Lybia is referenced several times in the Bible.
We’ll start with references in the New Testament.
Matthew 27:32 – Simon of Cyrene (a city now known as Tripoli in Upper Lybia) carried the cross for our Lord Jesus.
Acts chapter 2:10 – God-fearing men from “the parts of Libya around Cyrene” were present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and heard the Apostle Peter preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Some 3,000 people that days repented of their sins and became fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. It is likely that Libyans were among those who believed, since they are mentioned in the text.
Acts 11:20 – After the death of Stephen, a scattering of Christians took place from Jerusalem outward, and it is specified that among those who went out preaching the gospel were “men … of Cyrene” who travelled to Syrian Antioch, Syria, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Acts 13:1 – Lucius of Cyrene was one of the “prophets and teachers” that led the church at Antioch, the base from which Barnabas and Saul were sent out to take the gospel to Asia and Europe.
So we see in the Scriptures that the Lord loved the people of Libya and wanted them to know Him, receive His free gift of salvation, be preachers of the word, and prophets and teachers in a successful missionary base.
But Bible prophecy also tells us that the government and many of the people of Libya will be engaged in great evil in the End of Days.
Ezekiel 38:5 – Libya is one of the nations that joins the Russian-Iranian (Gog-Persia) alliance against Israel in “the last days.”
In this prophecy, Ezekiel uses the Hebrew name “Put.” The KJV translates this as Libya.
The first century historian Flavius Josephus wrote in his famous book, The Antiquities of the Jews, that “Put” or “Phut” is “ancient Libyos.”
Ancient Libyos, we know, certainly included the territory of the modern nation state we refer to today as Libya, but also included Algeria and possibly Tunisia.
So we know from Ezekiel regardless of which way the current “Arab Spring” turns out, the day will come in the not-too-distant future when Libya and possibly her neighbors will have anti-Semitic and anti-Israel leaders who will eagerly join a coalition bent on destroying the Jews and invading Israel. Now that Gadaffi is dead, will a worse come in his place? (So it happened when the Shah of Persia/Iran was deposed.)
We can, of course, pray that “moderate” leadership will rise up for a season before it’s time for the prophecy of the Gog and Magog war to be fulfilled. Either way, we believers, disciples of the Lord Jesus should be using this window of time to do all we can to get the gospel into Libya and to strengthen the persecuted believers in Libya before the country faces God’s judgment for attacking Israel.
Daniel 11:43 - Libya is one of the countries that will be under the control and direction of the Antichrist in “at the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40) Daniel tells us in this chapter that “a vile person will stand yo” and will “come in peaceably” and will seize power “by flatteries” and by “the arms of a flood” in the End Times. This person, known in Christian theology as the Antichrist, ”will do according to his will, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation be accomplished, for that which is determined will be done.” The Bible tells us the Antichrist “will enter the Glorious Land” — that is, Israel — and “will stretch out his hand against other countries.” Eventually, the Antichrist will gain control of the entire world and force all people who haven’t received Christ as Savior and Lord to bow and worship him or be beheaded. But the Bible specifically states that this vile ruler ”shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians [the people of “Cush,” which includes modern Sudan, Ethiopia and possible Eritrea] will be at his steps (or, follow at his heels).” (Daniel 11:43.) It is not clear why God, speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, highlights “Libyans” and “Ethiopians” as among those who will follow and serve the Antichrist, but this is what the Lord tells us in advance will happen.
Let us be praying faithfully for Libya and all of North Africa at this critical hour, and let us be doing all we can to reach all of North Africa with the gospel, before the doors close to the gospel.