Prophecy scholars expect two major movements during the future Tribulation Period: the formation of a Global Government and the emergence of a One-World Religion. Revelation 17 illustrates how the two powers – one political and one religious – will unite in the end times.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw of the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” – Revelation 17:1-18
The next two chapters (Revelation 18 and 19) give additional insight to how these universal powers will unite to form one final evil world empire before the return of Christ as King of Kings.
This scenario raises several questions. The most obvious one is, “Could our fractured world ever have a global government, much less a universal religion?”
The madness that is tearing our world apart right now is driven by conflicting political world-views resulting from opposing religious beliefs. Historians and politicians have always pointed to religious differences as one of the major causes of war. But how can this problem be corrected?
The present horrific world conditions would be a perfect setting for the rise of a seemingly benevolent dictator. Such an influential, charismatic person, with the right ideas for peace and prosperity and the right opportunity to rise to political power, would gradually assume more and more acceptance as he helped the world economy and negotiated peace.
A vital aspect of peace-making would be the difficult process of producing some level of religious unity.
Strong, brilliant leadership would be required by a person or group that could bring religious beliefs together. Many religions might be willing to compromise their beliefs a little in order to establish a universal belief system, possibly under the banner of new age inclusivism.
The two religious groups that would be most resistive to the idea of a united religion would be evangelical Christians and Muslims.
In the Christian world, those who have adopted liberal theological views, and do not take the Bible literally, would have no problem compromising their beliefs. Pope Francis is already leading the Roman Catholic Church further into liberalism. Most old mainline Protestant denominations have decided to teach their people what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). However, Evangelical Christians would not be willing to give up their Bible-based views. According to the God’s Word, this impediment to a world religion will be removed just before the final evil world-ruler arises as the rider on a white horse (Revelation 6:1-2). How will it be removed? Bible-believing Christians, who have placed their faith in Christ, will be taken from the Earth at the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 4:1; John 14:1-6; I Thessalonians 4:13-5:6; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; Revelation 3:10; 4:1 etc. – See our Rapture section).
But what about the Muslims? If Radical Islamists begin to loose the fight to establish a caliphate, and are opposed by enough fire-power from the many nations they threaten, they may be forced to invoke the provisions of their religion that allow them to make temporary peace treaties with their enemies when they must do so to survive, or to conceal their true beliefs when in danger. This concept is called taqiyya, meaning “caution” or “concealment.” This is what the majority of Muslims do when they live in a society that does not condone the harsh provisions of sharia law.
Everything considered, our current world condition may be ripe for the emergence of a global government, assisted by a universal religion.