I grew up in a strong Bible-teaching church that emphasized Bible prophecy, and I have been a student of Bible prophecy all of my life. Given the amount of time that I have spent studying biblical prophecy, I find it curious that I cannot find a reference to the Islamic religion anywhere in the Bible. Currently, and for some time in the recent past, Islam has been a focal point of the world’s attention, due to the rise of militant Islamists who are responsible for a disproportionate number of terrorist attacks, civil strife, and wars in the world. Muslims also currently dominate the Middle East, and the Middle East is the focal point of biblical prophecy. But the Bible presents Israel as living in complete physical peace with its neighbors around the time of the antichrist’s rise to power (Ezek 38:11-12)—something which is not possible so long as radical Islam is present in the region.
So what will happen to Islam? In the absence of any clear biblical statement, it is hard to say with certainty. Maybe all the radical Muslims will become moderates. But it seems to me that Islam is in the process of collapsing, or of self-destroying. Recent events have shown that committed Muslims have a tendency to radicalize, which means waging jihad (war) against the infidels. (Christians are engaged in a spiritual battle, not in a battle against “flesh and blood” [Eph 6:12]; but many Muslims see their religion as indeed a “flesh and blood” struggle for survival and expansion.) The “infidels” include not only people from other religions, but also those from rival sects of Islam. In fact, the radicals tend to fracture into different groups which declare all others to be infidels, including other radical Islamists. More Muslims (and new converts to Islam) continue to radicalize, since the radicals have been able to argue convincingly that the Islamic religion does in fact teach the philosophy they espouse.
Western leaders portray the radicals as not representative of “true Islam.” They essentially want Muslims to hold values that are very close to those held by the Western secular majority, and to make Islam little more than a cultural identity with some belief in a higher power. However, their efforts to promote so-called “moderate Islam” are failing, since the claims about Islam made by Western leaders merely represent what they want Islam to be for political reasons. Claims about “true Islam” can really only be made by presenting a detailed analysis of the theological underpinnings of the Islamic religion, and Western leaders have failed to present such theological argumentation. Modern Muslims who want to become more religious tend to radicalize, and to turn violently against the West.
I believe there is a massive collapse coming in Islam, due largely to disillusionment when the goals and aims of the Islamists are totally frustrated. If the Islamist forces are crushed on the battlefield all over the world, and if Israel wins some sort of total victory, this would create a crisis of belief in the Islamic world. The Islamists themselves are creating disillusionment among many Muslims who are repulsed by what they are doing. Perhaps the West (and China) will even launch a concerted campaign to stamp out Islam someday, possibly as part of a broader campaign against conservative monotheistic religions.
What religious system will replace Islam in the Muslim countries of the world? I pray that the church will make a great effort to reach Muslims with the gospel as they are driven to search for truth and answers.