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