I am at the age where most of my life has already been lived, my earthly life that is. I also know that after the death of this physical body I will be living into eternity. It is a destiny that awaits all of us. Not all who live into eternity will be living in contentedness and happiness though. It all comes down to one thing, are you living for Christ, in Christ, or are you anti-Christ?
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to use—eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:18-27, (English Standard Version or ESV).
We are in the last hour of our lives even if we are young because every minute that has already been lived is one minute closer to our physical death on this earth. The apostle John felt the nearness of Christ was soon and for him it was. We should never think that we have time to make our decision later about accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have no clue as to how long we will live. What strikes me about this passage is the fact that so many false teachings had already arisen concerning Jesus Christ. I can only imagine that there are many more today. Notice that the anti-Christ’s started in the church of Jesus Christ and then went out from the church to preach and teach a doctrine that is not true. Oh how we must be on guard against teachings that want to lead us away from the truth of the Gospel. Why? Because John says in this passage that if we remain in Christ we will receive eternal life. If we are led away from Christ we are not going to have eternal life but an eternal hellish existence. How do we know if what we are hearing in our churches is true and not anti-Christ? Here’s my list to identify anti-Christ teachings.
- If the teaching you hear is saying that Jesus Christ was a good man, a prophet, a good teacher, but not the Son of God it is a teaching from an anti-Christ. Jesus is the Son of God and the Holy Spirit bear witness to this fact (John 15:26).
- If the teaching you hear says that it is all a fable and that Christ was metaphoric and not a real person it is a teaching of the anti-Christ. There were living and breathing human beings that were also witnesses to the miracles performed by Jesus as well as His death, burial, and resurrection (Acts 5:32). We have their accounts written down throughout the New Testament.
- If a teaching states that Christians will not suffer in this life it is a teaching of the anti-Christ. We are told over and over again that we will suffer, Matthew 10:22, John 15:19-21, Matthew 24:9 are just a few of the scriptures that tell us we will suffer in this life.
- If your church says that your walk of faith is quick to learn and super easy to do then its teaching is anti-Christ. We must have patience and endurance in our walk of faith, (Romans 2:7, Hebrews 6:11, Revelation 2:3).
- If the teaching you hear says that you don’t have to change the way you live after accepting Christ and that all will be in heaven it is the anti-Christ teaching. Not all will be in heaven and you must deny yourself and take up the cross daily to stay faithful and obedient (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 7:22-23, Luke 13:24, Revelation 20:15, Revelation 22:12-21).
- If your church teaches that Christianity and wealth and success are hallmarks of a good Christian it is a teaching of an anti-Christ because Jesus does not teach us this. Jesus teaches that obedience to Him is the hallmark of a good Christian (John 14:23, James 1:22, Romans 12:2).
- If the teachings you hear sound like the Bible but it isn’t then you are hearing from an anti-Christ. So how do you know what the truth is? You study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15, Colossians 2:8, Hebrews 13:9).
- If your church teaches that you have to work hard to enter the Kingdom of God its teaching is anti-Christ. We need to enter the rest Christ gives and only Christ gives, and it is a free gift and not something to work to attain (Ephesians 2:8, Hebrews 4:10-12).
In other words if the teaching you hear is not matching up to what the Bible teaches then it is a false teaching and false teachers are anti-Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus concerning a problem where some were being deceived into thinking that sex outside of marriage and sex with someone you aren’t married to is alright for Christians to do. He reminded them that this is not how God intends Christians to live.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:1-21, (ESV).
I hope these passages help you in your daily walk with Jesus Christ. We have much to be joyful about, much to be thankful for. We are not alone in discerning the true Gospel from the false anti-Christ ideology. We have the Bible and many good teachers to learn from. Let us study and learn and apply what we have learned so that we do not teach others wrongly.