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Fascination with Evil

The best-selling Left Behind fiction series attempts to describe the various evils that will, according to the authors Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, accompany the last days. It makes for fascinating reading. As any novelist will admit, it's much easier to get people to read about vice than virtue, about unfolding evil rather than pages upon pages of good.

Another example comes from the pages of church history. Historian Richard Kyle of Tabor College, in Hillsboro, Kansas, (and author of The Last Days Are Here Again: A History of the Second Coming,) said in an interview in Christian History magazine, "Through much of history, people have been looking more for the Antichrist than for ChristÂ…. There's more interesting speculation about who the Antichrist is."

Some of the leading candidates in church history have been the Roman emperor Nero, Napoleon, and Hitler. But speculation has gone the other way, as well. Some have announced that the Antichrist was the Reformer Martin Luther, and in our day, some have said it was Ronald Reagan or John Paul II.

It may be an interesting exercise or even pleasant diversion to think about the Antichrist and the various evils that will attend the last days, but to spend too much time there (as unfortunately some Christians do) is not what God wants. Instead we are to spend most of our energies on, as the King James Version puts it, "whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

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