I really want to blog about Christmas, when I get back into the swing of things, as I've not blogged much, but before I do, here is a quick point. I'm raising this uncheerful topic again because people insist on bringing it up over and over again, yet with less rather than more understanding. I thought of a pithy way to put it in perspective for you, and hope that you will do so and then move on into living good, genuine, faithful and most of all believing in God mindset from here on out.
People have lost touch with something I've discussed before, so I will repeat it. We are far from seeing the Antichrist. We are, however, in the time of false prophets that Jesus spoke of, yet that does not at all mean that the Antichrist is imminent, as he is not. How do we know that? Because the Antichrist will be so terrible that he will make all of the evil humans that lived previously, such as Hitler, Pol Pot, etc look like teddy bears in comparison. His evil will be monstrous beyond current imagination. So do not waste your time further "wondering" if the Antichrist will be soon among you because he is not, nor will he be. With what people know today, no matter how depraved, brain damaged and morally challenged you have become, none of you would fail to recognize the Antichrist within one minute of viewing him.
So why did Jesus say that it will be like "a thief in the night," coming suddenly? The answer is simple. It will be sudden for the people who live during the time of the Antichrist because so many of them will be so depraved themselves that they will not recognize him as being evil. You see, at some point humans will degrade incredibly (even as their technology may continue to increase) as they increasingly surrender their own humanity. Then when he springs up he will seem like a great leader because compared to the filth of most of humanity, he will seem "effective," and "inspiring." That is because he will organize the surrendering of humanity based on the groundwork already laid in day to day degeneration.
Here are two analogies to help you understand what I am explaining. Suppose that a person today, even one of the lowest moral character, total disbelief in God, and lack of interest in charity was time traveled forward to the time of the Antichrist. That person would faint in horror at what the average person would be like and would spot the Antichrist, fear and loathe him in a New York minute. (That's just an expression, not linking NY to the Antichrist). The biggest thug of modern times if moved forward to the future would faint in horror at the sight of average people, and would of course spot the Antichrist immediately, even though few others of that time will do so.
How do I know this? That's kind of a "duh" question by now, is it not, but I want you to learn on your own how to understand the scriptures. The reason I know this and you should be able to deduce that too is that the Antichrist will have what no other human ever had, which is an indwelling of Satan. An indwelling of Satan will take the Antichrist, a human, to a point far, far FAR beyond what any evil madman of a human can or will ever achieve on his own.
But people will not recognize that of the time, and that is why the End of Days (the Apocalypse) will be a "surprise" to them. The people will have already laid the groundwork, unwittingly, for the Antichrist by accepting and adopting horrific life views and practices, ones that are being only sampled today. For example, the creation of false life by combining living humans and animals will be common and even thought to be "progressive." The road to hell is "paved with good intentions" as the saying goes, and the small steps people are taking today, if not stopped immediately, will be pathways from the laboratories into Frankenstein reality, and the Antichrist will take it to its ultimate, which will then trigger the Apocalypse.
My point is not to give you the scripture, which I of course can, to back up all I've written since I'd like to actually think about Christmas right now, thank you very much. But it's hard for me to avoid as even in Sunday school people who ought to know better are still glomming onto the Book of Revelation as if it is "about" to take place, and the news and pulpits are of course filled with it too, most inappropriately. All of that is an excuse to 1) avoid fixing the problems of today as the Bible (and the Qur'an) command otherwise and 2) total lack of understanding that while God and only God determines the Apocalypse he does so in response to the ultimate sinning and falling away of humankind in general. Only a total defeatist would think that humanity is at that point, as much as so much is horrible crap and neglect of human well being now. God triggers the Apocalypse when humans have gone way, way WAY too far, and as rotten and sinful as they are now, it's still a drop in the bucket of what the world will be like when the Antichrist arises from the corrupt soil that human nature will have made for itself.
So stop the crap and false propheting (and false profiting) and get on with the great Commission and spread the word of God, and of the Savior Jesus Christ, with genuine doctrine and understanding, and regain genuine understanding of charity.
The second analogy I want to give to you is the lobster in the slowly warming pot analogy. People who cook the shellfish called lobster know that the theory is that if you put the lobster in a lukewarm pot of water and slowly heat it, the lobster will go numb, fall asleep, become unconscious and then die. This is how disbelief will grow among humans, and how their total decay will take place. They will start out with the familiar and then gradually introduce more and more depravity and disbelief until each addition is not noticed. Each dose of depravity and disbelief will even seem comfortable and "logical." For example, more and more heinous medical "advances" will be made to "cure diseases," until people don't realize that they are creating interspecies humanity busting Frankensteins. Like the lobster they won't know that their humanity is warped, depraved and then dead and dying because each new dose will seem "compassionate," "fair," "logical" and "medical progress." That is just one example and you do not need to look far in the news to see humanity has put itself in the pot and the heat has just turned up a notch of their own doing.
