Consider this description of a future political rally right here in America:
“The sounds of a crowd wildly chanting fill the arena as a perfectly dressed man walks on to the stage. As he strides forward the roar grows to nearly deafening decibels. After many minutes the cheering dies down and the man begins to speak. His message is part political and part social having been honed on the campaign trail for a few months. He speaks about economic growth, about immigration policy, about what’s wrong in government. He does not give many solutions to these perceived problems, but he offers up himself as the answer. His speech has references to the Bible and to God, though it is apparent that he is not really comfortable talking about spiritual things. Still, the polls show that people who identify as “evangelical” are supporting his candidacy in record numbers. If enough people vote for him he will take his place as the next leader…of the world.”
This is not a description of the 2016 Republican presidential primary, even if some parallels appear in the story between the two. This is a fictional account of the election of the Antichrist, the political figure who will arise at some point in the future according to God’s perfect timing. This man is described in a few places and in the Bible—Ezekiel 28, Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation 13 and 17. Look at how 2 Thessalonians 2 describes this man.
2:3—he is called “the man of sin”
2:4—he opposes God and desires worship (notice the connection between politics and religion)
2:9—his power is Satanic and very deceptive (Matthew 24:24 indicates that his lies will be so deceptive that even Christians will be tempted to believe him).
2:11—he will deceive unbelievers.
Think about this coming election. In some form of future global democracy, the people of the world will rise up and support this man who opposes God and even people who call themselves Christians will support him.
Here is how the late theologian Dwight Pentecost describes him in Things To Come. Antichrist is a political leader whose influence is worldwide (332-333). He is persuasive and smart, subtle and crafty (333). He is part of Satan’s great masterpiece in his imitating the program of God (335). In other words, Satan will empower this politician so that his lies will be trusted to the point of his assuming control over the one-world government which will be in place during the time of the end.
What does this prophecy of a future political figure mean for us living today?
First, it is important to listen carefully to a candidate’s “talking points” and judge them by past actions. Abraham Lincoln supposedly remarked in a speech given in Clinton, IL in 1858 that “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time….” Politicians are adept at the use of language. This does not mean that everyone in politics is corrupt. God has blessed us with some wonderful governmental leaders. But it does mean that you cannot take anyone’s words at face value. The only way to know how a person will behave in office is to judge his words according to what he has already done. If a person has advocated practices which are immoral in the past, his present day commitment to morality must be questioned.
Second, this highlights the importance of recognizing the influence of Satan upon the political system. Who rules the nations of the world? While Jesus is the rightful ruler, the Bible teaches that Satan presently exercises authority over them. Moreover, Daniel 10 seems to indicate that there are demons controlled by Satan who exercise some influence over territories. With this knowledge a Christian must come spiritually armed to the ballot box.
Third, God is the one who actually elects our leaders. Psalm 75:7 indicates that God sets up people into positions of authority and He alone removes them. Democracy is a great social contract that began in the days of the Magna Carta. But it does not trump God’s sovereignty over the things of this life. Consequently, voting for the “lesser of two evils” might be a politically astute option, but it not one which is supported by Scripture.
As we enter into a political season where we are called upon to cast our vote for men and women who will assume high office in our land, let us be fully aware of our responsibility to vote in such a way as will bring glory to God, not in a way that will win us some measure of political victory. While God cares who is our next president, He’s not worried in the least about it. The day will come that Antichrist will be elected too, and by God’s sovereign will this wicked man will rule the earth, but his time is short. He will accomplish only what God determines him to do. Then he will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus—by the breath of His mouth and the brightness of His coming.