Who is the Antichrist? Is the Great Tribulation a past, present, or future event? How can we live confidently in these uncertain times? Dr. Youssef answers your questions in his newest book
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From the author Dr Michael Youssef
This book is born out of studying the Scriptures regarding the End Times while simultaneously examining the widespread rise of Islamic thoughts on the subject. Perhaps the most amazing fact I uncovered is the shocking similarity between the biblical “antichrist” and the Muslim “Mahdi.”
Most Christians recognize that the rise and the fall of the biblical antichrist will lead to the return of the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ. Yet while we anticipate the return of the true Messiah, many modern Islamic writers (both Shiites and Sunnis) have a heightened sense of expectation regarding the appearance of their “messiah,” the Mahdi. To be sure, Sunni and Shiites do not agree on many of the details, but both anticipate the rise of such a person.
Sunni Muslims believe that the Mahdi is none other than Jesus himself, whom they do not believe died on Calvary but rather ascended into heaven at the age of 33. They believe He will come back to earth and live for seven years at the end of which He will visit Mecca and declare himself a Muslim. Allegedly He will then turn against the Christians and the Jews and judge the world by establishing the Islamic Sharia.
Shiite Islam has a different view of the Mahdi. Since they follow a different line of succession to Mohammed, their Mahdi (messiah) is identified as the “Twelfth Imam.” He was born in the 9th century, became Imam at the age of five, and supposedly vanished in an event called the “occultation.” Shiites believe that this Mahdi is alive now but hidden until Allah reveals him at a time when the earth is in political and economical turmoil.
Now consider the biblical depiction of the antichrist. Paul refers to him as “the man of lawlessness,” “the man doomed to destruction,” and “the lawless one.” Second Thessalonians describes him as one “who will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God.” (2:3-4, 8). (See also Revelation 13). In Mathew 24 Jesus affirms Daniel’s prophecy regarding the rise of the antichrist, noting that his arrival will spell out the End of the Age. (See Daniel 9:27)
The similarities between the Mahdi and the antichrist are chilling:
1) Both are associated with the End Times and the Day of Judgment.
2) They both possess political, military, and religious power.
3) Both will endeavor to bring the world under one religion.
4) The Mahdi will force all people to convert to Islam, and the antichrist will make himself the object of worship.
5) Both will establish Jerusalem as the capital from which they will rule the world.
Whether you are a person who sees value in this or not, I write as a committed Bible- believing Christian who has spent many years in biblical study. My conclusion is simple but not simplistic.
Christ and Christ alone is the hope of the world. He spiritually rules in the hearts of His followers, but the day is coming when He will return to destroy ALL of the antichrists, regardless of their names. Jesus of Nazareth alone will reign and rule forever!
In this charged political season, we do well to remember that we are not voting for a savior but a servant—one who needs to demonstrate that if he/she has served God faithfully, it is a clear indication that he/she will serve the nation similarly.
If you are looking to someone with a messianic complex, then he/she will simply pave the way for the biblical antichrist, Satan’s sinister representative, who will lead many away from the truth.
Choose wisely and prayerfully!
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