Many think that peace will not enter the world until Christ comes.
I believe this is a dangerous mistake.
“Peace” (or the illusion of it) will enter the world for a short time when the antichrist comes into power. Many will mistake him for the Christ (including, potentially, those who believe that world peace will not be seen until Christ returns to reign).
At some point – when, no one knows – we will meet Christ in the air.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians
We don’t know for sure what the timing of the rapture and second coming will be, or if the rapture and second coming will overlap or not; I’m not going to claim to know exactly how the events will play out.
But I am concerned that those who are waiting for world peace – for “heaven on earth” and the reign of Christ – may be at risk of believing the antichrist to be the Christ, when they see peace and signs and wonders, as they expect such things to come with the Lord’s return.
Is it possible that just as the Jews were looking for the wrong type of king when Jesus walked the earth – one who would overthrow the government and bring political peace – some of us are looking and waiting for the wrong type of king?
The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. But I’ve noticed that some Christians (for example, dominion-theology Christians) seem to be looking for some of the same things in the future as the Jews.
This is one response from the site judaism.stackexchange.com, to the question “Are the Jews today still waiting for the Messiah to come?”:
It is clear to the Jewish people that the Messiah has not yet come. For the Messiah to have come there would have to be, also a Messianic Era. The sure signs of the Messianic Era, among other things, are:
- With the coming of the Messiah will be the physical ingathering of Judah from the four corners of the earth ( Isa. 11:12, 27:12-13);
- That ingathering will include the righteous souls who died in previous years (Isa. 26:19);
- Also with coming of the Messiah will be the reestablishment of the Holy Temple (Micah 4:1);
- In addition the Messianic age will be one of world-wide peace (Isa. 2:4, 11:6, Micah 4:3); and, finally,
- In the Messianic age the entire world will believe in G-d (Isa. 11:9, 40:5; Zephaniah 3:9).
See also, Maimonides, Laws of the Kings 11:4.
To my knowledge none of these things exist today, especially not world-wide peace or world-wide belief in G-d.
- Reestablishment of the Holy Temple
- World-wide peace
- Entire world will believe in a “god”
Sound like a recipe for faith in the antichrist? The world is framed for the rule of the devil incarnate.
It’s not just the Jewish people who are primed for welcoming the antichrist as their ruler. Many professed Christians believe that the next major event is supposed to be the reign of Christ, worldwide peace, or worldwide belief in God (as there will be in the 1000 year reign). No tribulation. Just peace. Heaven on earth.
For a short time, many will think they are witnessing Christian or Messianic dominion when the antichrist comes to power.
As events unfold, and peace is “evident” in the early stages of the antichrist’s rule, how many will fall for this trap?
The response from judaism.stackexchange.com continues:
The Messiah figure will be human and must be Jewish (see Deut. 17:15; Numb. 24:17), and must be descended from Judah (Gen. 49:10) and Solomon (numerous places, but see I Chron 22:9-10). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). Tradition holds, also, that a messiah is born in every generation and that whether or not his identity is revealed is dependent upon whether we merit his coming. R. Ovadiah of Bartenura, Commentary on Ruth. Moreover, the mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
Jesus warned us:
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. – Jesus, Matthew 24
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. – 1 Thessalonians
According to gotquestions.org:
The rapture and the second coming of Christ are often confused. Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a scripture verse is referring to the rapture or the second coming… The rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church (all believers in Christ) from the earth. The rapture is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and, along with believers who are still living, will meet the Lord in the air. This will all occur in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist, destroy evil, and establish His millennial kingdom. The second coming is described in Revelation 19:11-16.
Again, I’m no eschatology (end-times studies) expert, and even the “experts” disagree (and consequently, must not know everything. They can’t all be completely right, and there seems to me to be little point in speculating about what or who is correct).
But is it possible that some Christians (and/or primarily professed Christians) might mistake the “peace” at the beginning of the tribulation for the dominion / kingdom reign of Christ?
This was tough to write about, as the timing of last days events (the rapture, the second coming, etc.) can be a very controversial topic. But this concern has been weighing on me for a long time, and today I really felt compelled to write about it, so here I am, doing that.
– The Bleeding Blogger