Thursday, December 17, 2009

De-radicalizing Islam

I was listening to Dennis Prager when he praised liberal columnist Thomas Friedman for his recent article on Islam. The refreshing thing about this article is that it avoided political correctness as it called on Islamic leaders to police their own radical elements. I believe that this is in fact what will eventually happen when the raging Jihad perpetrates a sufficient international crisis.

Most of Islam is looking forward to the day that their Mahdi comes to bring peace to the world under Islam. One thing Sunnis and Shiites have in common is that they both look forward to the day when all Islam is united as they were under the Muslim Caliphate during the Ottoman Empire. Iranian President Ahmadinejad, a Shiite, recently stood inside the Sultanahmet Mosque and prayed behind a Turkish Sunni imam to demonstrate that he and the Iranian government are supporting the emerging Turkish-led Islamic Union.

Many Muslims including Ahmadinejad believe that their Mahdi will emerge to resolve a great conflict between nations in the world. That is what makes Ahmadinejad so dangerous; he believes he is called to initiate that great confliguration between nations that summons the Mahdi. This also explains why Iran is doing everything they can to provoke Israel to attack them.

The parallels between what Muslims expect of their Mahdi and what the Bible says about the Antichrist is striking. I believe that Muslims will embrace the Antichrist as their Mahdi. Certainly all the world will obey him... "all the world marveled and followed the beast" (Revelation 13:3, NKJ); indeed, "all who dwell on the earth will worship him" (Revelation 13:8). And Daniel 8:25 says the Antichrist, "by peace shall destroy many" (KJV). The Antichrist will initially enable sufficient peace that Israel is able to build a temple in Jerusalem. Such a peace will most certainly involve compromises by all parties... "through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule" (Daniel 8:25, NKJ).

The international crisis that enables the Antichrist to emerge and orchestrate a temporary peace is brewing. It is just a matter of time before Israel responds to Iran's nuclear ambitions which will set off a chain of events that will shock the world into embracing a man who solves the crisis. Since Satan is inciting the crisis, his anointed will be able to defuse it. This peace however will be short lived, "for when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape" (1Thessalonians 5:3, NKJ).

Thank God that followers of Jesus in our present age will not suffer through the reign of the Antichrist. It is so liberating to be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13, NKJ). The alternatives of trusting in oneself, the growing government or the coming of the Mahdi are extraordinarily weak in comparison.

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