The mention of the name “antichrist” sends a chill up the spine.
And every age brings forth a potential candidate
Our current president
Antichrist is normally associated with the number “666′ and Armageddon from the book of Revelations. The word anti-christ however is not found in the book of Revelations.
The English word for Antichrist is taken from the Greek antíkhristos, which means to “oppose Christ” or “instead of Christ” and only appears four times in the New Testament in 1 John and 2 John
Jesus never mentions the word antichrist. But in his answers to the disciples questions concerning the destruction of the temple, the sign of His return, and the end of the age he describes the spirit of antichrist that is to come in the future.
Matthew 24:5 : Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many
Matthew 24:11, Many false prophets will arise and deceive many.
When Jesus spoke about false christs, false prophets and deception this certainly influenced John (he was present when Jesus gave these warnings) as he writes in 1 John 2:18 some 50 years after Jesus departure*
“My children, this is the final hour. You have heard that the antichrist, the greatest enemy to His kingdom, is coming, but in fact, many antichrists are already here. This development tells us how late it really is”.
It appears that John is not primarily concerned with who the antichrist might be or when he will appear “You have heard that the antichrist, the greatest enemy to His kingdom, is coming” but with the danger presented by the antichrists who were already present.
What can we learn from his warning in our present age?
The final hour
1 John 2:18 “My children this is the final hour”
The apostle Paul echos this in Romans 13:11
“It is time for you to wake up and see what is right before your eyes”
The apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:7
“We are coming to the end of all things, so be serious and keep your wits about you in order to pray more forcefully”.
John, Paul and Peter all point to a closing of history that is drawing near. If it was close 2000 years ago it is even closer now.
It is a time to be to be serious and prayerful, to be aware of what is going on around us.
Many antichrists are already here
It is important that we take the admonition given in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 seriously.
“Take a close look at everything, test it, then cling to what is good”.
Just because it looks good, sounds good, is on the New York Times best-seller list, doesn’t mean it is good. Popularity does not equal truth. John is adamant in his warning
1 John 4:1 “My loved ones, I warn you:do not trust every spirit. Instead examine them carefully to determine if they come from God
Don’t buy the lie
In 2 John 1:7 he writes “The corrupt world is filled with liars and frauds who deny the reality that Jesus the Anointed has come into the world as a man of flesh and blood. These people are deceivers and antichrists”.
The liar is anyone who attempts to discredit Jesus Christ as Savior, His deity or offers another way to salvation 1 John 2:22
Keep the faith
Finally in the little book of Jude we see that our faith is something we will have to contend for. This word implies a struggle, to compete or contend with an adversary.
“Friends, I have been trying to write you about our common salvation. But these days my heart is troubled, and I am compelled to write to you and encourage you to continue struggling for the faith that was entrusted to the saints once and for all. 4 Vile men have slithered in among us. Depraved souls who stand condemned have made a mockery of the grace given to us, using it as a pretext for a life of excess, lived without any thought of God. These poor fools have denied Jesus the Anointed, our one Lord and Master. Jude 1:3-4
There are two things we must keep in mind:
1. We are to persevere
Lord God help us fight the good fight, -To stay on course and finish the race, and through it all, to keep the faith “. 2 Timothy 4:7
2. Remember our victory in Jesus is secure
Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
has been cast down and silenced.
11 By the blood of the Lamb
and the word of their witnesses,
they have become victorious over him,
For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.