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What Will the Anti-Christ Be Like?

He will be a figure of great power and authority.

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According to the Bible, the Antichrist is a powerful figure who will arise in the end times, working to lead people away from God and toward destruction. While the Bible offers many clues as to what the Antichrist will be like, there is still much debate among scholars and believers as to the exact nature of this figure. In this article, we will explore the major passages describing the Antichrist, with a particular focus on the man of lawlessness.

The first mention of the Antichrist in the Bible comes from the book of Daniel, where he is referred to as “the little horn.” In chapter 7, Daniel has a vision of four beasts, each representing a different kingdom. The fourth beast is particularly fearsome, with ten horns and “eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8). As Daniel watches, a little horn arises among the ten, uprooting three of them and speaking “words against the Most High” (Daniel 7:25).

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While the identity of the little horn is not explicitly stated, many scholars believe that this figure represents the Antichrist. This interpretation is supported by other passages in the Bible, including 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, which describes the Antichrist as one who will “oppose and exalt himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

2 Thessalonians 2 is perhaps the most detailed description of the Antichrist in the New Testament. In this chapter, Paul warns the Thessalonians not to be deceived by false teachings that the end times have already come. He explains that before the return of Christ, there will be a great rebellion and the man of lawlessness will be revealed. This figure will be empowered by Satan and will perform “all kinds of false miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

While Paul does not use the term “Antichrist” in this passage, many scholars believe that the man of lawlessness is indeed the same figure described in other parts of the Bible. Like the little horn in Daniel, the man of lawlessness is characterized by his rebellion against God and his claim to divine authority.

Revelation 13 is another key passage describing the Antichrist. In this chapter, John has a vision of a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. One of the heads appears to have been wounded and then healed, causing people to marvel and worship the beast. The beast is given authority to make war on the saints and to overcome them, and people are forced to receive a mark on their hand or forehead in order to buy or sell.

The identity of the beast is also a matter of some debate, but many scholars believe that it represents the Antichrist. The healed wound on one of the heads is often seen as a parallel to the wounded head of the little horn in Daniel, and the beast’s demand for worship and control over commerce is consistent with the Antichrist’s desire for absolute power.

So what can we learn from these passages about the nature of the Antichrist? Firstly, it is clear that he will be a figure of great power and authority, likely rising to a position of leadership in the world. He will use his power to lead people away from God and toward evil, performing miracles and signs to deceive people into following him.

Secondly, the Antichrist will be characterized by his opposition to God. The man of lawlessness will proclaim himself as God and perform miraculous signs and wonders to deceive people into following him. He will be filled with deceit, wickedness, and every kind of evil.

Another passage that describes the Antichrist is found in the book of Daniel. Daniel 7:25-26 says, “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever.”

The Antichrist will not only oppose God but will also oppress God’s people and try to change the laws and times set by God. However, his power will ultimately be destroyed by God.

In conclusion, the Bible provides us with a clear understanding of who the Antichrist is and what he will be like. He will be a charismatic and influential figure who will oppose God and deceive many through his words and actions. The man of lawlessness will ultimately proclaim himself as God and will oppress God’s people. However, we can take comfort in the fact that God is in control and the Antichrist’s power will be ultimately destroyed. As Christians, it is important for us to remain faithful to God and resist the lies and deception of the Antichrist.

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Faith

A Nation of Unsung Heroes

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The movie, Unsung Hero, is not only a great movie. It’s a movie that captures the struggle and hard-earned survival and eventual success of millions of Americans who have had to overcome struggles to earn their own American Dream. For two centuries, Americans have been known for their resourcefulness and resilience, and we are not done yet!

We are again living in difficult and challenging times. Surveys suggest that nearly 60% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Their solutions to their plight won’t be coming from politicians in Washington. Their success, as always, depends on their will and resourcefulness in overcoming daily obstacles, their ability to survive on limited resources, their scrounging for work that allows them to survive another day, and help from those who care.

That common but heart-rending struggle is conveyed in an inspiring way in Unsung Hero. The film focuses on the early struggles of the Smallbone family in the early 90’s. We watch as David Smallbone’s once-thriving music business as a concert promoter in Australia falls apart. They lose their home, their car, and their life’s savings. With no opportunities in Australia, David moves the family halfway around the world to Nashville to secure the only job he could secure. After missed flights and a long and tiring journey to Tennessee, David learns that his promised job had been given to someone else.

As their dreams fall apart, you watch as the steady faith and creativity of Helen Smallbone, played by Australian actress and mother Daisy Betts, pulls the family through one setback and challenge after another to find a way through. With six children and another on the way, every member of the family is challenged to do their part to keep them afloat. They do yard work, any work that would fill their jar of savings. They couldn’t let it be empty, and they didn’t. They kept finding a way.

