Who is actually the antichrist?

By | October 1, 2018 9:42 am

By Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ

Is Donald Trump the antichrist? Will the antichrist be a Muslim? Is the pope, or the next pope, the antichrist? Upon a simple internet search, it is clearly seen that these are the questions people are asking.

There is a heightened interest in this Bible topic, and many are misguided and confused.   Yet, the identity of “antichrist” is plain from the writings of John. The inspired apostle is the only writer who used the term, appearing five times in four verses (1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 7). In every instance, there is a warning against “antichrist” because this is one who lives in opposition to Christ Himself—a dangerous position since rejecting Christ incurs the wrath of God (John 3:36; 12:48).

So, who is this “antichrist”? According to the scriptures, antichrist is not a single person but an attitude that can comprise a number of individuals. John begins by saying that in his day (ca. AD 90) there were “many antichrists,” which indicated it was the last age of time (1 John 2:18). Next, he states the character of these individuals: (1) Antichrists are liars who deny the Father and Jesus the Son (1 John 2:22); (2) Antichrists deny that Jesus came in the flesh, giving evidence that they are not of God (1 John 4:3); (3) Antichrists are deceivers who will not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (2 John 7).

Thus, anyone who opposes God and His only begotten Son is antichrist. John was not waiting for some person to arise as the Antichrist, nor, was he prophesying that we would have to contend with the Antichrist just before the end of time. In fact, Christians were contending with them already. Concerning the opposition, he said, “Even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3) and “many deceivers are entered into the world” (2 John 7). It is a battle that Christians have been facing since the end of the 1st Century and one that we will continue to face until the end of time.

Confessing that Jesus Christ did come to the earth as a human is essential to our salvation (Rom. 10:10). It is a “good confession” (1 Tim. 6:12; ASV) where we confess that we believe that He is the Son of God (Acts 8:37). In that confession we show our faith that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary as a man (Mat. 1), was tempted just like we are (Heb. 4:15), suffered just like we do (Heb. 2:18), lived a perfect life (1 Pe. 2:22), died for our sins, arose from the grave and ascended into the Heavens (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Acts 1:9) where He is now reigning as our king (Col. 3:1; Luke 1:32). Therefore, we are not opposed to him, but we are His friend (John 15:14). The goal is to have the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9) not the “spirit of antichrist” (1 John 4:3). Only those who confess that Jesus is come in the flesh and are obedient unto death will be saved (1 John 4:2, 4).

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