We are living in the end times, said Stryper frontman Michael Sweet in a recent interview on the Chuck Shute Podcast. Sweet and Schute got on the topic of Armageddon when discussing the Christian metal band’s upcoming album, “The Final Battle.”
“If you say that in today’s world, boy, you are labeled an instant loon,” said Sweet regarding the idea that the end of the world is imminent. ‘You’re crazy and you need to be committed, and you’re out of your mind. But yet at the same time, when you go through the Bible, if you were to really dive deep into the Bible and have someone explain the theory of it to you and the stories that are behind the stories—so someone really smart who isn’t me—they could explain to you stuff that would make your chin hit the floor.”
Michael Sweet: ‘I Believe the Bible’
Michael Sweet is one of the founding members of Stryper, which began as the secular band Roxx Regime before becoming a Christian metal band in 1983. The name, “Stryper,” refers to Isaiah 53:5, which includes the phrase “by his stripes we are healed.” The verse is even part of the band’s logo.
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Stryper attained mainstream success in the 80s, and while the band broke up for several years during the 90s, its members officially reunited in 2003. The title of Stryper’s new album, set to release in October, is not a reference to the band coming to an end, says Sweet: “I don’t think it’ll be our last album, but you never know.” Rather, the story behind the title, “The Final Battle, and the album’s artwork is the Battle of Armageddon, “which is ultimately the final battle, biblically speaking.”
Sweet, who is a guitarist and lead vocalist for Stryper, told Shute that there are events the Bible predicted that have already occurred and “really the only thing left is God’s return and what follows after that, one of those things being the Battle of Armageddon.”
“So people can laugh and sneer and think Christians are crazy,” said Sweet, “and that’s fine. I believe in the Bible. I believe what it says, and I think those times are coming. I think we’re living in those times, absolutely, for sure.”
Shute noted that the people who get called “crazy” tend to be the ones who predict that the world is going to end on a particular date. Sweet agreed and referenced Matthew 24:36, where Jesus says no one knows the “day or hour” of his return.
“I think we’re definitely living in the end times,” said the musician, “but that could be short, that could be relatively soon, in the very near future, or that could be in a relatively distant future.”