Lately I've been studying topics related to the trendy global warming crisis: peak-oil, energy reserves, green energy, sustainable living. I've been thinking for some time that the earth can't support more than a half billion people or so without oil and that there will be a global cataclysm in the next fifty years — I've been calling this the "Oil Wars." Perhaps these events will usher in the last days with the great tribulation and the anti-Christ.
See related article, the Oil Wars.
I think the world is radically overpopulated. My definition of overpopulation is that the resources needed for life are being depleted. An example is that that the world's fishing grounds are being depleted or have already been depleted.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28)
I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. (Psalm 132:15)
Certainly God wishes us to thrive and prosper. But when we are overpopulated, the land and the resources are no longer adequate to support the quality of life that God would wish for us.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (Genesis 9:5,6)
This verse commands the use of capital punishment. Some would claim that it is immoral for government to control population even using moral methods such as economic incentives. But wouldn't a moral means of population control be less morally objectionable than capital punishment (since it doesn't involve the taking of life but in merely controlling how many people are born)?
Perhaps the Great Tribulation will be the sufferings caused by running out of oil.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (Matthew 24:29)
Images such as these appear many times in the Bible in the context of judgment and catastrophe. Some assume they are miraculous events but they easily fit natural phenomena. The event referred to here is the great tribulation followed by judgment.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30,31)
Christ's second coming occurs after a great tribulation but not necessarily immediately after.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Revelation 12:12)
Satan's primary goal is to prevent people from entering heaven where they will live with God. Therefore, he must corrupt the gospel and cause Christians to apostatize.
When Satan was in heaven waging war with Michael and the angels (v. 7) he deceived the whole world (b. 9), accused the brethren before God (v. 10), and caused the martyrdom of many believers (v. 11) presumably by his influence on unbelievers, Even though Satan was locked up (Revelation 20:2,3; Luke 10:18) his influence was limited to harming Christians, not to corrupting the gospel.
Now that Satan has been cast down to the earth (Revelation 20:3) apostasy and heresy are prevalent.
The anti-Christ will be a person
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin [anti-Christ] be revealed, the son of perdition [destruction]; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)
The temple of God is the church. The anti-Christ interferes with the church.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16,17)
The characteristics of the anti-Christ:
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)
Denies that Jesus is the Messiah. Denies the Trinity.
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7)
Denies that Jesus came in the flesh. Many liberal Christians have this view.
Before the anti-Christ appears many Christians will fall away from the faith; this is the great aposatsy. We see this already occurring as Christianity is mocked and discriminated against in our modern culture. In the name of tolerance, acceptance, and harmony it will soon become illegal in the modern world to teach Christian ideas.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:1,2)
Very few outside of orthodox Christianity have proper moral teachings. It is common for non-Christians and anti-Christians to be accepting of sinful practices in the name of tolerance and acceptance.
As Christians fall away from the faith their consciences will become seared as they adopt the standards of modern culture.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
The apostasy will occur near the end of human history.
I propose that "the lie" is modernism which forms the foundation for liberal Christianity. When Christians reject the teachings of the historic Christian faith in order to modernize it the result is a Christianity which is powerless to save from sin.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:3)
When Satan is loosed for a short time he will deceive the nations. During the first 2,000 years or so of the church age Satan was unable to deceive the nations, meaning that he could not prevent Christianity from developing true teaching and from spreading throughout the whole world. But now, since the rise of modernism and the advent of liberal Christianity, Satan is deceiving the nations by spreading a false Christianity. The parable of the wheat and the tares concerns apostasy within the church:
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (Matthew 13:37-40)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3,4)
Christianity requires sound doctrine. Liberal Christianity is doing away with this.
Jesus said on many occasions that he would return soon. Preterists use this to support their view that the second coming occurred in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. I should note that I reject the preterist view.
The following passage reveals the proper understanding of this topic.
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple [John] should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he [John] tarry [remains] till I come, what is that to thee? (John 21:23)
This passage states that the apostle John would not die until after the coming of Jesus. Therefore, John witnessed the second coming of Christ (referred to as Christ's coming). He witnessed this coming during one of his visions which he included in the book of Revelation.
Christ comes to each believer at the time of their death. If John's vision of Christ's second coming can be referred to as "Christ's coming" certainly the same terminology can be used to refer to our meeting him at the time of our death. Thus, the following phrases can be used to refer to our meeting of Christ at the time of death:
1 Tim 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Mat 24:9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Mat 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, Mat 24:11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Mat 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, Mat 24:13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.