The List of Most Wanted

The big news today, of course, is that the list of “Most Wanted  Terrorists” has been updated, for number one on the list, Osama Bin Ladin, was  removed, having been killed by U.S. forces in Abbatabod, Pakistan, where he had  built a million-dollar secured compound. For some ten years, U.S. forces, have  been searching for this leader of the Al Queda terrorist forces. While it is  great news to most of the world, especially the western world, the reality is  that the list of “Most Wanted” will just be updated, with someone else moving  into Bin Ladin’s spot.  Until Jesus returns to earth and sets up His  millennial reign, there will not be peace on earth, no matter how many  terrorists and ruthless dictators are removed.  As you look back over  history, it is strewn with “Bin Ladins” and will continue to be, with the final  one referred to in Scripture as “the man of lawlessness,” (II  Thes. 2:3) or the “Antichrist” (I Jn. 2:18) whose coming was  prophesied in Daniel’s vision where he is described this way: “The  fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from  all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and  crust it. …And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the  saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and  in law…” (Dan. 7:23,25). He is mentioned again in the panoramic  prophecy given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel recorded in Dan. 9:24-27, where we  read: “Seventy weeks (of seven years each) have been  decreed for your people (the Jews) and your holy city  (Jerusalem)….and the people of the prince who is to come  (the Antichrist) will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And  its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations  are determined. And he (the Antichrist) will make a firm  covenant with the many for one week (to protect Israel), but in  the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering  (in the rebuilt Temple); and on the wing of abominations will  come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is  decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”  The  prince, the Antichrist, who will make a pact with many (of the Jewish  people) at the beginning of the Tribulation period, will, in the middle of the  week (3 1/2 years later) break his covenant and desecrate the Temple by  demanding worship of himself in it (cf Mt. 24:15 and II Thes. 2:4).

This final  world dictator-terrorist is referred to in the prophecy given to the Apostle  John on the Isle of Patmos as “a beast coming up out of the sea  (probably a reference to Gentile nations)….and the dragon  (Satan  cf Rev. 12:9) gave him his power and his throne  and great authority” (Rev. 13:1,2).  Jesus, in His Olivet  Discourse (Mt. 24-25), in answer to the disciples’ question: “…what  will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (Mt. 24:3),  spoke of this period of which Daniel had prophesied, the 70th week (of  seven years) of his 70-week (490 years) prophecy for the Jews, and spoke of the  time when the Antichrist desecrates the rebuilt Temple by setting up his image  and demanding that the world worship him as “the abomination of  desolation” (Mt. 24:15). Jesus went on to say, “For then there  will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the  world until now, nor ever shall be” (v. 21).  So, the world has  not seen the last, nor even the worst “Osama Bin Ladin!”

The good news  is that “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…..the Son of  Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and  they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and  great glory. and He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they  will gather together His elect  (the Jews) from the four  winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (Mt. 24:29-31).  In  the book of Revelation, John describes this same event, writing: “And I  saw heaven opened; and behold a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called  Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war…And from His  mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will  rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath  of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written,  ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ …And I saw the beast and the kings of the  earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the  horse, and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false  prophet who performed signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had  received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; and these two  were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest  were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the  horse…” (Rev. 19:11-21).

Many are celebrating today because of the demise of Osama Bin Ladin,  but others will just take his place until the Lord comes.  We will continue  to have “wars and rumors of wars” (Mt. 24:6).  But, praise  the Lord, because of His suffering and death, as our sin-bearer, and His  resurrection, He gained the victory over death and over all the forces of  evil, and “Is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after  angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (I Pet. 3:22).  The Apostle Paul also wrote of this victory in the great “resurrection  chapter” (I Cor. 15), saying: “Then comes the end, when He delivers  up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule  and all authority and power. He must reign until He has put all His enemies  under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death” (I Cor.  15:24-27).   So, as believers,  as we await the return of Christ, we will continue to face a spiritual battle,  but we fight not for victory, but from victory. The victory  has already been won, and one day–soon–Christ will return for His church, and  then return to reign, and we won’t need to keep a list of “most wanted” any  longer!

Forever His,

Pastor Dave

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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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