Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world, and if these current growth trajectories continue, it is estimated that Islam will be the largest religion in the world by 2070, if not even sooner. As a result, no one with an interest in the spread of the Gospel can afford to ignore the impact that Islam will continue to exert upon the Church and the world in the 21st century.
Of course, upon hearing this, many Christians and Messianic Jews will heartily agree that we need to reach Muslims, and understand the Islamic religion at a deeper level in order to successfully fulfill the Great Commission. And indeed, both of these things are true and necessary.
However, what is equally as important to understand, is that the modern day spread of Islam is also quite likely connected to the fulfillment of numerous Bible prophecies that are specifically related to the end times and the return of Jesus. For this reason, we not only need to understand Islam for the purpose of evangelizing Muslims, but we also need to understand Islam in order to have a more comprehensive grasp of what will be taking place on the earth before the Second Coming of our Messiah.
I am well aware that to many people, this might sound like just another “sensational end times prediction,” and when I first heard of the potential relationship between Islam and Biblical eschatology, I too thought the exact same thing. With that said, the more I have looked into this issue for myself, with an objective and open mind, the more I have become convinced that Islam, as well as the Islamic nations of the Middle East, will be at the center of unfolding prophetic events in the days ahead, which if true, is not something the Body of Messiah can afford to remain unaware of. The ramifications are simply too serious to ignore.
Without a doubt, the best way to start exploring the relationship between Islam and Biblical eschatology, is by reading three books by prophecy teacher Joel Richardson. Richardson is one of the pioneers in this field of study. His books are rational, objective, and grounded in thorough historical research and exegesis of Scripture. I have read or skimmed dozens of books on Bible prophecy, and you are not going to find any popular-level prophecy teacher who is more careful with the Biblical text, or with more insight into this topic than Mr. Richardson. Another reason the work of Richardson is so important, is because in addition to being a noted prophecy teacher, he also has a shepherd’s heart, a passion for missions, and an uncommon ability to draw out the practical and pastoral implications of complex theological issues.
Here are three of Richardson’s top books that further expound on the connection between Islam, Bible prophecy, and the return of Jesus. Even if you are still somewhat skeptical as to whether this connection is legitimate and accurate or not, you still owe it to yourself, and to those who will be impacted by your ministry, to at least explore this issue further.
1. Mideast Beast
Mideast Beast is actually the second book Richardson published on the potential relationship between Islam and Biblical eschatology. The central thesis of this book is that Scripture consistently links the kingdom of the Antichrist to the Islamic nations of the Middle East and North Africa.
For many years, it has been a popular idea in prophecy circles that the Antichrist will arise out of Europe, and oversee a “revived Roman Empire.” In Mideast Beast, Richardson successfully debunks this theory, and shows why it is exegetically untenable.
2. Islamic Antichrist
Islamic Antichrist was Richardson’s first book on prophecy. It explores the similarities and differences between Biblical eschatology and Islamic eschatology. There is no other book on the market that offers such a concise yet thorough overview of what Muslims themselves actually believe about the end times, and this information alone is worth the price of admission.
However, even more importantly, Richardson also explains in detail how Islamic eschatology very likely proves that Satan actually established Islam from the very beginning to be the primary political and religious system that would eventually lead to the rise of the Antichrist, and the deception of billions of people in the last days. Not a politically correct message for sure, but one that is nevertheless vital to understand.
3. Mystery Babylon
Mystery Babylon is a thorough analysis of Revelation 17, which speaks of the great harlot city that will play a central role in the kingdom of the Antichrist and the deception of the nations in the last days. Over the years, many attempts have been made to identify this city.
Richardson covers the strengths and weaknesses of the various interpretations, and argues that Mystery Babylon could very well be in modern day Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, who are the gatekeepers of Islam’s two holiest sites (Mecca and Medina), are currently pursuing construction of a number of “mega-cities” in the desert, and Richardson makes a compelling case that this recent geo-political development might lead to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in the days ahead.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Paul said, “test everything; hold fast what is good.” I encourage you to explore the resources covered in this article, and to test Richardson’s arguments against the Word of God.
Personally, I have no interest in endorsing far-fetched prophetic scenarios related to end times events, and I also understand perfectly well that many prophecy teachers fall victim to extreme speculation and sensationalism in an attempt to capture the public interest and sell more books. This is certainly something we should all be wary of.
At the same time however, we must also realize that we have a responsibility as ambassadors of the Lord to deepen our knowledge of His Word, and to keep our eyes open and our hearts alert as we prepare for the return of our Messiah. Voice of Messiah is committed to always sharing with you the best Biblical resources on a broad range of topics, including Bible prophecy.
All the books mentioned in this article can be downloaded for free or purchased in a variety of formats on Richardson’s website www.joelstrumpet.com.
Want to Learn More?
If you would like to know more about Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus, please sign-up for our Voice of Messiah email list. You can also follow Voice of Messiah on Instagram. For the past year our ministry has been working on a book that more fully explores how the nations of the Middle East will be involved in future prophetic events, and we are looking forward to sharing more about this project with you in the coming months, before we release the book during Passover 2020.
-T.M. Snow (Founder and President, Voice of Messiah; MDiv, Regent University School of Divinity; B.A., The Moody Bible Institute).