When Christ comes and removes all true Christians from the earth, what will this world be like? Since the restraining power of the Holy Spirit in believers will be removed (2 Thess. 2:6-8), what evil powers will be allowed to come into the world? what will happen as a result of this evil? and what will God do about it? Here are 12 points I gathered from my bible study on this topic.
1. The antichrist and false prophet will appear (Rev. 13). Shortly after the rapture a man will arise who will be a brilliant military leader, and all will worship him because of his political and war victories. Surprisingly, he will exalt himself as God (2 Thess. 2:4), he will blaspheme the true God, and he will make war with true Christians to kill them. (The Christians at this time are those who will be newly saved, primarily as a result of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses.)
One who will be called the false prophet will exercise all the authority of the antichrist and will force all to worship him—with great signs and wonders. And he will set up a system where no one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast (666).
2. False prophets will be everywhere. After the rapture, there will be a time of seven years of tribulation, when many false prophets will rise up and deceive many (Matthew 24:11). And just like the false prophet who aids the antichrist, these little false prophets will also be given the power of Satan to “show great signs and wonders…” (Matt. 24:24). These false teachers will come in sheep’s clothing, but will be as ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15). They will teach the doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1); and, with eyes full of adultery, they will allure many through the lust of the flesh (2 Pt. 2:1-2).
3. Lawlessness will increase. The spirit of lawlessness is already present in the world, but after believers are taken out of the world, lawlessness will be much more prevalent; for the world will then follow the example of the one who is himself entirely lawless—the antichrist (Matt. 24:12; 2 Thess. 2:7).
4. God will bring great delusion on unbelievers. To all those who refuse to believe, God will send upon them great delusion, so that they might continue to believe what is false (the false prophets). And they will take pleasure in wickedness. This God-sent delusion is how God will use Satan and the antichrist as His instrument of judgment (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
5. Religious teachers will have a form of godliness but will deny its power. Many religious teachers and preachers in that day will have only the appearance of godliness. They will wear the church robes, they will have a dignified walk, their speech might be eloquent, and they may even read scripture. However, they will not be as they appear to be. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:5 that there will be those who have a form of godliness, but they will not be Christians at all. In fact they will deny the faith. They will be false prophets who will be like ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15).
6. The antichrist will bring a false peace to Israel, and then will seek to destroy them. The prophet Daniel (in Dan. 9:27) tells us that the antichrist “will make a firm covenant [of peace] with the many [Israel] for one week [seven years].” But in the middle of the week he will break the covenant. He will desecrate the temple, he will take over the temple, and he will sit in the temple as God (2 Thess. 2:4). Meanwhile, he will seek to persecute and destroy the Jews. Zechariah 13:8 tells us that two-thirds of them will be cut off and die, not only by the hands of the antichrist but by many people; for they will be hated by all nations (Matt. 24:9). But God will save the one third. He will provide a way of escape for them in the wilderness—probably somewhere in the mountains of Jordan (Rev. 12:13-17).
7. Christians will be hunted down and killed. I think the antichrist will target his rage especially at the Jews. But he will also set his rage on Christians—those “who keep the commands of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 6:9; 12:17).
But the antichrist will not work alone. In fact, the entire false religious system, which the bible describes as the harlot, may be responsible for most of the Christian murders. In Revelation17:6, John said, “And I saw the woman [the harlot] drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”
8. There will be great violence on the earth: people hating and killing each other. In the seven-year-tribulation God will allow peace to be taken from the earth in both worldwide war and domestic disputes. Violence and hate will become commonplace everywhere. And since lawlessness will abound, it may be that people will be able to very easily get by with murder—without even a trial (Rev. 6:3-4).
9. People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant and abusive. 2 Timothy 3:1-2, tells us, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers…” Since the seven years of tribulation will be especially trying, it’s hard to imagine that people will not be humbled. Maybe some will be humbled temporarily, however, I think they will in their heart be proud. And I think those who have managed to hold on to their riches will be especially arrogant and abusive, and will try to take advantage of the poor and those who have been hit hard by all the devastation on the earth.
10. People will be without self-control and lovers of pleasure. 2 Timothy 3:1-4 reads,
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (bold for emphasis).
If we think living as a Christian is hard now, it will be terribly hard for Christians then. With lawlessness so prevalent, think of how immoral people will be. Pornography will be accessible everywhere; there will be much perversion and homosexuality; and people who are rich will be especially glutinous and pleasure seeking.
11. God will raise up witnesses to bring salvation to many. Among all the evil and sin in the world God will install His witnesses to bring salvation to all who will repent. The first group that will come on the scene is the 144,000 Jews, who will probably be saved at the beginning of the Tribulation, just after the rapture. They will be sealed by God to preach the gospel throughout the world (Rev. 7:4-8). Another group is the dynamic duo, possibly Elijah and Moses, who will come from heaven with heavenly bodies. God will give these two special powers to do miracles and to strike the earth with plagues as often as they desire, in order to bring a message of judgment and salvation (Rev. 11:3-13). A third group of witnesses will be a select group of angels, who will preach repentance, and will also warn people not to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 14:6-13).
12. God will bring severe judgment on all unbelievers who refuse to repent. We have already seen how peace will be taken from the earth by violence, represented by the red horse (#8). Another judgment, represented by the black horse, will be extreme inflation and a lack of food. Many will be very hungry, and many will die of hunger (Rev. 6:5-6).
A pale horse, in the bible, represents Death. In a very short time one-quarter of the earth’s population will die due to wars, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts (Rev. 6:7-8).
These judgments are just the beginning. More dramatic judgments will be earthquakes, tornadoes, and storms. There will be six great earthquakes during the Tribulation, all of which will cause people to be very afraid of the wrath of God, so much so that they will want to die (Rev. 6:15-17). All of the earthquakes will be greater than what we have today, but the greatest one will be the last, which will occur just after all the nations are gathered together for war at a place called Armageddon. This quake will be so huge that it will destroy all the cities of the world (accept Jerusalem); and it will cause every island to go away, and all the mountains to fall. Also, as a result of the quake, 100 pound hailstones will fall creating much damage I’m sure (Rev. 16:17-21).
Not much is mentioned in the bible about tornadoes, but I imagine that they won’t be left out. God will bring tornadoes and great winds and floods to judge the world.
And He will also bring falling stars and meteors, which will kill one-third of all the sea creatures, and will poison one-third of all the fresh water, killing many people (Rev. 8:8-11).
And one third of all the trees and the grass will be burned up due to a comet or meteor (Rev. 8:7).
Well this is what the world will be like after the rapture, which will last for six long years. I hope you won’t have to experience it. I urge you to believe in God and in His son Jesus Christ so that you will be taken with Him when He comes.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).