An increase in religious decapitations

Could Islamic beheadings become a tool of the Antichrist?

Decapitations are becoming more common, and this incredibly disturbing trend might be a sign of the times.

On October 16, 2020, a French teacher named Samuel Paty was mercilessly beheaded in an attack in a quiet suburb of Paris. The teenage perpetrator—a young Muslim radical—was quickly hunted down by police and shot to death. The attacker’s name was Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov. He had been deeply offended by Paty’s class on freedom of expression, in which the teacher showed students controversial cartoons that depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammed naked. Islam considers such images of the prophet to be sacrilegious.

A generation ago, we might have been shocked by the way Paty was brutally murdered, but sadly, most of us have become accustomed to this sort of news. It started with the journalist Daniel Pearl’s decapitation by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. Then it continued with the rise of ISIS, which leveraged its social media expertise to broadcast one beheading after another, often narrated by a terrorist referred to as “Jihadi John.” 

Decapitation as doctrine?

With the defeat of ISIS, it seemed as though the unsettling trend of decapitation might be on the wane. But Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Yemen have continued to publicly execute both men and women by this appalling method. It’s no coincidence that, by and large, the only people groups and countries that still use decapitation as a punishment are Muslim. 

As I’ve said before, God so loves the world—including Muslims—that He gave His one and only Son that none of them should perish. The last thing I want to do is inflame the anger of people who are already Muslim-haters. The Bible makes it very clear that hatred of another person is sin, even if directed toward those with wrong or offensive religious beliefs.

But at the same time, there are verses in the Koran which some Muslims understand to condone and even prescribe beheading for infidels:

“I will throw fear in the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.”Surah 8:12

“Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, making fast of the bonds…”Surah 47:4

Recently, I wrote about the threat President Ergodan of Turkey poses to the world, as he openly aspires to revive the Ottomon Empire and recapture the Temple Mount. In light of that threat, I was deeply disturbed (though not surprised) to see the way he refused to sympathize with the family of Samuel Paty, as some other Muslim leaders had. Rather, he criticized the teacher for showing the cartoon, as if to suggest that Paty deserved his terrible fate. Ergodan then went on to condemn French leader Emmanuel Macron for suggesting that Muslims must learn to recognize French values, like freedom of expression.

An abominable method of control

The reason all of this concerns me is that Islam’s signature form of control also happens to be the Antichrist’s signature form of control:

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”Revelation 20:4

When the Antichrist rises to power, he will demand the world’s worship. Those who refuse will quite literally lose their heads.

The author and prophecy teacher Joel Richardson has written a book called The Islamic Antichrist that makes a compelling case that the Antichrist might very well be Muslim. I should note: I don’t agree with everything Richardson says, especially since he interprets the Bible as saying the Rapture will occur after the Tribulation. However, it’s worth considering the idea of a Muslim Antichrist.

Regardless, how astonishing is it that, in the book of Revelation, John predicted that beheadings would still be common punishments two thousand years in the future, even in a “civilized” society like ours?

God keeps His promises

I don’t want to think about beheadings any more than you do. So I want to close on a much more hopeful note, by pointing out something else we read in Revelation 20:4. It’s a powerful promise that those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast will “live and reign with Christ for a thousand years.” John goes on to refer to this as “the first resurrection” and implies that all believers in Jesus will experience it. 

The first resurrection is what believers will enjoy when we reign with Christ for a thousand years in His Millennial Kingdom.

At the Rapture, Jesus will take us to heaven. But at the Return, He’ll bring us back to the earth to reign with Him as we prepare for the New Heavens and New Earth.

The point of the first resurrection is that God keeps all of His promises:

  • promises to Israel, for the land and the Temple

  • promises to the martyrs, that not even death can truly destroy them

  • and promises to all of us, that no matter how bad it gets—the best is yet to come

I long for that day and believe we are nearing the end. Among the final words of the Bible, in Revelation 22:20, are “come, Lord Jesus!”

That is my prayer today and every day.