate the globe. He will be a satanic Superman. It'll be a time when evil is unleashed with supernatural fury.

But that's not the whole story. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the flip side. Antichrist is coming. That's the bad news.

Good news. Jesus Christ is coming before the Antichrist. Therefore, we should not be looking for Antichrist.

We should be looking for Jesus Christ. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear when the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. For many, the Antichrist is a man shrouded in mystery. How could he be adored by so many and then soon bring death and destruction upon the planet? He'll bring a divided world together and then tear it apart.

How can that be? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie gives us a detailed view of this man of sin, this son of perdition from the clear vantage point of Scripture. Pastor Greg clears up the mystery and solidifies our hope in the soon return of Christ. Today we're back in our Daniel series that we're calling End of Days. And I'm going to ask you to turn to two passages.

Daniel chapter 7 and 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. And the title of my message is Antichrist America and the End of Days. Let's talk about the Antichrist himself. He will be sent by Satan. If the devil ever had a son this will be him. The Antichrist will be energized by Lucifer himself. But he's not going to be what you might expect. You know dress head to toe in black with glowing red eyes and steam coming off of him with a Darth Vader song playing in the background when he enters a room.

No. I'm telling you this guy will be charismatic. He'll be magnetic. He'll be a powerful orator. He'll be a convincing speaker. He will do what no man has ever been able to do before. He will establish a treaty between the Jewish and Arab nations that they will abide by. And he will pave the way for the long awaited third temple in Jerusalem. He will be a satanic superman.

But it's all a mask hiding who he really is. The most evil man who ever lived. Daniel 7 verse 8. I was considering the horns and there was another horn a little one coming up among them before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking pompous words.

We will stop there. So if you are taking notes here is point number one. Antichrist is coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. Antichrist is coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. A horn as mentioned here in Daniel 7 eight is a symbol of power in Scripture. But this horn has both eyes and a mouth reminding us that this is the person that is being addressed.

And I would also add this. The prefix anti does not only mean against. It also means instead of. So it's not just that this coming world leader, this beast, this charismatic politician extraordinaire is going to oppose Christ and he will. But he also comes in the place of Christ. And for some they will believe he is the Christ or he is their Messiah at least. But here is something else to know about antichrists.

Point number two. He is coming to declare war on believers. He is coming to declare war on believers. Daniel 7 25 says, Then the saints will be given into his hand for time and times and half.

Ok. So we will read this phrase in Daniel and elsewhere. And basically it comes down to this. The antichrist will inaugurate what is often called the great tribulation period that will last for seven years. In the beginning of the tribulation the antichrist will come off like a good guy. He will come with his peace treaty. He will come with his brilliant words.

He will come with economic solutions. And many will hail him and love him and especially when he rebuilds the third temple for the Jewish people. But at the three and a half year mark the abomination of desolation takes place. And we will talk about this more later too. But this is when the temple is rebuilt and it is desecrated by the antichrist marking the second section of the tribulation period where this coming world leader shows his true colors.

And they are not pretty. He begins to persecute Jewish people and he persecutes Christians and he begins to rule by force. And so that is what this is referring to.

Number three. Antichrist is coming to dominate the globe. He is coming to dominate the globe. Revelation 13 7 says, Authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Now again I want to emphasize how does he do it? Through war?

No. Initially through peace. The Bible says through peace he will deceive many. And so he will establish peace but then he will be the ultimate man of war following that. Now here is another interesting thing about him.

Number four. Antichrist will establish global control through a cashless society. Antichrist will establish global control through a cashless society requiring people to take a mark and no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark under the reign of antichrist. Now I ask you is this possible in technology today? Well of course it is. We all know it is. So you know some of you are thinking well this is like the most depressing message I have ever heard. Ok now let me pivot.

Change my direction. Antichrist is coming. That is the bad news.

Good news. Jesus Christ is coming before the antichrist. Therefore we should not be looking for antichrist. We should be looking for Jesus Christ. Don't waste your time trying to figure out who the antichrist is.

You say well I don't understand. What do you mean Jesus Christ is coming? I mean he is coming.

