I am convinced that the Antichrist will be a Muslim. I have taken at least one bet about this... payable in push-ups at the winner's discretion in the New Jerusalem. I recently came across an argument from Ray Gano that reinforces my position on a Lamb & Lion Ministry TV program; see the Part 2 video.
You can also see text for the Ray Gano argument addressing the “people of the prince to come” of Daniel 9:26 here; scroll down to the heading for Ray Gano. The key point he makes is that the Tenth Legion of Rome under Titus was made up of mercenaries from surrounding countries that historically were enemies of Israel.
The other prophecy experts on the Lamb & Lion TV show that argued against the Antichrist being a Muslim generally dismiss the idea because no Muslim will worship a person who would declare himself to be god. But since Muslims don’t really believe truth to begin with, they are susceptible to being swayed be a charismatic leader that is one of their own. Indeed, all who don’t know the truth are able to be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Islam is essentially a huge cult and given the right leader, they will accept what he teaches hook, line, and sinker. That is the nature of cults; look at their history.
Also the idea that Muslims will be removed from the world scene since they will lose the Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 wars does not hold water in my mind either. The history of the Muslims has been one of losing wars over and over… but they don’t give up; they just reorganize and try again with new tactics at a later time. This has been the strategy of liberals who have sought to impose socialism in this country; they have never given up despite their set backs and you can see where that has gotten us today. Come to think of it, losing over and over has been Satan’s record as well. Fortunately the Lord will put an end to these cycles.
The Book of Revelation makes it clear that a strong religion is used by the Antichrist to unite the world. I just don’t see some new age paganism, apostate Christianity or the secular humanism of Europe being that strong of a galvanizing force. If they were, why hasn’t Satan used them more effectively on this side of the Tribulation? After the true Christians are removed in the Rapture, Islam will be the dominate religion on the planet by a huge margin. And we already know its capacity to enlist followers; its growth trend this side of the Tribulation foreshadows its growth during the Tribulation.
I do have to admit that Dave Regan gives an excellent argument that the Antichrist will not be a Muslim but I’m still convinced he will be. There are just too many of the puzzle pieces that fit together nicely with that perspective. Ultimately however, we will have to see. Indications are we will not have too long to wait.
Consider yourself invited to my push-up party in the New Jerusalem. Whether I have won or lost the bet, God will be glorified and it will be a great celebration.