Pastor and author John MacArthur told his congregation on Sunday that today’s world – with a virus spreading through every country and governments ordering citizens to stay home – seems “perfectly suited for the Antichrist to come.’
MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., and a popular author and radio pastor, made the comments during a Sunday evening service in which he discussed COVID-19, government restrictions and Scripture.
The world’s governments, MacArthur said, “have done something that's never been done in human history.” That is, they have made the issue and the response “global,” he asserted.
“Now we are a global world. And that is a setup that we've been waiting for through redemptive history since the Lord promised that there would come, in the future, an Antichrist who would have a global government,” he noted.
“This is the first time in my lifetime that we literally have such power over people globally that we can shut them down so they can't function,” he said of lockdowns. “... This suits the world of Antichrist. As you look at the book of Revelation, there's the mark of the beast, the number, and if you don't have that, you don't buy, you don't sell, you don't exist. Everything about you, they know – the people who have access to all your data. They know all of it. You can go out of existence virtually any moment [and] somebody decides that. This is the kind of world that appears to be perfectly suited for the Antichrist to come, bring a certain amount of peace, [and] the world falls at his feet.
“He is the instrument of Satan,” MacArthur said of the Antichrist. “And of course, all hell breaks loose, and in that time of the Great Tribulation, God's judgment comes – at the end of which Christ returns.”
MacArthur said he’s not predicting that “the Lord is coming soon.” But he said many of today’s events mirror those prophesied in Scripture.
“The Bible says in the End Times there will be lawlessness. And there is lawlessness [today] and an escalating lawlessness and an effort to create more lawlessness by taking restraints away,” he said. “This is a world that could find itself in such absolute chaos that the right satanic leader who promises to fix everything could be given the title of king of the world. That Antichrist, aided by the false prophet, is what we see in the book of Revelation.
“… It seems that this is the world that we never knew could exist. We have the kind of weaponry that could destroy a third of the population, a fourth of the population, as you see in the book of Revelation. We have the kind of technology that can literally erase people out of existence. So, it's just up to us to be sure that we're looking at the signs of the times.”
Photo courtesy: ©Grace Community Church
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.