by Dennis Michelson
Introduction: According to Hebrews chapter one the last days began with the first coming of Jesus Christ. John gives a description of what the last days and the last time will be like on the earth. He speaks of antichrist and antichrists.
1. The Meaning of Antichrist(s)
The term "anti" means opposed to or against. It can also mean "in the place of or substitute for." The antichrist opposes Christ by pretending to be Christ!
A key concept in the last time will be the unity of all religions and human establishments. Christ may be respected but not actually worshipped. Religious traditions will supplant biblical truths. Religious superiority will be seen as a crucial obstacle to world unity.
There will be much talk about spirituality as the way to overcome the divisiveness of religion. True evangelism will be seen as bigotry and discrimination. Arnold Toynbee said "The governments of the world will unite by force or federation, but that unity cannot succeed without a universal religion.
Christianity should be purged of its sinful state of mind." Here is what it will sound like in the final push for unity. It will mean:
- an end to war
- an end to hunger and overpopulation
- genuine equality of race, religion, and sexual preference
- a global ethic that will unite the human family
- conservation of the earth's environment
- a new age of human potential "Yes we can"
Beware - when the world "loves" Christ then it has made him into something He is not. Pluralism and inclusivism will be esteemed above exclusivism. Pluralism means that no religion can sit in judgment upon another religion. Inclusivism means that all religions are expressions of the divine. Exclusivism means that God has revealed himself only in Christ Jesus.
In the past generation we have experienced what Erwin Lutzer calls an "ideological megashift." We arrived at this point - at least from the world's persepctive - by ceasing to proclaim Truth, to searching for the Truth, and then denying there is Truth.
The Church has moved from a God-centered worldview to a man-centered world view. This shift has come about as a result of seeking to reach the world by becoming like the world. Haroutunian made ths striking statement - "Before, religion was God-centered.
Before, whatever was not conducive to the Glory of God was infinitely evil; now that which is not conducive to the happiness of man is evil, unjust, and impossible to attribute to the Deity.
Before, the good of man consisted ultimately in glorifying God; now the glory of God consists in the good of man." The following four shifts have taken place in the world and the Church -
(1) Objective authority has been replaced by relativism so whatever my heart believes has now become right for me. We think God blesses sincerity apart from Truth.
(2) Objectivity has been replaced by pragmatism. Whatever works (or produces results) has now become right. The end now justifies the means.
(3) Feeling has replaced reason. Sin is no longer the great enemy of mankind; sadness is.
(4) Convictions have been replaced by opinions. Mindless tolerance has now become a necessity in both the world and the Church.
The little horn of Daniel 7:8
The king of fierce countenance in Daniel 8:23
THe idol shepherd of Zechariah 11:16-17
The man of son and son of perdition in II Thessalonians 2:3
That wicked one in II Thessalonians 2:8
2. The Method of Antichrist(s)
Dilution - yea hath God said
Confusion - Lo, here is Christ, or there
Contradiction - 1984, no 1988, no 2012.....
Proliferation -denominations and translations
Infiltration - Jude
Duplication - II Corinthians 11:13-15
3. The Motive of Antichrist(s) (II Thessalonians 2:1-12) Ye Shall Be As Gods
A well-known leader of the positive confession movement recently said, "You don't have a God in you . . .you are one." The whole name-it-and-claim-it movement seeks to deify man and humanize God.
Conclusion: There are many wolves in sheeps clothing abroad in the land. Use the following as a guide to identifying wolves:
(1) Look for sheep's clothing. They will be decked out in special garb designed to promote their authoritarianism.
(2) What is their batting record? Do you know what you call an Old Testament prophet whose batting average was less than absolutely perfect - a dead man.
(3) Do they preach weal (prosperity) and woe (judgment)?
(4) Are they man-centered or God-centered? Is God still the Potter or has the creature taken over for the Creator.
(5) Are they anti-historical? Are they obsessed with removing the ancient paths?
(6) Are they greedy. $$$$$$$$$$$$
(7) Do they present themselves as mediators between you and God. Do you need to send something in before God can send something down?
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