In our fascination with end times prophecy, we tend to forget that the spirit of the Antichrist is already among us. The Antichrist with a capital A is yet to be revealed, but antichrists with a small a are all around us, spreading false teaching in our culture and in the church. As the apostle John wrote, "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" (1 John 2:18).
Western civilization is not safe from the deception planned by Satan for the end times. Here in America and across the Western world, our civilization is also being prepared by Satan to receive the false messiah, the Antichrist. If we don't want to be deceived when the Antichrist comes on the scene, then we must be ready—and we must be aware of the deceptive spiritual forces in our culture that would enslave us.
We must be alert and put on the whole armor of God, being grounded in the Truth—God's Word.
Who are these antichrists? John writes, "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" (1 John 2:22). What does it mean to deny that Jesus is the Christ? Anyone who teaches that Jesus is one of many ways to God is an antichrist with a small a. Anyone who denies Jesus' claim to be the only way to God the Father is an antichrist with a small a. Anyone who says that Buddha or the Mahdi or Krishna is just another name for Jesus is an antichrist with a small a.
I believe Satan is infecting many churches today with false teachings in order to prepare the way for the Antichrist. When the Antichrist comes, he will be hard to recognize as the Antichrist. He will be attractive and charming. Jesus said that "false messiahs" will come, performing "great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). So we must be alert and put on the whole armor of God, being grounded in the Truth—God's Word.
But rest assured, no matter how many people the Antichrist deceives, he is ultimately destined to fall.
Prayer: Lord, help me to discern Truth from deception. Help me to be grounded in Your Word so that I am ready to stand against the deceit of the enemy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"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" (1 John 2:22).
*Devotional adapted from End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi by Michael Youssef © 2016. Published by Worthy Books, Franklin, TN. Used by permission.
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