You Might Be An Antichrist If….
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. – I John 2:15-23
Take note of the words in bold. That would be verse 19 of I John chapter 2.
One of the many characteristics of antichrists (and yes, that’s plural) is that they went out from the Church. That is, they left the local church to which they had belonged to, had fellowship and worshipped in.
Let that sink in. They separated themselves from not only the fellowship of the local church, but from the authority and discipline of it.
The central point to remember here is that antichrists were once in the church, and now they are out on their own, doing their own thing. It’s a good reminder that most danger to a local church comes from within, not without.
Today, there are many antichrists, and no, they aren’t all tele-evangelists like the fruitcakes you might find on TBN. No sir, they walk among us, and many even label themselves ‘Reformed’.
Don’t be shocked. We live in the last days, that period between Christ’s first coming until He comes again to judge, not to save. [Dispensationalists are blinded to the fact that upon Christ second coming, the opportunity to repent is nil, it’s over, and only judgment remains.] And in these last days, how many are you aware of who profess Christ but were not, or are not, content to live under the Lordship of Christ, the authority of a pastor-teacher, and the discipline of the local church?
If you know of folks such as this, or, perhaps that describes you, then you may be an antichrist which God is describing here in this passage.
Modern days antichrists are those who were once part of the local church, but endeavored to be a friend of the world; who could not handle sound doctrine, they simply could not stand it. They prefer the pleasure of sin for a season over the constant, daily battle and mortification of their sins in the process of sanctification.
The Apostle John tells us these antichrists never really belonged to us anyway. It’s a mark placed upon them by the Holy Spirit, a trademark of apostasy. It is the plain, simple intention of God to manifest the difference between a true, born again believer, and those who are not. It’s an ongoing process. God continues to save souls, believers are built up in the faith and a separation is being made every time the Gospel is preached. Every soul who hears it is either drawn closer to God, or further hardened against Him.
Sadly, there are many among us these days who were once a part of a local fellowship, who walked among us, fellowshipping with us – but they were really never of us, never truly in the body of Christ. Sadder still, many of these antichrists stay for great lengths of time in a local fellowship. While they are among us, they draw others to their way of thinking – before they leave. All too often, they take others with them after having convinced them of a better, or more ‘godly’ way. We see it everywhere, this ‘better way.’
Is worshipping God online more comfortable than committing to a local fellowship and the authority of a pastor-teacher, and sitting under the discipline of it? If you answered yes, you may be one of the antichrists which God warns His church about.
If you have joined yourself to a fellowship where there is no authority, but rather a ‘group of men’ who lead, that is, no real under-Shepherd, you may be one of the antichrists which God warns His church about.
The credentials of every heretic throughout church history is that they were once in the Church. It could not be otherwise, for if they were never involved in a local fellowship, they would have no affect and could do nothing. Remember, to study church history is to study church heresies. The gates of Hell itself have always, from the beginning, sought to prevail against God’s people, the Church. Remember also, that every epistle written in Scripture addresses doctrinal error and responds to false teachings of heretics.
To endeavor to be a friend of the world is to be an antichrist. They went out from us. Why? They were never of us, and God the Holy Spirit put His mark upon them and does so today still:
They forsake the local church, its authority and discipline, and often take others with them.
This is how God has decided to demonstrate the difference between true believers and those who are not.