Is ISIS a precursor to tribulation days? In some ways, I believe it is. Here’s why:
Revelation 20 gives us a glimpse into the millennium, when Satan is bound and cast into the abyss. John saw the souls of tribulation believers come to life (Revelation 20:4), but how had they been killed, and why?
As disgusting as it sounds, beheading will be in vogue during the tribulation. It seems that ISIS is making it vogue today. So vogue, that hundreds of thousands of people have watched videos of ISIS militants cutting off heads. The world is becoming desensitized to extreme violence that will be rampant in the tribulation!
Do you remember the Columbine school shootings in 1999? The nation was stunned and appalled, and vows were made that it would never happen again. Fast forward a few years and the number of school and public mass shootings has sky rocketed and some hardly make the news. We have become desensitized, and to make matters worse, perpetrators are now seen as less responsible because of supposed mental illnesses. Friends, it is sheer evil, and the pervasive excuse that somehow perpetrators are not responsible for their actions has penetrated society.
So, it is with ISIS and radical Islam. The more we become desensitized to the atrocities, the more deceived society is to the threat of evil. No, ISIS is not mentioned in the Bible. However, in reference to the tribulation, I’ve heard the evil of ISIS described as “the ingredient being added to the pot to make that dish [tribulation] ready.” (Amir Tsarfati with Jack Hibbs, April 27, 2015) ISIS gives us a glimpse of how bad things will be during the tribulation.
News out of the UK indicates that ISIS is preparing to launch “enormous and spectacular” attacks on their homeland. Even cutting heads off has not been conceived as “enormous and spectacular” attacks. So what must ISIS have in mind? Mark Rowley, national head of counter-terrorism, had this to say in The Guardian:
“In recent months we’ve seen a broadening of that [threats from ISIS], much more plans to attack western lifestyle. Going from that narrow focus on police and military as symbols of the state to something much broader. And you see a terrorist group which has big ambitions for enormous and spectacular attacks, not just the types that we’ve seen foiled to date.”
The reality is that everywhere we look, we see signs of the last days. Jesus told His disciples exactly what to expect (Matthew 24), and Timothy gave us the characteristics of last days (2 Timothy 3). When we look at the world today, we see the things of which Jesus and Timothy taught. We are moving close and closer to the time the Bible says that Jesus will return.
Meanwhile, regardless of how bad things get, Jesus has given His promise that He will respond to His Father’s command to come get us (believers) some day!
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”