An end-times Roman Empire centered around Europe is not a new idea. Many prominent Bible teachers of our time support that viewpoint, or something similar. Furthermore, early church fathers believed that the Roman Empire would break up into ten kingdoms, and that the Antichrist would later rise to power over these.
Irenaus of Lyons
In his book, “Against Heresies,” Irenaus of Lyons (130 – 202 AD), says:
John and Daniel have predicted the dissolution and desolation of the Roman Empire, which shall precede the end of the world and the eternal Kingdom of Christ. The Gnostics are refuted, those tools of Satan, who invent another Father different from the Creator.
1. In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord's disciples what shall happen in the last times, and concerning the ten kings who shall then arise, among whom the empire which now rules [the earth] shall be partitioned. He teaches us what the ten horns shall be which were seen by Daniel, ...(1, 2 , 3)
Hippolytus of Rome
In his commentary on Daniel, Hippolytus (3rd Century) says:
25. Then he says: "A fourth beast, dreadful and terrible; it had iron teeth and claws of brass." And who are these but the Romans? which (kingdom) is meant by the iron--the kingdom which is now established; for the legs of that (image) were of iron. And after this, what remains, beloved, but the toes of the feet of the image, in which part is iron and part clay, mixed together?
Later he says of the ten kings:
27. As these things, then, are in the future, and as the ten toes of the image are equivalent to (so many) democracies, and the ten horns of the fourth beast are distributed over ten kingdoms, let us look at the subject a little more closely, and consider these matters as in the clear light of a personal survey. (1, 4)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 315-386 AD, also says:
But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near. There shall rise up together ten kings of the Romans, reigning in different parts perhaps, but all about the same time; and after these an eleventh, the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power; and of the kings who reigned before him, three he shall humble, and the remaining seven he shall keep in subjection to himself. (1, 5)
Recent theologians and Bible scholars have taught about the “revival” of the Roman Empire in the end-times. In many cases, they say this will be centered around Europe.
Dr. John Walvoord, former President of Dallas Theological Seminary, anticipated the “…revival of the Roman Empire…” He was known for his expertise in Bible prophecy. He is one of the editors of the famous “Bible Knowledge Commentary.” In many of his books and articles, he talked about Rome’s revival under the Antichrist. One article was even titled “Revival of Rome.” (5, 6)
Famous pastor, Dr. Tony Evans, says in his book on the end-times, “But the Bible also prophesies a future revival of the Roman Empire.” He goes on to explain how skeptics dismissed this possibility. Europe was divided into sovereign kingdoms after all, and they did not want to give up their independence. However, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, European countries adopted the euro as their currency. As a result, he says “Suddenly, the picture of a reunified Europe is taking shape.” (8)
In his book, the King is Coming, famous pastor and theologian Erwin Lutzer describes how the Roman Empire will be reborn in the end-times. He says “Antichrist is both a person and a kingdom of unified states. So it appears that this conglomeration, representing the major kingdoms that have existed on the earth, will arise out of Europe (the revived Roman Empire).” (9)
In his book, Escape the Coming Night, famous pastor Dr. David Jeremiah explains that the Antichrist “will come out of the Fourth Empire (the revived Roman Empire), which is rapidly being formed in our time.” He goes for a few paragraphs to describe European unification that has been happening in recent history. (10)
According to Wikipedia, Dr. Charles Ryrie was one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. This was through the Ryrie Study Bible, which sold millions of copies. (11) In an interview, someone asked Dr. Ryrie if he thought we were living in the last days:
Right in the middle of the whole program I asked Dr. Ryrie, “Do you think we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?” He replied, “I can prove it.” He said, “I knew you were going to ask me that question.” He then reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. He then said, “That envelope contains two objects that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are living in the season of the Lord’s Return. Open it up.” So, I opened the envelope and inside was a Euro note and an Israeli shekel note. Then he said, “Those are proof positive that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return, because the Bible says He’s coming back at a time when Israel has been re-established, and the Roman Empire has been revived. (12)
Famous pastor and theologian, John MacArthur, said in a 1980 sermon that there will be a “revival of the Roman Empire.” (13) Most theologians take the view that this end-times Roman Empire will be centered around Europe. He took this view until a few years ago, until he adopted a significantly different viewpoint. Nevertheless, his new view still has the Roman Empire somehow present in the end-times.
This idea can be found in movies about the end-times. The movie, “Image of the Beast” is one of the sequels to the famous movie about the Rapture, “A Thief in the Night.” In this movie, someone says, “Brother Christopher, President of a United States of Europe, has been elected to lead us.” (14) Furthermore, in the movie, “The Omega Code,” the Antichrist figure is crowned President of the European Union. (15)
- "Early Church Fathers on the Timing of the Rise of Antichrist." Early Church Fathers on the Timing of the Rise of Antichrist. Accessed October 16, 2018. http://biblelight.net/fathers-on-antichrist.htm.
- "Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 26)." CHURCH FATHERS: Against Heresies, V.26 (St. Irenaeus). Accessed October 16, 2018. http://newadvent.org/fathers/0103526.htm.
- "Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 30)." CHURCH FATHERS: Against Heresies, V.30 (St. Irenaeus). Accessed October 16, 2018. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103530.htm.
- "On Christ and Antichrist." CHURCH FATHERS: On Christ and Antichrist (Hippolytus). Accessed October 16, 2018. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0516.htm.
- "Catechetical Lecture 15." CHURCH FATHERS: Catechetical Lecture 15 (Cyril of Jerusalem). Accessed October 16, 2018. http://newadvent.org/fathers/310115.htm.
- Walvoord, John F. "Revival of Rome." Walvoord.com. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://walvoord.com/article/114.
- Walvoord, John F. "Major Events Preceding the Second Coming of Christ." Walvoord.com. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://walvoord.com/article/166.
- Evans, Tony. The Best Is Yet to Come: Bible Prophecies through the Ages. Chicago: Moody Press, 2000.
- Lutzer, Erwin W. The King Is Coming: Ten Events That Will Change Our Future Forever. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015.
- Jeremiah, David, and Carole C. Carlson. Escape the Coming Night. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2001.
- "Charles Caldwell Ryrie." Wikipedia. July 03, 2018. Accessed October 20, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Caldwell_Ryrie.
- Jones, Nathan. "Symbolic Prophecy in the Old Testament: God's Object Lessons." The Christ in Prophecy Journal. January 13, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2018. http://christinprophecyblog.org/2014/06/symbolic-prophecy-in-the-old-testament-gods-object-lessons/.
- MacArthur, John. "The Coming Kingdom of Christ, Part 2." Grace to You. March 30, 1980. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/27-16/the-coming-kingdom-of-christ-part-2.
- Image of the Beast. Directed by Donald W. Thompson. Screenplay by Russell S. Doughten, Jr. Performed by William Wellman Jr., Susan Plumb, Patty Dunning. Image of the Beast. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080915/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt.
- The Omega Code. Directed by Robert Marcarelli. Screenplay by Stephan Blinn and Hollis Barton. Performed by Casper Van Dien, Michael York, Catherine Oxenberg. The Omega Code. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203408/?ref_=ttco_co_tt.
Hippolytus of Rome
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. David Jeremiah
Dr. Erwin Lutzer
Dr. Charles Ryrie
Dr. John Walvoord