Summary: A major concern for John is heresy within the church and the manner it is causing problems and robbing believers of their joy. John uses antichrist in reference to those who perhaps start with seemingly sincere faith; yet, their teaching becomes contrary to Christ and abiding in him.

There is a universal theme that runs through the book of 1 John, abiding in Christ. This is the key to “living in the world but not of the world. When we refuse to live in the world, we fail to serve Christ. Joe McKeever wrote the following.

In the 1987 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, the report of the Foreign Mission Board contained a telephone hook-up with Frances Fuller, missionary to Lebanon. A few days earlier, President Reagan had ordered Americans out of that war-torn country, warning any who remained they would lose their passports. Our missionaries had been evacuated to Cyprus, from where Mrs. Fuller was placing her call.

“You have failed your missionaries by your prayers,” Mrs. Fuller told the thousands of messengers at the convention. She had our undivided attention.

“My friends back in the States say, ‘We’re praying for your safety,’ or ‘We’re praying for you to get out of that country.'”

She continued, “You should have prayed that God would keep us safely in this country in order that we might bear fruit for Him. Consequently, we have been exiled from a country of great need where we should not have left.” She concluded, “Give us back to Lebanon in your prayers.” No one who sat in the huge auditorium that night will ever forget her plea.

There has been much speculation about the “Antichrist”; however, the Bible does not give us a name. Here are some of the popular considerations for the antichrist:

• The Pope…

• Nicolae Jetty Carpathia—antagonist in the Left Behind series (Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins)

• Nero Caesar—some believe the 666 reference in Rev. 13:18 is a reference to him.

• Napoleon—liberation of the Jewish people, his rise to power, anti-Catholic policies, hunger for conquest.

• The American Presidents. Perhaps Gerald Ford is the exception of this trend, though he was a world leader at the time of the 70s “End Times” craze.

These examples suggest we try to put the face of the Antichrist on the person/system to which we are opposed.

The interesting fact is that the term is only found a very few times in the Bible; found only in 1 John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3 and 2nd John 7. Other terms (e.g., the wicked one, man of earth, the enemy, the violent man, the spoiler, etc.) used in the Bible are often interpreted as the Antichrist; however, we must remember interpretations are just that—what someone is suggesting that this is the truth.

To illustrate, there is a video on the gospel according to YouTube where a person attempts to use verses like Luke 10:18, “I saw Satan as lightning falling from the heavens.” He takes the word “lightning” translated “baraq” and from another word he gets “bamah” and attaches an “o” to it and comes up with Barak Obama—in his argument President is/was the Antichrist. My opinion, the guy is a bored minister that spends God’s precious time with much speculation and proclaims such as the “Gospel”. Pictorial images are just as intriguing, from horrible satanic images to individuals like our presidents, and the Pope.

My best answer is this: I don’t know.” I can know the truth and gain the skills to discern what is anti-Christ. The dangerous teaching of others is not the critical issue; the critical issue is how well you are grounded in the truth. I have often said, “We are not called to be attackers of the dark, we are called to be proclaimers of the light.” People will never be able to discern teachings that are anti-Christ if they have never heard and believed in the real Christ.

Imagine attempting to teach your children to fear wolves; however, they have never seen one. You do not want to bring one home and put it in the yard. Maybe this analogy will illustrate. It would be crazy for you to infect your children with the influenza virus for them to say, “Oh, that is the flu!” Hopefully, you help them take care of themselves and enjoy the benefits of good health. That way they will be able to recognize symptoms that something is not right.

Let us see what we learn about the subject by looking at our text.

Warnings Against Denying the Son

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion