The Bible tells us judgment begins in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). For the church in America, judgment is here. Depleted by the pandemic, ravaged by internal strife, many churches are shrinking or shutting down. This, of course, is a generalization, and there are exceptions. Should current trends continue or worsen, then I suspect, more and more churches will dwindle or close their doors. The question I’ve been asking myself is this: What will happen to all the empty buildings?

Many church buildings are centrally located, large, and beautiful. Wouldn’t Satan, who loves to corrupt the things of God, rejoice if those buildings became synagogues for a one-world religion that opposed the Christian truth that Jesus is supreme? What if local churches across America were converted into synagogues of Satan, town centers, where instead of worshiping God, people went to coexist with each other. And what if, during the end times, these centers were run by the Ant-Christ regime? Instead of meeting for prayer at the church up the street, you’d be required to go to that building to bow before an image of the Anti-Christ so you could continue buying and selling?

Such defamation of church buildings would most likely be gradual. Sadly, some local churches are already headed down this path, forsaking the faith by adopting Christ-less teachings and functioning more like social centers than anything else. These churches, given time, could easily transition into Anti-Christ temples. The pastors and leaders would simply carry on, as usual, giving lectures about human accomplishments and the arrival of humankind, with a token mention of God here or there. Some teachers might not mention God at all because talk of God makes some people uncomfortable, and the best and most progressive churches would never cause discomfort. And they would certainly never talk about the supremacy of Jesus.

During the end times, such churches might even replace their crosses with images that reflect their allegiance to Anti-Christian beliefs, and ultimately, to the Anti-Christ Himself. The Satan-possessed world leader will be their savior, their hope for a brighter future, and they will desecrate their formerly Christian church buildings with Anti-Christ iconography, music, and literature.

Other churches, that have not yet closed their doors, and who have remained faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, will resist the desecration of their buildings. These faithful congregants will be forced out of their halls, or at the very least, forced into submission, so that Anti-Christian congregants can rule. I imagine such turnovers will spark the persecution and martyrdom of faithful Christians. Fear not. Those who refuse to bow to the Anti-Christ regime will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

True, America could be wiped off the map by the time the Anti-Christ rises to power, and my meanderings about empty church buildings could be entirely wrong. I still think the topic is worthwhile to consider, as it has both broad and personal applications. Satan wants to be as visible and exalted as a church spire in the middle of town. He wants to corrupt the holy things of God. He wants every human to be a walking billboard for his philosophies, and he wishes that every building, especially the Christian ones, be a temple for worship unto him. Knowing this, how can we thwart Satan’s efforts in the world and in our own lives?

We need to occupy as many physical spaces on this planet as we can and fill them with the name of, and praise to, Jesus. We must remind the enemy that, although he is the prince of this world, Jesus is the returning and triumphant King. In our own lives, we must dedicate every moment, commit every thought, to Christ so that Satan doesn’t even have one second of access to our minds, homes, and hearts.

A final note of encouragement. Remember, Jesus is among the churches. He holds the angels of the seven churches in His right hand (Revelation 1:12-20). No matter what happens to our buildings, the Church belongs to Jesus.