Revelation 17 speaks of a "great prostitute" (or "great harlot") that is generally understood as a metaphor for a false religion that will exist during the tribulation period. Many have debated the identity of this religion, with some arguing the Roman Catholic Church, Islam, or another large religious movement will be the end-times, one-world religion.
What is the one-world religion described in Revelation? What will be the one-world religion of the end times?
However, it is more likely that the false religion of the last days will consist of an inclusive religion that allows for a pluralistic view of God. This would include even liberal monotheistic groups that see "all religions as one" and are willing to worship the Antichrist in the last days.
Whatever this religion is, it will certainly exclude any faith that is exclusive and refuses to worship the Antichrist or his image. Revelation 17:6 states, "And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." This false religion will permit and even encourage the death of those who follow Jesus during the tribulation.
Further, this false end-times religion will include sexual immorality (Revelation 17:2). It will also likely have its headquarters in Rome, often described even in New Testament times as Babylon (Revelation 17:5; 1 Peter 5:13).
Some see this false religion as short lived since the Antichrist will demand people worship him at the midpoint of the tribulation (Revelation 13). However, this religion may continue and include worship of the Antichrist. It will be opposed to Christians, as well as reject the Jews since the Antichrist will defile the temple as the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15).
Ultimately, the deception during this time will be so great that Jesus taught, "For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).
Some wonder if this one world religion already exists today. The specific one world religion of the end times cannot be fully developed until the tribulation when the Antichrist rules. However, the growth in religious pluralism, interfaith dialogue that promotes the idea that all religions are equal, and the erroneous teachings that many ways lead to God or to heaven all exist today. These views certainly foreshadow what Scripture predicts will be more prevalent in the future when the world unites under one religion under the power of the Antichrist.
The apostle Paul warned Timothy about this concern, saying, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). As believers, we must study and live by the truth, avoiding the false teachings of our time.
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Will there be a one-world government and a one-world currency in the end times according to Bible prophecy?
What is going to happen in the end times?
Truth about the End Times