Where Does ISIS Fit Into Bible Prophecy?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Where does ISIS fit into Bible prophecy?  Does it mention them by name or by principle?

Who is ISIS?

ISIS is an abbreviation for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria which is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The extremist, radical group that is known as ISIS or ISIL is a militant Islamic group that seeks to take over the world and destroy all the “infidels” or non-Muslims around the world. Then they can impose Sharia Law. Their goal is world supremacy and domination and there is no doubt about it; ISIS is not going to go away until Christ returns. ISIS can be destroyed on the ground but the ideology cannot be killed.  Even if ISIS is constrained for a time by military force, ISIS extremists will always exist in the world in scattered, hidden pockets within each continent of the globe. These radical extremists are now recruiting terrorists in the nations they seek to conquer, hoping to conquer it from within. Most of these “cells” are hidden from the eyes of the public and governments and often defectors are composed of disenfranchised and disillusioned citizens. More and more are defecting to this evil power every day and some are being discovered in areas that no one would’ve ever suspected.

Where Does ISIS Fit Into Bible Prophecy

Most of us have seen or heard of the hundreds of Christians that have been martyred, many times being beheaded in the public square with gruesome images posted on the Internet.  Other Christians have been crucified on a cross and made to be a public spectacle to display ISIS’ intimidating control of their regions.  ISIS may be slowed down for a time by allied forces opposing them but they cannot destroy these extremist’s ideologies which are intricately woven into their souls and embedded deeply within their conscience before they learn 1 + 1 =2.  Even al Qaeda’s leaders don’t usually resort to such despicable tactics where hundreds of victims are murdered indiscriminately through terrorist attacks.

The Majority of Muslims

There is no doubt that most Muslims are not terrorists. The vast majority seek to live peaceful lives and worship in their own way and to their own god. They may have even fled to escape these radical tentacles of the extremists so to hold prejudice against everyone who practices the Islamic faith is unfair to be sure. We should pray for them and share the Christ they don’t know.  He is more than a prophet…He is God and is Creator (John 1:1-3).

I have heard a lot of different estimates of the percentage of extremists compared to the overwhelming majority of Muslims who peacefully practice their faith.  It is thought to be somewhere between 2 to 4% but if that’s accurate, that would mean millions of extremists are out there…and they are growing day by day because many extremists have two, three, four or more wives and this segment of the world’s population is easily outstripping the population growth rates of the rest of the world.

The Falling Away

The Apostle Paul told Timothy that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared” (1 Tim 4:1-2) and to “understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good” (2 Tim 3:1-3).  Does this sound like the ethics of ISIS or just sinful mankind?  Either way, Paul is describing those outside of the Christian faith because those who have been born again bear fruit like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,” and “self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).  These fruits are not seen in ISIS to be sure.

A Foreboding Future

There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today but they are the fastest growing people group in the world.  Today, that means about one in four people in the world are Muslims but in just a couple of decades, there will be close to three billion Muslims and that would increase the chances of Sharia Law taking over as the law of the land where Muslims will then be the majority [1]. Since Muslim’s birth rates is double that of the rest of the world, it is easy to see how our children and grandchildren’s world will be radically altered.   Christians share the gospel with everyone and remind the lost that their sins need to be repented of including drunkenness, theft, homosexuality, adultery, and other sins listed that God has declared He will judge (Rev 21:8) but the difference between Sharia Law and the Western nation’s laws is that they have freedom to practice some of these things without recrimination, like adultery or homosexuality but under Sharia Law, many of those who do these things are tortured, stoned, burned, crucified, and more recently, by public beheadings. Christians pray for those who hate them and love their enemies and even do good to them (Matt 5). On the other hand, Islamic extremists capture, torture, and murder their enemies.  Jesus commanded, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27) but the extremist radical seeks to do bad for those who do good to them.

Is ISIS in Prophecy?

I searched the Scriptures and could not find one verse that I can say with absolute authority that it applies to ISIS.  Maybe they’ll be part of biblical prophecy and could be a major player in the bigger picture of the end time events and possibly be aligned with those who oppose Israel. Jesus spoke of the end of an age by pointing out that nations will rise up against nations and One of ISIS’ chief goals is to destroy the nation of Israel. Today it is clear that the love of many has grown cold and hate is increasing.  For the Christ-follower, Jesus warned that they might “be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matt 24:9). That is already happening with increasing intensity and frequency for Christians. Jesus also added that at “that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matt 24:10-12).


No one knows when Jesus will return except God alone. The idea that terrorism is increasing shouldn’t surprise us.  It was much like this in the days of Noah when the flooding judgment of God overwhelmed an evil and unrepentant world. That day is coming again for all who refuse to repent and believe. Time is running out. Today, we’re closer than yesterday and nobody knows when their appointment with death will be and that’s not good. Because after death, comes the judgment (Heb 9:27) and that judgment will be meted out fast and furiously from a Holy God (Rev 20:12-15). Paul could have written this yesterday because he writes “in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal (e.g. ISIS), not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Tim 3:1-4). If I could speak with him, I’d suggest to the Apostle Paul that these days of difficulty have now come.

Related reading: Does the Quran Mention Jesus?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. [1] The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections. 2010-2050. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/ April 2, 2015  Accessed December 3, 2015.

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