They were Australians with no friends, no family, no car, sleeping on beds made out of clothes. To nurture their faith, they began attending a local church. Aware of their needs, church members found ways to help in any way they could. In a foreign country living in a city with over half-a million people, it took finding a loving faith community who cared enough to help. Watch the movie, to find out the rest of the story. Bring plenty of tissue and be ready for a few tears along the way.

America needs this movie right now. Why? Too many people are feeling hopeless in the face of growing inflation and lost jobs. They face frustrating obstacles and enormous challenges, and the answer is summed up by a quotation of Mother Teresa shared in the movie, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Luke Smallbone, the producer of the film, acknowledged the importance of that truth, “That is really the heartbeat behind the film.” It is also the local solution that has always helped Americans find their way through-the power of family and the presence and support of their local “family of God.”

Washington may send you money, but they can’t provide the flexible and persistent support needed. It’s one’s local family, friends, and faith communities who can encourage resilience and help shape a needed recovery. Solutions come from a local community’s caring and support. It used to always be that way, and it needs to be that way again.

Our nation is full of unsung heroes who are helping their family and friends, and they are more needed than ever. If you don’t have anyone helping you, stop looking to Washinton for the help that will never come no matter who is elected President. Get involved again in your family and your community. Call your family and let them know you need help. Get back involved in your church or synagogue and let God work through them to help you get back on your feet. Investing in community is an adventure that allows you to help and be helped to the glory of God and country.

When you get involved, you most likely will not make any headlines. That is left for terrorists, violent demonstrators, and other disasters and threats out of your control. But America is strong because of millions of unsung heroes who make it all work and seldom get acknowledged. This column is dedicated to you. You deserve to be honored and applauded for all you have done and will do to keep America the country it has been and must remain. May it continue to be so in your adventure!
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Elections

Let’s Reclaim America’s Optimism Advantage

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On this New Year’s Day, America needs more than a parade and great football games; our people need renewed optimism in living our American Dream. Instead of looking for government fixes or some magical new president who will make things right, we need a kick in the pants to get busy making America work no matter what obstacles we face.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, Ronald Reagan shared what he considered the secret of his success as our President: “I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

Oh, how we need leadership like that in America today. As we start this year, too many people feel powerless. Inflation may be coming down, but high fuel and food prices have taken their toll on far too many Americans. Watching the invasion on our Southern border means too many of our cities are being overwhelmed with no end in sight. We wonder if there is anything we can do but watch. The sense of despair and helplessness is contagious, but so is optimism. What attitude do you spread?

There is more than you think within your control. Every day, you make choices to make your situation better or worse. Studies of optimism find that optimism comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. If you have had obstacles the last few years and are still making it work, pat yourself on the back. Be a proud survivor, not a victim so many seem to take pride in claiming to be.

Make each day count by starting your day doing one thing to make your situation better. Find one way to cut expenses. Find a way to increase your resources. Make a call or visit to nurture your network of colleagues and friends. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Nurture your faith realizing that God gave you gifts and give thanks every day for the blessings you have. Lest you forget, you’re blessed to live in America. People risk everything to come here, and few want to leave.

Yes, this is an election year, and it would sure be a gift to have a leader who would nurture the hope and optimism of all our citizens. So as the campaigns progresses and you listen to potential leaders vying for your support, ask yourself a few key questions:

Do they want to control your choices or ensure your freedoms?

Do they want to make you more or less dependent on government?

Do they want to increase the size of government and entitlements and the taxes needed to fund them or decrease them?

Do they want to force your children to go to public schools that don’t’ get the results your children deserve, or are they willing to give you the freedom to pick the schools your children need?

Do they disagree with their opponents and state why, or do they demean them and call them names?

Do they want to grow the size of government and its debt, or do they want to decrease both?

Do they believe in the citizens they represent, or do they convey that they are the answer to America’s future?

Do they take responsibility for their mistakes and actions or quickly deny responsibility and blame others?

No President is perfect. It’s easy to promise and a lot harder to deliver. Reagan focused on three things: an optimism based on free-enterprise innovation, smaller government, and lower taxes. He delivered on all but smaller government. As Reagan advisor Arnold Laffer confessed, “When it came to cutting welfare payments and school lunch,…it was very hard. Someone would come over and say, ‘How can you cut school lunches?’ Reagan would reply, ‘I guess you’re right; I’ll tell them not to cut that one.’”

The pressure to keep growing government is tempting and easy to understand, but it is not what America was created for. America’s form of government was designed to protect citizens from an over-controlling, over-taxing government. We need to reclaim that passion for freedom and self-reliance. Our founding citizens wanted the opportunity to pursue happiness, not happiness given to them at the expense of other taxpayers.

The election is months away. So I’m going to borrow on the optimism of Ronald Reagan to inspire us all on this first day of 2024: “I’m not taking your time…to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for the next election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need to believe in ourselves and get busy living our own dreams. Then, in November, let’s elect a leader who will stay out of our way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail, succeed, and thrive in our own American Dream!
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