December 22 - The End of Time


By Barbara Lighthizer

Today's Scripture: Revelation 13:1-18 (NIV)

Central Thought: What if the Antichrist would appear today?

    The prophecy of the reign of the Antichrist during the Tribulation gives us a sobering look into the devastating position of Christians. His demonic purpose will be to destroy anyone who believes in Jesus.

    There are different schools of thought as to when the rapture of the Church—the body of Christ—will take place. Regardless of when believers are raptured and united with Christ, some who experience the reign of terror in the last days will choose to identify with Christ; others will give in to the pressures of their circumstances. Scripture warns that everyone will be required to accept a mark that will enable them to buy and sell. Death awaits anyone who refuses this identification with the Antichrist.

    It is easier for parents to go without food than watch their children starve or go without medication they need to survive. Seeing loved ones struggle with hunger and pain will drive some Christians to give in and denounce their Lord by accepting the mark.

    Are we spiritually strong enough today to bear up under that type of pressure? How do we respond with the struggles in our lives now? Without the power of God's Spirit working in us and on our behalf, we could not stand. Let us use the time we have left to strengthen our relationship with our Lord.

Devotional Prayer: Jesus, only the Father knows the time when You will return. Please help my family and me to be faithful to You so we will be ready regardless of the time. Please help us to be true to Your Word regardless of the temptations and pressures we face.

Today's Bible Reading: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20