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The Antichrist – 1 John 2:18-27

13/03/2014

The Antichrist.
Text: 1 John 2:18-27.
John turns from Christian behaviour, in the earlier verses of the chapter, to Christian BELIEF in these verses, and the first point he makes is a warning against false teachers in the church – he speaks of The antichrist. What exactly does the Bible say about the antichrist in this passage?

1. The Age for Antichrists. V18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming
John engages in some discernment of the times. So, let’s see:-
The last hour. Now, don’t think of this as a chronological hour – John was not claiming to his readers that the Lord was about to return, This is a theological hour, rather than a 60 minute interval of time. Think of it as the final age, the final revelation of God, the last opportunity to be right with God. See Hebrews 1:1-2, The last days or the ‘Last Hour’ is that period of time, long or short, between the ascension of Jesus into heaven, and His second coming.
The news of Antichrist – “you have heard that antichrist is coming”. Now, notice that John tells us that the Christians have heard that antichrist (Singular) is coming, and that many antichrists (Plural) have already come. He makes a distinction. Christians have vastly different views on eschatology and the end times, and the nature of the singular antichrist, that final embodiment of evil who will appear just before the Lord returns… but right now, says John, there is already the spirit of antichrist, – a plethora of antichrists, and they are already here!
The plurality of Antichrist. “so now many antichrists have come” The word ANTICHRIST simply means ‘against Christ’ or ‘instead of Christ.’

Against Christ: We tend to think of Antichrist as being some evil man who will arise and be totally opposed to Christ and His Church and will wage war against them. That is perfectly feasible.

Instead of Christ – that second definition is also feasible. Antichrist can be someone from within the church, who claims to BE CHRIST – or even Christ’s representative on earth, as does the pope. So do the Word/Faith teachers. What if the devil were to plant his agents of death within the church, looking like angels of light… Now that would be a strategy that would deceive many Christians…Mark 13:6 Acts 20:29

Proof of the age. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.. Now we should not be surprised at that. In fact John tells us here that antichristian activity will characterise the era that he has designated here as ‘The Last Hour.’ Do not think though that anti-christian activity is confined only to the church age.

So, the time of antichrist is with us right now, and we can certainly see that the church and the Gospel are already under attack – both from outside the church, and more subtly from within, from people preaching false doctrine, leading people away from the Lord, getting them to overvalue themselves, or esteem themselves,- and they are doing huge damage.

2. The Appearance of Antichrists.
How will you recognise these antichrists within the church?
* Some of them are Christian Alumni. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.. Have you noticed how virtually every cult was started by someone who had previously been in a Christian church, who then denounces the church as apostate and goes out and forms a religion of his own.
* They are purveyors of false doctrine. This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father. They preach serious error regarding the nature of the Godhead. They deny the Trinity, and they question the person of Christ (denies the Son) They deviate from Biblical orthodoxy. John doesn’t mince his words, and in this passage tells us that if anyone is denying the Father and the Son, or denying the Son he is NOT a Christian, – he is in fact anti-Christian.

3. The Antidotes to the Antichrists.
Christians are not be be naive. John is reminding the believers that they must be discerning and recognise the danger from these ‘antichrists’. It is a biblical position that we mark those who preach false doctrine and avoid them Romans 16:17 

Be aware of the Holy Spirit’s work in your own life. you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. Anointed simply means to be set aside for service. Don’t be mislead by that charismatic view of ‘anointing’ or something you may see on one of these TV channels with the American televangelists. The word is simply a reference to the OT idea of anointing a king, an act usually carried out by a prophet, using oil (symbolic of the Holy Spirit). Now, we too have been anointed for the service of God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian. John 16:13

Know the Word of God I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, – 24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. The key to Christian discernment is to educate yourself in doctrine – to be aware of the teachings of the Bible! to know basic truths and recognise when what someone is saying is deviating from them.

Confess Christ. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Make sure you have a good confession, that you have openly and honestly told others that you are His, and that you will not be shaken from that position.

Recall his promises. 25And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. Ultimately we have this great promise, – that unlike the preachers of false doctrine and the antichrists that abound in the church, we have a firm promise of eternal life in Christ.

John teaches us in this passage that there are already antichrists at work within the church – there has been from the church was founded, and there will be until The Lord returns. We are to recognise this, and to be wary of them, and to avoid them.

From → 1st John

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