Summary: In other words, John was declaring one of the evidences of last times is the increase of false Christians, false church members, false teachers inside the church and outside the church.
Living The Life: Counterfeit Christianity
Scripture Reference: 1 John 2:18 – 27
There was a game show that debut on television December 18, 1956 entitled, “To Tell The Truth”. Three contestants claim to be the same person. A celebrity panel asks them questions, and must guess who’s telling the truth.
There were two contestants that were false; one contestant was the real person. The catch phrase from that program was, “Will the real ______ please stand up.”
Here is the question of the morning, how many of you have your neighbors as panelists on to tell the truth about your faith? Your Christianity? Your Discipleship? Are they having to guess whether or not you are the real Christian in the neighborhood?
What about where you work, where you shop regularly, your children’s practices? Will the real Christian please stand up! Why do I ask such questions, because there are a lot of people claiming to be Christians in this country at this very moment.
They’re in the mall not having been to church but once a month this year. They’re on your job regularly using the world’s philosophy rather than the Word’s of truth to answer life’s challenges and problems.
They’re at your children’s school having been wet with the waters of baptism but since that time haven’t darkened a Sunday School classroom. They’re in your neighborhood having hidden behind the excuse that the church is full of hypocrites thus it is not worthy to request their presence any longer.
They’re on television and radio participating in compromising and questionable roles while claiming that it is just a way to earn a living and that these roles cannot in anyway affect their soul and spirit. They have the name and the claim, but don’t have the acclaim of heaven.
This series has been about living the way God has intended for you to live. Some folks have defined living not according to God’s word, but according to how much cash you have.
A woman by the name of Sophee Tucker was quoted as saying, “from birth to 18 a young girl needs good parents, from 18 –35 she needs good looks, from 35 – 55 she needs a good personality, but from 55 on she needs cash.
Chuck Swindoll a famed pastor/teacher stated from his series on Contagious Christianity: What Does It Mean To Really Live asks the question, “since when is the good life the real life?” Far too many people could have written on their tombstones “died at 31 buried at 73.”
“Far too many die before they are buried because you have defined real living by the cash, or how young you feel, how comfortable you are, how educated you have made yourself, how productive, or even how organized you are. But we all know a lot of people who fall in one or more of those categories who are not really living.
Listen, John made it clear back when this text was written and the Holy Spirit makes it relevant today that we are in the last times or the last hour. John was not referring to the duration, but a kind of time.
In other words, John was declaring one of the evidences of last times is the increase of false Christians, false church members, false teachers inside the church and outside the church.
Jesus predicted back in the gospels that this would occur…
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Now if John was raising up this issue back then, where do you think we stand today? John is giving both warning and word about the false Christians and the anti-christs living among them.
A couple of Sunday’s ago we defined the term “antichrist”. The “spirit of antichrist” (1 John 4:3) has been in the world since Satan declared war on God (cf. Gen. 3). The “spirit of antichrist” is behind every false doctrine and every “religious” substitute for the realities Christians have in Christ.
That prefix anti actually has a dual meaning. It can mean, in the Greek, both “against” Christ and “instead of” Christ. Satan in his frenzy is fighting Christ and His eternal truth, and he is substituting his counterfeits for the realities found only in our Lord Jesus.
The “spirit of antichrist” is in the world today. It will eventually lead to the appearance of a “satanic superman” whom the Bible calls “Antichrist” (capital A). He is called (2 Thes. 2:1–12) “the man of sin” (or “lawlessness”).