Question: I’ve been coming into contact more frequently with Christians who seem to love the Lord and believe that we have to take over the world and set up the kingdom before Christ can return. They are convinced that Christ will return to earth to rule here, not to take us to heaven, and that He cannot do so until we have set up the kingdom for Him. They say that those who believe in the rapture will be so shocked to face the Antichrist, when they didn’t expect to, that they will be deceived and think he is Christ? Doesn’t this make good sense?
Response: The real Lord Jesus Christ, as the Bible says, will raise the dead and catch us up to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians:4:13-18). Consequently, those whose “Christ” meets them on earth and has arrived to rule over the kingdom they have established in his name have been serving the Antichrist. It is that simple when one accepts what the Bible teaches about the rapture.
As for being deceived into believing that Antichrist is Christ, the belief in the rapture, once again, protects us from that. Though Antichrist will be able to do great signs and wonders by the power of Satan (2 Thessalonians:2:9-10), there is one thing he cannot do: he cannot simultaneously raise the dead and catch up the living believers to heaven. Those who are watching for the Christ who raptures us to heaven cannot be deceived by a counterfeit who can only rule on earth.