Summary: We look at the fifth test that proves if one really knows God. Are we guarding against antichrists?
As we look at the seven tests that prove if we really know God we can get a little lost as I try to explain them. Kind of like the time when the husband stayed home while his wife went to church. When she got back he asked her what the preacher preached about. She said, “I don’t know. He never did say.” Well I’ll try to do better than that so that you’ll at least know what we have talked about.
Tonight we look at the fifth test that proves if one really knows God. Are we guarding against antichrists? Note that the word is plural. The Scripture speaks to us today about false teachers. Are we guarding against the teachings of false teachers or are we taking to heart their false doctrine? This is a true test of your salvation. We have to keep up our guard against these false teachers.
READ VERSE 18
We are facing a critical period in our lives, the threat of false teaching, a teaching that can stir up questions, or doubt, unbelief, and even denial of Jesus Christ. We know there are many false religions in the world right now that deny Jesus Christ as the Savior. This warning is for all believers. Note three things from this verse.
1. Believers have to know that it is the last hour. I know you don’t like hearing preaching about the last days. Do I believe we are in the last days? YES! When the original manuscripts were translated, it translates as the last hour, or the midnight hour when the world is to end.
2. We also have to know that it is time for the antichrist. We need to understand that the antichrist can appear on the scene of world history anytime. But there is something else we need to note. The Bible teaches us that there will definitely be a personal antichrist—a man to arise in the end time who will oppose and stand against Christ more fiercely than anyone else has ever done.
Antichrist does NOT mean the spirit of evil in the world. It does NOT mean the spirit of false doctrine that is always presenting a problem for the church. The spirit of evil and false doctrine do exist and stand against Christ and they do great harm. But this is not what is meant by antichrist.
The Bible is clear on this. The antichrist refers literally to a person, a man who is to arise on the scene as world leader—a world leader who will exalt the state and world government above all worship of God. And we need to know that this person will come. We need to be prepared for not “if” but “when” he comes.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.(2 Thess. 2: 8-10)
3. The third fact we need to note is there are many antichrists right now. That’s
how we know that it is the last hour. The antichrist has his forerunners. Many false prophets and teachers are on the world scene today. There are many that
are denying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
That’s one way that we know we are in the end times. Jesus said that in the last
days many would arise who would oppose and deny Him. And there are many
false teachers today that oppose Christ and proclaim a false message of hope to
the world. John says we know that it is the last hour. We know it because the
world is full of false teachers that deny Christ. They deny that He is the Son of
God, that He is deity, they deny his death and resurrection, His Lordship, and
that He will ever come again.
But there is even more to show us that we are in the last days. Not only is the world full of false teachers, but it is full of false messiahs. People all over the world are proclaiming that they or some other person is the Messiah, the Savior of man. The tragedy is that many people are following these antichrists.
Jesus said, “22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.”(Mark 13:22) The Bible also says, “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead.”(1 Tim. 4:1-2)