Antichrist is the generic title given to an individual, organization, or principle of evil believed to represent all that runs counter to the values of Jesus Christ. Only the two Letters of John use the term, referring to people who refuse to believe in the Incarnation. Some early Christians labeled Roman emperors “Antichrists” because of their opposition to the faith. Some Protestant groups occasionally have dubbed the pope the Antichrist; similarily, some Muslims today characterize any external enemy as “The Great Satan.” Christians throughout history have identified as the Antichrist the various evil forces of which the Book of Revelation speaks, including Rome and the “beasts” whose appearance will signal the apocalypse. Perhaps the most common and persistent view is that at the end of time, Jesus (in his “Second Coming”) will confront and vanquish an impostor who claims to be Christ (i.e., the Antichrist), but not before the impostor has managed to lure many believers from the faith.
The word “Antichrist” has had a number of denotations and connotations over the centuries, but in modern times tends to refer to an individual who opposes the values of Jesus and leads humanity into Armageddon.