He is coming back for his people. In fact I don't even believe the antichrist can be revealed until Christ comes for his people in what we call the rapture of the church. And I will define that in a moment. But over in 2 Thessalonians 2.7 it says, the mystery of lawlessness is already at work and now he who restrains will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way. So the Bible is saying, and then that wicked one will be revealed whom the Lord will destroy with the brightness of his coming.

So let me simplify that. The Bible is saying before antichrist can be revealed the restraining force, the thing that is holding him back has to be removed. So what is the restraining force in the world today that keeps evil from spreading wholesale? It is Christians. It is Christians who stand up for what is true. Christians who speak out against what is wrong. Christians who make such a difference in every situation. Imagine if we were all suddenly just removed from the planet.

You could see how all hell could literally break loose. So the restraining force is the work of the Holy Spirit through the church. Once the church is removed or caught up to heaven. I don't mean buildings.

I mean people. Once we are caught up to heaven antichrist can begin his reign. You say, now you mentioned the word rapture. You know I don't know that I have ever seen the word rapture in the Bible.

Well ok. And I know some people are critical of the rapture. The rapture is not in the Bible. Show me the word rapture. Ok. I will show you the word rapture when you show me the word trinity in the Bible.

How about this. I will show you the word rapture when you show me the word Bible in the Bible. The word Bible is not in the Bible.

Did you know that? But we use that phrase. So you say, well what does it deal with the rapture? The teaching of the rapture is clearly in the Bible many times.

In fact it is used 13 times in the New Testament. The word rapture is just a translation of a Latin word rapturus. So if you have a Latin translation you have the word rapturus.

Ok. But the Greek word is harpazo. Harpazo. So don't get hung up on the word rapture.

I am just saying that there is an event coming. Call it the rapture. Call it the harpazo. Call it the great escape.

Whatever you like. But it is the teaching that people are going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The word harpazo can be translated to take forcibly.

To snatch or to catch up. The rapture is when Christ descends from heaven and we are caught up to meet Him. Now could we be the generation that sees the rapture? Yes.

Are we the generation that will see the rapture? I don't know. I don't know. No one knows. And by the way no one knows the day of the hour.

And every now and then someone comes along. I figured it out. I cracked the code after eating a lot of Cheetos and drinking Diet Coke. And here is the date. I already know they are wrong. Because when Jesus says no one knows the day of the hour the return of the Son of Man. If you were to go back to the original language it would translate no one knows the day of the hour. And what it means is no one knows the day of the hour.

So we should avoid date setting at all costs. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place. So you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.

Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we are considering the biblical facts surrounding the antichrist today. And how the rapture may hasten our exit before the man of lawlessness even arises.

Here is Pastor Greg once again. So we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And it is at that moment that we receive our new resurrection bodies. And it is also at that moment that we are reunited with loved ones who have preceded us. Bringing me to point number two. Why is there a rapture?

Listen to this now. Why is there a rapture? Well back in Thessalonica there were a lot of Christians. And many of them had died.

Some from natural causes. Some had been martyred for their faith. So there was a concern among the Thessalonian Christians that they would never see their loved ones who had preceded them to heaven. And they wondered if they would miss the rapture. And so Paul writes these words.

First Thessalonians 4 13. We don't want you to be uninformed brothers about those who have died so that you will not grieve as those who have no hope. See I bring this up because sometimes people say there is no point in studying Bible prophecy. No one can understand it.

There is a lot of you don't study it. No we need to study Bible prophecy because if we understand it it will impact us in the way that we live. And I find great hope from this teaching of the rapture. So I don't have to grieve hopelessly.

Listen. Christians grieve. But we grieve hopefully not hopelessly. Because we know we will see our loved ones again who have gone to heaven. We will either see them through death when we die. We will see them in glory. Or we will see them in the rapture.

So imagine this those of you who have lost loved ones. You could be just going about your business one day and suddenly in a moment so quick you can't measure it. The Bible says the rapture will happen in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. That is pretty fast isn't it? Twinkling of an eye.

It is faster than the blink of an eye. Let's all blink our eyes. One. Two.

Three. Blink. It is faster than that.

