The Church Fathers on the Antichrist, Part 2 — What Holly Thinks

Justin the Martyr

The popular pretribulation rapture teaching claims that Christians will be snatched off the earth before the Antichrist’s reign. But this four-part series looks at writings from some of the earliest and most respected church fathers, showing their belief that Christians will have to go through the persecution of the Antichrist. See Part 1.

Justin the Martyr

Justin the Martyr was a Christian apologist (defender of the faith), born in Rome, who wrote about the middle of the second century. He had been a pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity. According to tradition, he was martyred for his faith.

Justin clearly believed that Christians would be persecuted by the Antichrist, as is evident from the following excerpt. But he thought the Antichrist’s persecution would not defeat true Christians — who were already undergoing severe persecution in his day. Here’s what he said on this topic in chapter 60 of his work titled, Dialogue With Trypho:

He [Christ] shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy [Antichrist], who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians, who, having learned the true worship of God from the law, and the word which went forth from Jerusalem by means of the apostles of Jesus, have fled for safety to the God of Jacob and God of Israel; and we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons,—our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage,—and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, and hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified; and sitting each under his vine, i.e., each man possessing his own married wife. For you are aware that the prophetic word says, ‘And his wife shall be like a fruitful vine.’ Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshippers of God through the name of Jesus.

— Holly Pivec
7/30/08