But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36 ESV).
As planet Earth heads inexorably toward what we as Christians call the End Times, I think it wise for us to understand what role we should and shouldn’t play as our planet travels down that road, and Matthew 24:36 gives us some great insight into that very idea.
If the angels don’t know that day or hour, and if even the Son doesn’t know that day or hour, but only the Father knows that day or hour, then by extension we can logically conclude that Satan doesn’t know that day or hour either. And since Satan doesn’t know the day or hour, it’s fair to conclude that he has no idea who his ultimate champion (the Antichrist) will be and when that champion will be called upon, but instead must have people prepared all over the globe at all times who are ready to step into that role when it opens up for real. This is undoubtedly part of the meaning of 1 John 2:18, where John writes: Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come (ESV).
Now the term antichrist has many meanings, including against Christ, opposed to Christ, false Christ, pseudo Christ and instead of Christ, but in this article we’re concerning ourselves primarily with the social understanding of antichrist – meaning the person of the ultimate Antichrist and the social system that supports him when he comes into power.
As we’ve all learned from Highlander, there can be only one, and this is likewise true of Antichrist – eventually one specific antichrist will stand atop the heap. But it’s also still true that we shall know a tree by its fruit, and the natural fruit of all antichrists is that they (and those who support their thinking) will always be orchestrating human existence in the social direction of what we see taking place under the Antichrist in those final few years before Christ’s glorious return. These social conditions are what I call antichristism, and essentially represent those conditions which are necessary to be in place on planet Earth in order for the ultimate Antichrist to assume power and control. They are the platform upon which he will stand. So what are they?
The best way to define these conditions is to back away and take a broad look at the biblical description of the End Times to see what the social conditions will be like at that time, and a helicopter-view of that End Times parade would show us the following conditions (among many others not mentioned):
Derangement. Believe it or not, the great final battle of the Antichrist is actually a battle he wages against God: And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse [Jesus Christ] and his army (Revelation 19:19 ESV). Just think about the stunning implications of this verse: the Antichrist and his countless followers by this time without a doubt know that Jesus is God, that He has created all things, that He is eternal and that He holds complete control over all creation. Yet they are nevertheless waging war against Him, which means they think that they can actually defeat God Himself! It’s absolutely deranged and insane.
As we move toward those days, then, we should expect to see deranged thinking grow upon Earth. This means that there will be a disconnect from logic, a disconnect from empirical data, a disconnect from objective truth and a disconnect from sanity, and people will instead base their thinking on what they feel, what they want to be true, or what they are told is true by those to whom they look for guidance, with no questions asked.
Monolithic Thought. The idea of derangement leads us to the idea of monolithic thought, which is a fancy way of saying that everyone is thinking the same thing for the same reasons. Or put another way, no one disagrees with the established way of thinking, a condition commonly known as groupthink, where everyone agrees on what is good, and everyone agrees on what is bad. And if you happen to disagree, then you’ll be shamed, punished, reeducated or slain. This is precisely what we see taking place in Revelation’s thirteenth chapter, where one must agree to worship the Antichrist and receive his mark on their right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell.
Totalitarianism. As we’ve just seen, under the Antichrist’s reign there is no freedom: you do what the State tells you to do, you go where the State tells you to go, you think what the State tells you to think, and you worship what the State tells you to worship. There is absolute social control by the State of all people, and to resist is death.
Personality Cultism. The Antichrist will share his glory with no one. He is the expert without peer. All must follow him; all must bow to him. He is the Cult Leader; worship of him is the cult, and everyone else is required to be a worshipper.
One-World Government. The Antichrist is given a dark authority, and that dark authority includes power over every person, tribe and nation on Earth (Revelation 13:7). This will essentially be a return to the ungodly conditions under Nimrod in Genesis chapters10 and 11.
So now let’s move on to linking COVID-19 (C19) with the rise of antichristism, and to seeing how all of these ideas work together, especially since C19 provides us with such a fantastic teachable moment regarding how antichristism is being pushed in an accelerated fashion precisely because of the virus. As I do, please understand that I don’t see the introduction of C19 to our planet as either a judgment from God or a plot by the forces of Darkness. It may one day to turn out to be the latter, but I think it much more likely that the antichrists and their minions among us have simply taken advantage of the emergence of the virus to push their dark agenda.
When I look at world social affairs from a satellite view, I see them as follows: There are the forces of antichristism at work, and there are the forces of anti-antichristism at work. Now anti-antichristism is obviously way too much of a mouthful, so I think of it instead as freedom and dignity. In short, there are the forces of antichristism pushing us toward the conditions of the End Times, and there are the forces of freedom and dignity, which push us away from the conditions of the End Times.
In what was a very shocking development to me, in recent years there arose some unlikely and unexpected champions of freedom and dignity: President Donald Trump, his agenda (which I label Trumpism) and his Administration and supporters (whom I lump together as the Trumpists). I don’t know much about our President personally, but I will say that almost without fail his governing instincts are to break the teeth of antichristism at every turn, and I’m deeply grateful for him before God because of that. But President Trump, the Trumpists and Trumpism are like the heroes from Star Wars – things were looking pretty good at the end of the first movie. But we all know that the Empire refused to go quietly, and it’s the same with the antichrists and their antichristism. C19 has simply been the vehicle they’ve used to strike back, and to strike back with a vengeance. So what’s that looks like?