That is fast. Try to imagine it. I don't think you can wrap your mind around it.

You are just walking along. Maybe you are even thinking about your loved one. How much you miss them. How much you wish you could be with them. All of a sudden boom you are with them. It is the rapture. Boom you are there.

Reunited with them. The dead in Christ rise first which means when you die as a Christian you go to heaven and we which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them who those who have preceded us will be caught up together with them in the clouds and so shall we ever be with the Lord. And then Paul says, therefore comfort one another with these words. See that is the practical side of this teaching.

There is no theology without doxology. And that simply means it is great to study doctrine and it is great to study Scripture. But what does it mean to me in real life? And that is what it means to you. It means you will see them again. And that is a great hope that we have as followers of Jesus Christ.

Caught up in a moment in the twinkling of an eye to meet them and to meet the Lord. So the rapture is going to come. And sometimes people get confused about the rapture and the second coming. By the way there are two events.

And they are separated by seven years. Now you want to talk about date setting. I will tell you when the second coming of Christ is. You want to know?

Very simple. It is at the end of the tribulation period. It is during the battle of Armageddon.

Well what is that? I don't know. But I just know once the church is raptured and Antichrist is revealed you can do the math and go forward seven years and that is when Christ is going to come back at the second coming.

But here is the difference. In the rapture He comes for His church. In the second coming He comes with His church. In the rapture He comes as a thief in the night. And in the second coming every eye will see Him. Jesus said, as the lightning shines from the east to the west so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

So let's conclude. We have talked about Antichrist. Now let me ask you a question that may surprise you. Are you Antichrist? What? Are you saying I could be the Antichrist?

No I didn't ask you that. There is a difference between the Antichrist, the beast, and being Antichrist. That term is used of those who have turned against Jesus and away from the church. 1 John 2.18 says, Dear children, the last hour is here and you have heard that the Antichrist is coming and already many such Antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the end of the world has come. The people left our churches because they never really belonged with us.

Otherwise they would have stayed with us and when they left us it proved they did not belong with us. Remember Antichrist. Anti doesn't just mean against.

It means instead of. Now there can be someone here listening to me or wherever they are watching or hearing this later and they will say, I am against Jesus Christ and I am against Christians and I am against the Bible. Ok man you are Antichrist.

You are. But then there can be someone that would say, well it is not that I am against Christians. It is just that I have other things in the place of God in my life. It is not that I don't care about God but I care more about my career. Or I care more about my vice. Or I care more about my money.

Or I care more about this relationship. Do you realize that can be a form of anti because it is instead of Christ. And these people were in our church and they left our church and they never came back proving they were never a part of us. So what about people that come to church and you see them for weeks, months, maybe years.

And they seem to be a passionate Christian. Then one day they just walk away. I don't believe in that anymore.

I am not into it. And they never come back to the Lord again. Did they lose their salvation? I would suggest to you maybe they never had salvation. Here is how you know if you are a real Christian.

It is where you end up. Christians have lapses of faith. Christians have doubts. Christians fall short and Christians backslide. But if they are real believers they will always come home again. They will always return to the Lord again. But if they never return to the Lord again I suggest to you they were never Christians to begin with.

And in effect in a strict biblical definition they are anti-Christ. You do not want to be that person. So let me ask in closing. Are you anti-Christ or are you for Christ?

Those are your only options. And before you is death and life and heaven and hell. You decide what you will be. Rapture. It is coming. It could come in your lifetime. It could come this year. It could come this month. It could come today.

Nothing is standing in the way of it. So I ask you now are you rapture ready? You say, how do you know if you are rapture ready?

Well here is what you need to do. You need to admit you are a sinner. You need to turn from your sin. You need to ask Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin. Also you are basically saying you need to be a Christian.

Bingo. See if you are a Christian you have all of your bases covered. If you are a Christian it is win, win, win, win.

Right? So if I die I go to heaven. If the rapture comes I am taken to be with the Lord.

I have purpose in this life and hope for the life to come. That is our hope. So that is how you know you are rapture ready by having Jesus live inside of you.

