What Is Armageddon?
A word used too loosely nowadays is Armageddon. It seems like anything big or significant and unpleasant is some sort of “mageddon” event, such as snowmageddon and retail-mageddon.
The recent threat of nuclear war has brought the idea of Armageddon happening to mainstream thinking. A global nuclear war would be the worst event thus far in human history. Still, nuclear war is not the Biblical Armageddon. In fact, no one will use nuclear weapons in the battle of Armageddon.
Do not get me wrong; I am not saying there will never be a nuclear war. I am not saying there will never be a third world war. What I am saying is that what people think Armageddon is and what the Bible says are often miles apart.
Some background is needed here.
Armageddon takes place at the end of a seven-year tribulation period the world will suffer through. We have some time before Armageddon because the seven-year Tribulation has not yet begun.
At an unknown time, hopefully soon, God will rapture the true Christians from the earth. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Shortly after the rapture, the Antichrist orchestrates a covenant with Israel and many nations concerning the city of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27). This “covenant with death, and hell” starts the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:24-27; Isaiah 28:15-18).
During the early days of the Tribulation, the Antichrist rises to power. There are wars, famines, diseases, and death coming at a pace the world has never seen. The Bible mentions twenty-one judgments divided into three seven-piece sections – Seals, Trumpets, and Vials. Events like a massive meteor striking the earth, an earthquake that shakes the entire planet, hail mingled with fire, one-third of all sea life dying, scorpions released from hell, and more. The wrath of God will rock the earth and everyone in it (Revelation 6-19).
Other things going on during the Tribulation – 144,000 Jews will preach the gospel. The authorities will eventually kill them for their efforts. Still, a massive number of people will come to salvation in Christ.
Revelation 11:1-14 tells us that two witnesses will preach for half the Tribulation. When the Antichrist kills them, their bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three days; people will give gifts to one another to celebrate their deaths. At the end of three days, they rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. The Tribulation Period will be the wildest, most devastating, and most horrific time in human history.
The first seal judgment is the rise of the Antichrist. The second seal is war. The rise of the Antichrist is a bloody one. By the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist is in total control. Except for the saved, the entire world will worship the man. Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Many believe Armageddon is a battle between the nations where we blow it all up, destroying the world as we know it. That thought is a fallacy. The world’s armies do not gather at Armageddon to fight each other. They gather there to fight the returning King of Kings – Jesus Christ. Revelation 19:19, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
How can the world possibly think they could defeat the creator of the universe? The answer is simpler than you think. The world believes the lies. They believe the lies of the Antichrist. The world worships him and believes that he is god. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the Antichrist walks into the Temple in Jerusalem and proclaims himself to be god, and the vast majority believe him (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11).
Also, at the midpoint of the seven years, the Antichrist takes complete control of the world’s finances as no one will be able to buy or sell without his implant. Revelation 13:16-17, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
With everyone’s money, worship, and adoration centered on the Son of Perdition, they will follow him anywhere, including Armageddon.
The battle of Armageddon is exceptionally one-sided. This same voice that created the universe destroys the armies of this world (Revelation 19:15; John 1:1-3,10,14 Genesis 1:1-31).
The blood flows down the valley of Megiddo to Jerusalem at the height of a horse’s bridle. The Antichrist is defeated, and Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3). Christ will continue His flight from heaven, down the valley, and land on the Mount of Olives outside of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4).
Christ walks into the city of Jerusalem, continues into the Temple, sets down in the Holy of Holies, and rules the earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
Armageddon will not destroy the world, but our world will not be recognizable after the seven years preceding the battle. Armageddon is the second coming of Christ and ushers in the utopia humanity has always desired.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com