One question was posed that I thought I would comment on. Someone asked if the current push towards a one world government (something that I think is often assumed and not necessarily happening) was what was being foretold in Revelation with the Beast and his mark and his domination over the governments of the world. I am certainly aware that this is Hollywood's and many pulpit's take on much of Revelation. Many assume that at some point when this government takes control that everyone will be issued some means of identification, a "mark" if you will, and without it you cannot buy or sell. To take this mark is basically to compromise with the Devil and Christians are not to do this. Let me offer a "slightly" different take on all this.
First of all, there is nothing inherently evil with a one world government. I won't argue that the Tower of Babel scenario was God's way of dividing mankind into nations but it seems clear that Christians are to obey whatever government we find ourselves in no matter how large it is. Rome was considered to rule the world in Christ's day and yet he never suggested that its form was evil even while it was clearly a form of Antichrist. Apparently many Christians assume such a government will be Satanic and they fight it at all costs. We can only wish that such energy and efforts would be spent in honoring the Lord and his Word and in evangelism instead of worrying about such politics but often there is not.
By the way I am no fan of any form of one world government especially where the USA gives up her sovereignty, neither am I a fan of what the current government is doing to our country on several levels. But I do not see it as bringing in the Antichrist.
My second and main point is this: When we read of the governments uniting with the Antichrist in the Book of the Revelation I don't think we are to think of it politically as if any form of one world government must necessarily be evil much less a sign of the "end". I believe the idea is spiritual. And in this we see that what Revelation is warning against is not some future political entity but what has been going on ever since Christ was here. The union of this world's powers have always been united against Christ! They always have been and always will be. 1Jn 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. 1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. This is the one world "government" that John is warning about in the Revelation. Notice that he immediately starts speaking of the antichrist in this context:
1Jn 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1Jn 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1Jn 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. (By the way, if this is the last hour, why do we keep assuming yet a future hour?)
Perhaps we should take our cue from John and worry about how everyone and everything in this world joins together to pull our hearts away from Christ rather than worrying whether some future form of Antichrist is coming or not. We have enough Antichrists running around as it is. John certainly didn't seem to think a future Antichrist was their most imminent danger in his day. The one world union that we need to worry about is whatever is united in destroying the Faith, making saints worldly minded instead of fervent lovers of Christ. It is hard to imagine how this world can be an more anti Christ than it is now. Let's live in the present and not worry about the future. There is much to be done today!