Let’s start with derangement. We were all legitimately concerned in the early days of C19 since we were all fairly new to coronaviruses, it sounded scary and we were all a bit primed by shows like The Last Ship and The Walking Dead. But now that we know a great deal more about the virus itself, who it affects and how and why, and the actual death rate numbers (which are relatively low and certainly within the “normal” range for a virus), we for some reason still act like we’re dealing with the Andromeda Strain. It’s almost as if actual data and empirical evidence no longer matter. People know what they want to know, and it doesn’t matter if it’s factual or not.
Such thinking generally falls into this monolithic pattern: The virus is very, very dangerous, and because we can’t be trusted to make our own decisions about such a dangerous, dangerous virus, we should all shelter in place and wait for the State to tell us what to do and what not to do, where to go and where not to go, and only the State and those deemed its experts can tell us what we need to know. We trust the State; the State is good. The State has our best interests in mind, it has so many resources that it could never be wrong, and it would certainly never deceive us.
All of this, of course, plays right into the hands of totalitarianism, which seeks to enslave us all. Fortunately, though, C19 is forcing those in government to show their true colors, both good and bad. Many governors, for instance, have used a light hand in the use of their executive powers, have protected the most vulnerable, have trusted their people and have recoiled in horror at the idea of commandeering their people’s freedoms. Others, however, have jumped at the chance to rule with an iron fist, and to this day show no signs of releasing their grip.
A major factor contributing to this rising totalitarianism is the worship of personalities, which we’re now doing under the guise of trusting the experts. Here in the United States, where we’re a Constitutional Republic designed to be led by elected leaders serving under the watchful, limiting eye of the Constitution, we’ve in some cases gladly allowed ourselves to be controlled and led by unelected experts, and if we are those who chance to disagree with such apparently altruistic, all-knowing and perfectly benevolent individuals then we must hate science, hate others and/or be immeasurably selfish. Those who dare poke their head out of the hole and speak of inalienable rights are smacked down immediately by the virtue-shamers and their monolithic moral code of indignation. Do what’s best for everyone, just like the experts say! is the new battle cry of antichristism.
Undergirding all of this, of course, is the unflinching belief that a pandemic such as C19 can only be properly handled if the world acts as one while being shepherded by our benevolent experts, and that we should therefore all come together as one under one system in order to do so. Some (as always) would steer us to cede national authority to the United Nations, while some would cede control to the World Health Organization in matters of health and safety. However, both ideas lead to a weakening of national sovereignty and an undoing of the principle of many separate peoples and nations introduced by God in the confusion of tongues at Babel in Genesis chapter 11. And so we see that it’s not that hard at all to understand how C19 (a fairly serious and deadly virus in its own right) is being used to push the conditions of antichristism upon humanity.
So now let’s get to the meat of the matter here, which are the Christian objections to getting involved in the first place. The first objection goes like this: As Christians, why should we even care? Our business is the Gospel, not government and civics. Or to rephrase it: Our business is the Gospel, not things like freedom and dignity. This is where I unfortunately must break ranks with some pastors and a great many Christians, and let me explain why. While the Gospel should always have the primacy among us, there is other business that we can and should be about. For instance, prior to the Gospel humanity’s first responsibility was stewardship of Earth, and I can find nowhere in Scripture that we’ve been relieved of that duty. Conditions on Earth matter. They matter to God (Revelation 11:18), and they should therefore matter to us. I think of it like college studies: you have a major and you have a minor. For Christians, our major should always be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but our minor should be stewardship – stewardship of the planet and of the image of God in us, which always flourishes when and where freedom and dignity flourish. And freedom and dignity flourish when civic and social affairs are influenced by the truths of Scripture, which have been entrusted to us.
The other objection is what I call End Times fatalism, and it sounds something like this: Look, I get what you’re saying, but it’s all right there in the Bible. It’s obviously God’s will, and we know how it’s gonna end, so why fight it? Just let it happen and let’s get outta here! The sooner it happens, the sooner Jesus returns! Now it’s true that we know how things will end, because God knows the end from the beginning, and He’s given us a glorious glimpse of what will transpire. But it DOES NOT HAVE A DATE SET FOR THAT TIME! To me this means that if we stand for the right things in the right way and for the right reasons, we can push antichristism back and give Earth more time. As born-again children of the Light, then, we should be fighting the Darkness everywhere we find it and in every way it rears its disgusting head, understanding that good stewardship of Earth requires that we who are born of Heaven’s seed fight antichristism and its hideous, enslaving nature. It seems to me that Christ’s love would dictate that we don’t want to see even the worst of our enemies or their children living in those conditions, let alone our own dear children and grandchildren.
I’m so thankful that the COVID-19 pandemic has so clearly unmasked the unholy direction that this world’s fallen way of thinking wants to lead us. Christianity has done a phenomenal job with the Gospel during C19; my prayer now is that we likewise do a phenomenal job with the rest of the Light that we’ve been given. I respectfully request that you pray if perhaps this might be the time to plant a flag or two other than (but subordinate to) the Gospel, and to take a stand or two other than for the Gospel. In many ways, the better things of Earth hang in the balance while we Christians debate involvement. For starters, Earth is simply better when nations remain separate and sovereign, better when government is small and personal freedom is large, better when governments fear the governed, better when marriage is monogamous and between one biological male and one biological female, better when life in the womb is protected, and better when people are free to disagree.
It’s not just the Gospel that calls to the followers of Christ – planetary stewardship calls us as well. Are we listening?
Until next time, God bless.