Ronald Wilson Reagan.
He was the 40th president of the United States. For two consecutive terms, he led the United States through a great period of prosperity and peace, including the breakup of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin wall. He was an excellent speaker and renowned for his humorous quips. And for some, he was the beast spoken of in the Book of Revelation.
I was quite surprised when I first read articles linking President Reagan to the beast. The first clue was the number of letters in his complete name, with each name containing six letters. For these pundits, this could only represent the number of the beast: 666.
Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
Revelation 13:18 (NLT)
But wait, there’s more. Just two months after his inauguration, John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate the President, shooting him in the chest and seriously wounding three others. President Reagan was close to death when he was rushed to the emergency room of the nearby George Washington University Hospital. Fortunately, he made a full recovery. Immediately, there was further speculation that this incident confirmed that President Reagan was the beast.
I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. Revelation 13:3 (NLT)
Whether these accusations were politically motivated or the wild musings of a fringe religious movement, we can now look back, forty years later, and ridicule these absurd claims. However, the beast is real and will someday appear on this earth. When this occurs, it will mark the beginning of the great tribulation and the end times. What should be our response?
So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)
God has given us the signs that will accompany the end times and the coming of the beast, but we should not be focused on matching these characteristics to existing leaders or charismatic individuals. As Christian believers, we should live our lives in ready expectation for the return of Jesus Christ, focused upon sharing the Gospel to this lost world.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.