Islam and Bible Prophecy
By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Is Islam mentioned in Bible prophecy? This question continues to be discussed among Christians and others interested in what connections may exist between today’s current events and the last days.
To be clear, Islam began several hundred years after the New Testament. Therefore, the New Testament could not mention Islam except if it was speaking about a future predicted event. Many debate whether certain biblical prophecies are connected with Islam or with certain groups within Islam.
For example, entire books have been written to suggest the Antichrist will be Muslim. Others suggest the nations of Ezekiel 38 will be a Muslim-dominated coalition that will attack Israel in the end times. In these and other places, much care must be taken to discuss what is possible versus what is probable or likely.
For example, the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 refers to what appears to be a still future time when nations surrounding Israel will attack the Jewish people as one united coalition. In some ways, this can already be seen today. ISIS has declared Jerusalem as one of the locations it seeks to control.
Before ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other groups have made and continue to make similar statements. All of these groups represent various forms of Islam that include the use of violence or what Muslims call jihad (holy war or struggle). Therefore, it appears very probable that Islam will have some connection with the Bible’s future prophecies.
However, some areas can be confirmed as false. A popular myth among some Muslims is that Muhammad is predicted in the Bible. This is demonstrably false in many ways. Other articles like to claim the Bible says Islam is doomed. However, this is only true in the general sense that one day all people will be judged according to the Bible (Revelation 20).
An overview of future events in the Bible reveals Christ will return at any moment for His people (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58). The end times will also include much trouble, tribulation, wars, and rumors of war (Matthew 24). There will also be a spread of false religion (2 Timothy 3:1-5). These may involve aspects of Islam and will certainly impact people of Muslim faith or background. Beyond that, there is much speculation as well as genuine room to discuss various interpretations regarding end time events.
Some of the most likely ways in which Islam are included in the Bible’s future events include the following:
First, Islam will likely influence anti-Semitism that is part of the nations that will attack and oppose Israel. This can be found in Ezekiel 38:1-5 and includes a list of ancient nations that fit modern Middle Eastern countries that are Muslim led or Muslim majority countries. Anti-Semitism is clearly high in Muslim societies, especially among certain the nations neighboring Israel, so this prediction neatly fits and comes as no surprise based on current events.
Second, Islam will almost certainly be involved in some of the wars and rumors of wars predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. This is also not a surprise as various Muslim groups are already involved in numerous wars. Further, violent jihad has traditionally been an important part of many Muslim sects. This will likely continue in the days ahead and fall under the prediction Jesus gave about future “wars and rumors of war” in the last days.
Third, Islam will be one of many competing religious worldviews involved in the tribulations and judgments of the end times. For example, Revelation speaks of a ruler who will unite nations and promote a false religion, ultimately offering himself as a being to be worshiped (Revelation 13). This false religion will likely blend religious ideas from Islam and other religions that will bring a temporary unity in the last days. This third area may even include some aspect of Muslim prophecies regarding the Mahdi (twelfth imam) or global caliphate, though this is only one possibility.
Those who study the Bible’s future prophecies can already see many connections between the last days and today’s events. We may not be given every detail, but there are many activities that appear to closely connect with what God says will happen in the future. Our best response, however, is not fear, but encouragement.
Scripture’s prophecies tell us to “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). For the believer, prophecy can strengthen our faith and remind us of our future hope. It also motivates us to live lives of purpose and to share our faith with others, knowing our Lord will return again.
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Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.