The Antichrist will appear when people are at the second to last stage of this dying depravity, even though they themselves might think they are splendid, wonderful and thriving, since they've become used to the boiling water. That's why the worst thug alive today if forwarded through time to see anyone, even an average person, in that time would be horrified probably totally out of his mind. The people alive at that time won't have a clue what our theoretical thug will be so shocked, disgusted and horrified by, and they will wonder why he would in particular scream and go nuts at the sight of their superb leader, the Antichrist. Even the worst dirtbag lowlife of today who puts porn on the Internet of his or her own son or daughter would be horrified beyond his or her own capacity to endure it by what will be routinely going on the pre-End of Times "society." It is against THAT kind of backdrop that the two witnesses and others will speak up since of course not all will be deluded. There is no comparison at all between then and now except for one thing: humans refuse to understand they have put themselves into that pot and started to warm the water toward their own demise in preparation for the Antichrist in the far future.
When Jesus said to be watchful he did not mean to sit around like dumb stone heads and figure that "it's going to happen anyway." Yes, it is going to happen at some point that only God knows, but how can you ignore the mundane everyday evil, neglect and disbelief that is humanity's own created "plagues" now? You are supposed to care about how many souls of each generation hear the good news, believe and obey God, become saved and join God in eternal life, and not sit around thinking "Oh well, and I'm alright anyway." If you think that then you are NOT "alright."
Here is how to explain it. Remember how Jesus used the parable of the bride's attendants who are supposed to be ready before the wedding when the groom arrives? He points out that some are ready, but others let their wicks extinguish and are not ready. But here's the point: there IS a wedding, there IS joy and a real life. I think that some people today totally miss that Jesus is saying to be ready for collective and real life joy, in addition to the joy of his return. Otherwise the parable would be "And then they canceled the wedding because hey, after all, it was the End of Time and who cared anyway, except for their own assumed salvation?"
Are you the person who has extra oil, but figures not to share it with those who do not have it, simply because "Hey, the world's going to end anyway and 'I'm saved?'" Well, think again because with that attitude you are ignoring not only the great Commission but the example that Jesus Christ gave in the reality of good day to day life with preparedness, yes, but not "checking out" and neglecting life that is far from being ready to be extinguished.
Sheesh, I really wonder sometimes, what are people thinking. Well, unfortunately I know what they are thinking, but I find it hard to relate as to why they think that way and find it desirable to do so. A lot of it is pride and that ever craving for "specialness," where people think they "know" what is "going to happen" and that they are "OK with God," yet all they do is "phone in" their supposed faith instead of living it in a full and real life, one that is not going to be truncated by the Antichrist and his milieu to come.
If you really want to win souls for Christ then you don't want to hasten the depravity and hasten the neglect because that only increases day to day suffering of the innocent, but also loses souls rather than gains them for Christ as people lose hope in daily life as well as eternal life to come. Further, if you are not concerned with winning souls for Christ then you have to be a bit concerned if you really are supposedly "OK with God" after all.
When you die and are given individual judgment in front of God (and Satan will be the accuser, as he will know all the failings) do you think you can say "Well, I didn't care if others were comfortable and cared for in real life, nor did I care if they were saved, because I *knew* that I'd be *raptured* and that the Apocalypse is coming *soon...*" and then you look around and your mental voice trails off because after all, duh, you are there in front of God and obviously you weren't so called raptured and the Apocalypse did not happen, but you died of cancer, a heart attack, drunk driving, or whatever instead. Ooops.
For the love of Pete will you all get a grip and use this blessed Christmas season to think once again about how Jesus showed humanity how to know God, how to love and serve God, how to respectfully fear God, and how to do his will throughout one's ordinary life and in charity to others, and not how to fly in a holding pattern thinking you are "OK" and everyone's "on their own" because "the end is coming anyway?"
Whenever you think about the Antichrist remember that he will have an indwelling of Satan and that can only take place against a normalizing of the most horrific daily life attitudes and "advances" and that even the dimmest thug dim bulb alive today would be faint with horror at the sight of the real Antichrist and/or his cohort humans if he were put forward in time to see them. Like I said, even Hitler would look like a teddy bear compared to the Antichrist, but like the lobster in the pot, not because the Antichrist will outdo Hitler at being Hitler, but because he will have an indwelling of Satan within the context of a totally, totally, TOTALLY fallen humanity who think that is normal life and even admirable. We are only having bitter foretastes of that path today and that is entirely by human choices alone.
I hope this helps, especially you young people (hi my friends) who were raised with much of this error by those who should have known both their faith and their logic/common sense better than what you were given by them.
May I please get on with "Merry Christmas" now? Thank you.