Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 18 July 19:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 — “…the man of lawlessness is revealed…”
Who is the antichrist? Is he alive right now? When will he be revealed? There has always been much debate and speculation on the matter, but the Bible clearly reveals that the spirit of ‘antichrist’ is alive and well as was the case in Paul’s day. There have been many ‘antichrists,’ and we are surrounded by antichrists today. Jesus explains that if a person isn’t “with him” in total, that person is against Him, anti-Him, antichrist. If a person doesn’t “gather” with Jesus, that person “scatters.”
The only person who uses the actual word “antichrist” in the Bible is John, and he says, “many antichrists have come. Therefore, we know that it is the last hour…. 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…. and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already…. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (1 John 1, 2, 4) Anyone who denies the complete Gospel is “antichrist.”
Note, that in today’s readings, the word “antichrist” is not used but rather “the man of lawlessness.” We should not miss the point that the primary trait of the one who opposes the will of God is “lawlessness,” along with rebellion, disobedience, and pride. Contrarily, the one who is truly “pro-Christ” is identified by obedience, inspired by genuine love. Jesus said this, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great…. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Luke 6:46-49; Matthew 7:21-23) Jesus also uses the word “lawlessness” to describe “religious” people who claim to be followers of Jesus but who do not actually follow Him in obedience to His word. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up…. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (Galatians 6:7-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Worship God in “truth.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 July 19: Don’t worry about the coming of a particular person who might be the antichrist; rather, challenge the spirit of antichrist that exists all around us by sharing the love of Christ while proclaiming the Gospel.