What will the world be like just before the second coming of Christ? Our Lord emphasized the enormous potential of global deception at that time.
In answer to the disciples’ urgent question: “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (NKJV, Matt. 24:3), our Lord warned them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many…. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many…. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:4-5, 11 22). Note the emphasis on the words “false” and “deceive” in our Lord’s answer.
One moment after the rapture of the church, every surviving religious leader in the world will be a false one. Yes, millions of good gospel tracts, books and recorded messages will still be here—but all born-again Christians will be gone. Human reflectors of the light of the world will be in heaven with their Savior. Suddenly, the worst person the world has even seen will introduce himself to the people of Israel, and will offer to them hope for security and military victory in the midst of a world that hates them. That person is the Antichrist. He is the one of whom the Lord Jesus spoke: “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43).