Listen to this. When Jesus comes back for His people not everybody is going to be caught up to meet Him in heaven. Only believers will. There will be people who are left.

You don't want to be that person. So if you are not sure if you are ready for the return of the Lord, if you are not confident that you would go to heaven if you were to die today why don't you respond to this invitation and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. He will forgive you of all of your sin. You don't have to be afraid of any of the things we have been talking about. You don't have to be afraid of antichrist or the tribulation period or hell or any of that because you have hope in Christ and you have the promise of spending eternity with Him.

If you are not sure of this let's get this resolved right here right now. Let's all pray together. Father thank You for Your Word to us.

Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross on our place and to rise again from the dead. Now I pray for any that have joined us who do not yet know You. Lord help them to see their need for You.

Help them to come to You and believe in You now. In Your name we pray. Amen. And if you'd like to do as Pastor Greg Laurie suggested and get Rapture ready, he'll come back in just a moment to lead you in doing that. So stay tuned.

It's too important to tune away. And then we're so excited about making a new DVD available to you. It's a look at the colorful history of contemporary Christian music featuring interviews with those who played a key part. The DVD is called The Jesus Music.

It features Amy Grant. But a lot of hymns are close your eyes singing to God. I wanted to sing songs with my eyes wide open singing to each other.

Michael W. Smith. When I first heard that Maranatha record I just couldn't get enough of it. It was called the Everlasting Living Jesus Music Concert or Maranatha One.

It broke new ground back in 1971. This thing called Jesus Music which exploded in Southern California somehow found its way in my hometown and it changed my life. So this is a new movie produced by the Irwin brothers who by the way are also producing the brand new film that will come out next year based on my life and the last great spiritual awakening in America that will be called Jesus Revolution. So The Jesus Music is a special documentary film that tells the story of how this music came to be. I mean it's an industry now. In fact we call it contemporary Christian music.

But it did not start out as an industry. It started out as a movement. It started out as an expression of faith. One of the unique features of the early Christian songs which were happening back in the 70s is they were proclaiming the gospel to the culture. So it wasn't really designed to be our own music as much as it was designed to be our message brought to the culture around us.

Well a lot has changed since then and now we have categories of it and different versions of it and I think that's all great. But if you want to see the big picture and how this all started and if you want to see great artists talk about how they produce and create this incredible music we enjoy so much then you will want to order your own copy of The Jesus Music. It's available on DVD, Blu-ray and you can also download it.

There'll be a special code provided with the DVD we send you and you can watch it on your phone, on your tablet, on your computer, or maybe even on your big screen TV. So this is something that I think you'll all love to have. It's entertaining.

It's fun. It's insightful and it also gives us a history of what God did and a sense of what God still wants to do in our future. So order your copy of The Jesus Music for your gift of any size to our ministry. Whatever you send we will put it to good use to continue to preach the gospel and teach the word of God.

Yeah that's right. It's a great investment, an eternal investment. You know we saw more than 1,700 people make professions of faith at Boise Harvest a few weeks ago.

More than 1,500 more by people watching online. Your investment helps us reach out with the gospel through those outreaches and through our daily outreach here on A New Beginning. And when you give, we'll thank you with this new film called The Jesus Music.

It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray and in downloadable form. So contact us today. Our 24-hour phone number is 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg you mentioned our need to come to Christ for forgiveness of sin in today's study. Maybe there's somebody listening who'd like to do that, that'd like to take that step.

Maybe you could help them with that right now. I'd be delighted to. Listen, if you would like to accept Jesus Christ into your life right now, by that I mean if you would like your sin forgiven and have the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die, would you pray this prayer with me? Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and rising again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now and I put my faith in you to be my Savior, my Lord, my God, and my friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Listen, if you just prayed that prayer in a minute, I want you to know on the authority of God's Word that Jesus Christ has just come to take residence in your heart. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. Listen, we want to send you some resources that will help you grow spiritually. So here's Dave with some details, and let me say God bless you and welcome to the family of God. Or write, A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg continues his series from Daniel called, End of Days, with a message called, Three of the Hardest Words to Say. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 21:31:27 / 2023-03-26 21:41:44 / 10

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