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The Antichrist Is Coming

by David Johnson

Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program.  

 

     It is great to be together again as we look into the Word of God. The title for the lesson is “The Antichrist is Coming.” And our primary text is taken from First John chapter 2 verses 18 through 23. Please listen to the Word of God. “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.  But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”  This is the Word of God.

     Ever since Satan and his demonic horde rebelled against God, there has been an evil power against God and His followers. The devil is the architect of all who oppose and rebel against God. Satan has always been the prime leader of the antichrist spirit and the energizer of countless antichrists who have plagued the world.

     Antichrist is a compound word that transliterates the original Greek word ‘antichristos.’  ‘Anti’ means ‘against’ or ‘in the place of’ Christ. Antichrist denotes anyone who opposes Christ or falsely represents Him.

Scripture clearly teaches that during the future seven-year tribulation, one man, one diabolical man, the final antichrist, will emerge as the most diabolical antichrist who has ever lived.

     Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 3 and 4 describe this one “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness, or man of sin, is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” That describes this final antichrist who is to come.

     Through the centuries there has been much speculation as to whom would be the final antichrist. Numerous historical figures have been proposed such as: the Roman Emperor Nero, Muhammad, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler. Yet these and countless others have been futile speculations.

     When the apostle John wrote this epistle, he clearly stated that many antichrists had already risen in the brief sixty years or so since the beginning of the church age at Pentecost.  In our passage, First John chapter 2 verses 18 through 23, John warned that a wrong view of Christ, if not repented of, would lead to eternal separation and destruction. False professors of ‘the faith’ deny the truth of Christ, revealing themselves to all be antichrists. However, true professors about the truth of Christ reveal themselves to be genuine children of God.

     Let’s look closer at our text, just as relevant today in the 21st century, as it was when John wrote these words in the 1st century AD.  First John chapter 2 verse 18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.”

As their spiritual human father John warned faithful believers that there is impending danger from those against Christ. Which is just as true today.

     The ‘last hour’ figuratively refers to the present evil age. Which began at the first coming of Christ and will end when Christ returns to this earth. Christ’s incarnate (flesh) arrival to this planet aroused Satan’s vehement opposition to an intensity not seen before resulting in the rise of many antichrists. Those against Christ.

     Antichrists include false teachers who deny that Christ came in the flesh, or deny His deity. Before a person can be saved, he or she must have a correct understanding of who Jesus Christ is. This is why Satan, through his servants; always strikes at the biblical teachings of Christ in His becoming human.  In His deity, His atoning death on the cross, and His resurrection out from amongst the dead never to die again. They deny a key aspect of the gospel.

     The topic of antichrist and antichrists, plural, is not a pleasant subject; however, it is in Scripture due to God desiring that Christians be forewarned and vigilant. John proceeds to describe those who fall into serious error.

First John chapter 2 verse 19 “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

     This indicates that these antichrists had once been professing Christians in the church. Clearly their reasons for joining the church were wrong. Today joining the church just as a social, cultural, or family tradition is not enough. Being joined to the church must be a Christ-centered personal relationship in Christ as our personal Savior and Lord; believing that Jesus Christ is God-man, who atoned for one’s sin on the cross, and was raised from the dead. All of this is crucial and cannot be compromised. To this we should witness as to the truth.

     Then John proceeds in a positive vein to compare and compliment true believers.

First John chapter 2 verses 20 through 21 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.”  True Christians are devoted, committed to biblical truth. But before devotion must come proper instruction and understanding of the truth in scripture. How can we know falsehood? We know it by first knowing the truth. Anyone or anything that contradicts Scripture is error, is false.

      Believers must accept ‘the faith’ as once and for all given to the saints. Given to us the library of the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, and always remain faithful to it; because it is the “anointing from the Holy One.” ‘Anointing’ literally means ‘ointment’ or ‘oil’.  This refers figuratively to the Holy Spirit who teaches and guides believers through the Scriptures, God’s truth to mankind.  “No lie is of the truth” meaning, of course, that something cannot be simultaneously true and false. All Scripture is truth.  Truth is a precious thing; it should be treasured and lived out at all costs.

     John R. W. Stott, theologian wrote: “To walk in the truth is more than to give mental assent to it. It means to apply it to one’s behavior. He who walks in the truth is an integrated Christian in whom there is no dichotomy or division between profession and practice. On the contrary, there is in him an exact correspondence between his creed and his conduct.”

     When the Russian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who became a Christian, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, he concluded his speech by quoting a Russian proverb: “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.” Then Solzhenitsyn said, “If I could change a few of those words in that proverb, I would say “One person of truth impacts the whole world.” And I would also add the words of Jesus Christ. “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Gospel of John chapter 14 and verse 6.

Moreover, Jesus Christ is the one person of truth who supremely, sovereignly impacts, and outweighs the whole world.

     Then in our study passage the apostle John drives his teaching home. First John chapter 2 verses 22 through 23 “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

     A right view of Jesus Christ – of His person, of His work, and saving message – is an essential mark of genuine saving faith; no one can be saved who rejects the biblical revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the uniquely anointed one of God empowered in His humanity by the Holy Spirit.

     John also stresses the inseparable divine equality of the Father and the Son, noting that someone with the spirit of antichrist is one who denies them both. Despite their claims to the contrary, for example, anyone who denies the deity of Jesus Christ. And that means eternal deity of Jesus Christ does not know God the Father either.

     Consider the words of Martin Luther the great reformer, “If Christ does not remain the true, supernatural God then we are lost. For what good would the suffering and death of the Lord Christ do me if He were merely a man such as you and I are? Then He would not have been able to overcome the Devil, death, and sin. He would have been far too weak for them and could not have helped us.”

     But Christ was not weak, and He truly is God-man, Savior of the world for those who put their saving faith in Him.  The words of Jesus: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

     No one spoke, walked, died, and arose from the dead like this man. He is the Christ who was to come, who came, and is coming again. Are you dear listener in Christ Jesus through saving faith? Are you ready for His return? If not, you need to be.

 

                            David Johnson is Minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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