Q. A search into the average length of the longest lasting empires such as the Roman, Persian or Babylonian empires ranges from a few hundred years to over a thousand years. How is it the greatest, most evil and last empire will begin, conquer the whole world and be destroyed only seven years later? Granted Satan will not be restrained, but even so, can all this happen within seven years?
A. Many world empires were actually built over a period of generations. This is true of the anti-Christ’s empire as well. Paul said the secret power of lawlessness was already at work in his time (2 Thes. 2:7). That means work on his empire has been secretly progressing for over 2,000 years. Here’s a brief summary of the last seven of those years.
After the rapture the world will be in a state of chaos, desperate for someone to take charge and restore order. Having rejected the Christ, they will accept the anti-Christ. This will require very little time because the people will be supernaturally predisposed to accept him by God Himself (2 Thes 2:9-12). But the false peace he will enforce will be for the purpose of conquest.
Satan will give him power and and his throne and great authority (Rev. 13:2). Within 3 1/2 years of his official arrival on the scene (Rev. 6:1-2) the whole world will have become convinced that there’s never been any one like him and will worship him as a god (Rev. 13:8).
But this won’t be just Satan’s doing. God will continue to help him, too. Speaking of the other world leaders Rev. 17:17 says For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.
Before long his great plan will begin to fall apart, and while people are saying “peace and safety” destruction will come on them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape (1 Thes. 5:3).
The heavens will open and the Lord will appear in the sky at the head of a great army (Rev. 19:11-14). He will cast the anti-Christ alive into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever, and will destroy his forces by the Word of His mouth (Rev. 19:20-21). All of this will happen within a 7 year period. Then the Lord will be King of the whole earth (Zechariah 14:9), and He will reign for ever and ever (Daniel 2:44). Amen.