Antichrists That Oppose
The apostle John, in 1 John 2, writes to the church about the antichrist. He’s referring to both the Antichrist as well as Antichrists. It’s important that we understand them both so we don’t fall into the same trap as the people to whom John was writing.
First, the Antichrist. This is a singular, future figure. He is someone who is to come, and both John and the apostle Paul wrote warnings about him. John characterized him well in Revelation 13. In summary he wrote that the Antichrist arises out of sea of humanity. He has great authority from Satan. He rules the world, religion, economy, and military for three and one-half years. The world marvels, follows and worships him. He’s a blasphemer, martyrs saints, and empowers the false prophet to deceive world with signs and wonders. His number is 666.
When the Antichrist shows up, it will be a time of satanically empowered signs and deception. People who refuse God’s truth will be easy prey for the delusion.
Since we don’t know and can’t predict the future, what should we do? The answer is easy—we need to make sure we’re right with God. Why? Because the odds are that if we don’t do it now, we won’t do it later because the deception is so strong.
I’ve talked to enough people and I’ve preached enough messages with altar calls where people say something like, “Hey, I’m just not ready to get right with God now. Like, when things get harrier and all that and I really know like, the whole Bible thing is true—that’s when I’m going to get right with God.” Here’s my response to that bit of false logic: “Are you crazy? If you can’t get right with God right now and take a stand for Jesus Christ now and receive the truth now, there is no way you will be able to do it later.”
The fact is the world is only going to get crazier. If you can’t make a decision for Jesus Christ today and you think you are going to put it off until tomorrow, I fear for you for two reasons, First, Scripture says “tomorrow is promised to no man” (Proverbs 27:1; Matthew 6:34) but also the conditions to say “yes” to Jesus in the future are only going to get infinitely harder.
Second, John talks about the other Antichrists. They are against (anti) Christ and they are not future, they are here, with us, right now.
John characterizes them in 1 John 2:19, 22 and 26:
- They depart from the faith (1 John 2:19)
- They deny the faith (1 John 2:22)
- They deceive the true believers (1 John 2:26)
He’s writing to a church, and he’s writing these things to us so that we know what the goal of the Antichrists is. They have departed and denied and they want to deceive us into doing the same things. It’s diabolical work that his happening every day in the church.
How do we fight this?
Pastor Warren Wiersbe wrote, “If Christians desire to have fellowship with Christ, they must obey the Word, love God’s people, and believe the truth. Whenever sin enters, the Christian must immediately confess it and claim God’s forgiveness. We must spend time in the Word, learning the truth and letting the truth take hold of the inner person. Or, to look at it negatively, the Christian who deliberately disobeys the Word, neglects the Word, and who cannot get along with God’s people is out of fellowship with God and in the dark. It is not enough to talk about the Christian life; we must practice it.”
How do we overcome the attack of those who are “anti” Christ? We obey the Word, love God’s people and believe the Truth. If we’re unwilling to do those things, we’ll open the door of deception and believe me, our enemy only needs to see a crack and he’s there trying his best to deceive us into departing from the faith, and denying the faith.
The Antichrist is coming; we know that fact. However, there are also Antichrists today against whom we need to guard our hearts. It’s serious stuff—war always is. Be ready, be prepared. Love God, read and obey His Word and reach out to others in His strength. Don’t open the door to deception, slam it shut thought the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit.