A Warning Against Antichrists
Passage: 1 John 2:18–2:27
A Warning Against Antichrists
Pastor David Lovi
1 John 2:18–2:27
May 7, 2017
Frank Abagnale was known in the 1970s as one of the world’s greatest impostors. He was a career criminal and made his living from fraud and deception. He’s also one of the greatest experts on check and currency forgery.
The movie “Catch Me if You Can” is based on Abignale’s life. After he was caught and sent to prison for his crimes, the FBI gave him a deal. They said he could go free if he helped them catch people who were like him.
Since the late 1970s, he has devoted his life to the detection and prevention of crime. He gives lectures to law enforcement and banks across the world on how to spot counterfeit money.
In one of his lectures, he talks about detecting counterfeit currency. He says the government is very proactive in securing the format of our bills. In fact, every eight years now, they change how our bills look and different things are put in—like holograms and very miniscule writing that show the bills are real.
The problem is the people who are taking the bills have absolutely no idea what they are supposed to be looking at because management doesn’t want to take five minutes to teach them.
Last year, Walmart reported more than 50 million dollars in counterfeit currency that they found at their stores. To them it’s just a drop in the ocean. They make billions of dollars. The tax payer has to pick up the tab for that.
Abignale says, “Today we don’t train people. We like to find cheap substitutes for education. Instead we’ll give the teller felt-tip one-dollar pens that check the pH level of the bill.”
(That marker tests the acid level of the paper.)
But Abignale says at Office Depot they have the exact same paper as our currency does.
And so you give a bill to a teller and they might say, “That bill has have misprinting and misspelling but hey, it turned yellow, so I’ll take it. No problem.”
Friends, I really think in some ways, we do the same thing in the church today when it comes to discerning true teaching from false and sheep from wolves.
The church has not done a great job teaching not only discernment to its members, but also a deep knowledge of the genuine article.
What does a true Christian look like? What does Jesus really look like?
Evangelicalism as a whole has lowered the standard of what Christianity looks like so that as long as they say the name of Jesus and maybe quote a Bible verse and tell a funny story, well, it must be a good church. It must be a good pastor who is going to get up and speak and smile. Or well, they have a lot of people at their church, so it must be good.
But, is that really the way we can tell true from false? Good doctrine from bad?
I don’t think so.
That’s why we’re here today. I really believe that discernment is needed.
We’re going to learn today that John the Apostle says there are antichrists in the world today.
There is one who is coming who is called THE Antichrist. But there are currently antichrists—baby, mini antichrists, who are types and shadows of the one to come.
They’re in the church. Not of the church but they are in it.
And if we look . . . all you have to do is turn on the television and watch TBN or one of these so-called quasi Christian stations and you can see antichrist all over the place.
Unger’s dictionary: An antichrist is one who opposes the Christ of the Bible.
Whether he opposes the doctrine of his deity or of his humanity or whether he sets himself up against him in respect to his priestly office by substituting other methods of atoning for sin and finding acceptance with God. Or perhaps he’ll set himself Christ’s kingly office by claiming authority to do away with God’s commandments.
They may also oppose his prophetical office by adding to, altering, or taking away by the revelation he has given to us in his Holy Word.
In a general sense, an antichrist is a person who is opposed the authority of Christ. Both in the church, in creation, and in our lives.
Make no mistake about it. John says this is the last hour. We are living in the last days and hours.
When you hear that – We are living in the last days and hours—I think Christianese type culture has so conditioned us to think last hour means the end of the world is going to be right now.
And it might. We don’t know when Christ will return but it’s been the last days ever since Christ. Christ inaugurated the last days and we are living in them right now.
Whether we are living in the last of the last days, I don’t know. But he says it is the last hour. You have heard that antichrist is coming. So many antichrists have come. Therefore we know it is the last hour.
Today we’re going to look at antichrists who have come and who try to deceive us even today.