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Chuck Smith on avoiding the reign of antichrist

Maybe you don’t want to accept Jesus Christ and would rather go the hard way [i.e., through the seven-year tribulation]. You’ll have to find some means of surviving for seven years without depending on this corrupt society. This society will be totally taken over by the Antichrist. No one will be able to buy or sell except he has his mark. If you take the mark, you are lost forever.

The best plan is probably to take off for the jungles of Mexico and learn how to live off the land. Just do your best to survive down there. I would suggest the remote areas of Oregon, but I don’t know how you’d survive the winters. (Chuck Smith, What the World Is Coming To, Maranatha House, 1977, 198-199)

There are so many problems with this, but I will just mention a couple. First of all, if you are a pre-tribulational, pre-millennialist, you should not be offering people an alternative to accepting Jesus as Lord. God is going to judge wickedness, and you should not offer people any way out of that judgment other than salvation in Christ alone.

Beyond that, you have to wonder, every single time a democrat gets elected president, whether Chuck Smith followers believe it’s the antichrist and move out to Mexico or the Oregonian outback precisely because of what Chuck Smith said. How many families are holed up in compounds in the middle of nowhere, avoiding taxation, etc., because of this kind of teaching?

In contrast to this, Romans 13:1-8 (ESV) says:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

HT: Kim Riddlebarger

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