Thursday, September 18, 2008
Is Barak Obama the Antichrist?
In the Sermon on the Mount of Olives (Luke 21.5ff) Jesus talked about the turmoil that will precede the end of the world: wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution. Jesus makes it clear that the world is not going to get better and better; rather it will descend into selfishness, hatred, violence and destruction. In desperation people will look to anyone who can save them. This is where the doctrine of the Antichrist comes in.
Apparently in our school this has become quite a topic. Some of the children are saying that Senator Barak Obama is the Antichrist. So I addressed this topic briefly in our chapel service this morning (September 18, 2008).
St. John speaks about the Antichrist in his first letter... "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us..." (1 John 2.18-19). Notice in this passage that anyone who turns away from Jesus and teaches things contrary to His teaching is an "antichrist." But there is a premier Antichrist coming.
St. Paul speaks about this in 2 Thessalonians... "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2.18-19).
In each case this premier Antichrist is one that arises out of the church as a false teacher. There have always been good and bad political leaders. It is a distraction to label one of them the Antichrist. In the past Caesars, Adolf Hitler, Mikhail Gorbachev, and President Bush have been identified by some as the Antichrist. But the Bible tells us to look in the church or to those associated with the church - to look to for false teachers who claim to speak for God.
So, I'm sorry, I disagree - I don't think Barak Obama is the Antichrist. More importantly I wouldn't worry so much about politicians as I would those who claim to speak for God. Do they? I think Joel Osteen is an small "a" antichrist because he teaches things clearly contrary to Jesus and the apostles. When we Lutherans look around and ask who "sits as God in the temple of God" we say that the closest candidate for that office is the papacy. Who else in the Christian community claims to be able to speak for God? If you would like to learn more about that, read "The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope."
As the end of the world comes closer (John said, "It is the last hour..."), we would do well to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and His word. Then we will not be deceived.
Luke 21.18 "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them."