Summary: Do not let the world trick you into leaving your Lord!
• I think it for Christians it is sometimes hard to keep in mind that we are under attack on an almost daily basis.
• Some of the attacks we face are direct, coming from people we know, but more of the attacks we face come from the society in general. We see our faith being attacked in the media, in the courts, and in the political realm.
• Some of the attacks we see are very obvious, others more subtle.
• When was the last time you saw an article from Time Magazine or one of the other main stream news magazines that actually backed up the Bible?
• I always like watching programs on the Bible or Christianity on the History Channel or Discovery. They always seem to try to find the most liberal
• The President gets made fun of for believing in Creation or intelligent design as it is put. What are the scientists afraid of?
• The media makes people who believe in Jesus out to be a bunch of backwoods buffoons who are backward in their thinking.
• It is getting harder and harder or us to take our faith public because of the ridicule we many times face.
• Because of the fact that we are hit from so many sides, it could make us feel like what we believe is not true. We could start to think that maybe we are wrong.
• If we are not careful we can allow the world to fool us into forsaking our faith.
• When our children go off to college, they are confronted by many forces that tell them our belief in Jesus is dumb and is not logical.
• This is one of the reasons we need to understand why we believe what we believe.
• SLIDE #2 The title to the message today is, “Don’t Be Fooled.”
• In John’s day, there were many who were working against God by either by being a false teacher or by claiming to be the Messiah.
• I want to encourage you to keep the faith. It is important for us not to leave Jesus; we cannot allow others to influence us to leave Him.
• Let’s read 1 John 2:18-23 together.
• If we are going to maintain our faith, we need to: SLIDE #3
I. RECOGNIZE THE TIME WE LIVE IN.
Verse 18 tells us that it is the last hour. SLIDE #4
1. We live in the last hour.
• It is so important for us to recognize that we live in the last hour. If we think we have forever, then we will think we have plenty of time to go back and forth with our beliefs.
• What does John mean when he speaks of living n the last hour, does this mean that we are going to all die in a few minutes?
• Peter and Paul use the term “last days”. These phrases are used figuratively for a fixed period of time preceding the Second Coming.
• The word “hour” is a translated from a word that means “a fixed date or period”.
• This thought ties in with the previous section that speaks of the world passing away in verse 17.
• We tend to think the world is not going to end, but one day it will!
• You hear folks talking about how we are in living in the last days, well, since the resurrection of Jesus, we have been. This age or dispensation will end with the second coming of Jesus, once that happens, game over.
• CLICK #4 Jesus speaks of this age in John 5:25 as an hour that is coming. That hour is here and is in the last stages.
• Since we are living in the last hour, it is not a tie for us to mess around; it is time for us to be serious about our faith. We think that since it has been 2000 plus years since the resurrection, that Jesus will not come back. Quite honestly, that has an affect on how we live our lives and how we conduct ourselves.
• The second thing we need to recognize if we are going to stay strong in our faith is: SLIDE #5
II. RECOGNIZE OUR ADVERSARIES.
Here is where it starts getting interesting. John starts using a term that sounds kind of chilling. We have seen movies that depict this “person” as the absolute personification of evil. John talks about antichrist! SLIDE #6
1. What is an antichrist?
• John speaks of the antichrist in plural form. An antichrist is one who does either one or two things, or both. The first is one who is opposed to Jesus. The second is one who claims themselves to be the Christ or Messiah. They claim to be Jesus.