SINGING>> Blessed be the Lord God almighty, who reigns for evermore.
ROBERT >> All of us are either for or against Christ. I know that there are many that are out there that are against Christ, they’ve been against Christ, and they’re insisting on continuing against Christ. I also know that there are some who are for Christ. And I realize as John is going to point out that even among us, even among our churches, even among Christians, there are those who are against Christ.
Let’s read together 1 John chapter 2 beginning in verse 18. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar, but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?
He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
Let’s notice a couple of things from this reading in 1 John chapter 2. First of all, let’s notice that many antichrists have come. Now, this may surprise many folks,that already in the first century church there were those who were antichrist, those who were against Christ.
No, the antichrist is not one individual who’s going to rise up just before the Lord comes again at the end of the world. According to John, there are many antichrists, and they have been here for a long time. They’ve been around since the first century. With the first coming of Christ, his death, his burial, his resurrection, his ascension into heaven, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon his apostles to reveal and confirm the message of the gospel, the establishment of his church, came the last hour.
Did you notice here where he says, It is the last hour, in verse 18? The last hour has come.
The last hour is that last age or period of time before the end of this world. It’s been going on for about 2,000 years now. And no one knows but the Father just how long we’ll be until our Lord comes again, according to Matthew 24:36.
So we live in that last hour; but that last hour began in the first century. The antichrists were already there, speaking out against Christ. And look what John says about them. They went out from us.
Read again verse 18 and 19. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”
That’s right. Antichrists go to church. They may be among Christians here today. They may be among the churches here today. They’re not true Christians, but they act like they are. And we might never realize that they’re among us until they leave us. John tells us not only do they go out from us, but he says they deny that Jesus is the Christ.
Look at verse 22 and verse 23. “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. They are saying that Jesus was not the Christ, that is, that Christ had not come in the flesh.”
You see, that Christ was the savior prophesied in the Old Testament. Over and over again those prophets said that this one was coming to deliver God’s people, to be king, to be the savior of the world. He was going to have to suffer, and he would die for the sins of this world. He would be raised again to rule as king in his kingdom. All of that had been spoken of before in the Old Testament prophets. Now the antichrists were saying that Christ did not come in the flesh. He didn’t really come to this earth to suffer and die. That wasn’t the Christ there upon that cross. That wasn’t the Christ that was raised again. Jesus was not the Christ.
But look at 1 John 4:3. “And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. They deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who suffered and died for the sins of the world at Calvary.”
Look at it in 2 John 1:7. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
This is so important, because you see, if Jesus is not the Christ, if he didn’t come in the flesh, he could not be our savior. Only the offering of a perfect one could pay for our sins. I could not pay for yours, and you could not pay for mine, because we all have our own. And that’s why the Son of God had to step out of the glories of heaven, empty himself of the prerogatives of deity, and become one of us. Born of a virgin, begotten by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus entered into this world. And he was tempted and tried just as we all are, and yet the Bible says without sin. He lived a perfect life, and thus then he was able to give himself as a sin offering upon the cross of Calvary for the sins of the whole world, for my sins, for your sins.
Isaiah spoke of this in beautiful language in Isaiah 53:5-6 some 750 years before Christ came to the earth. He prophesied how that he would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace would be upon Him, and by His stripes we would be healed.
Peter picked up on that prophecy and spoke of how that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ when he wrote in 1 Peter 2:21-24, how that Christ suffered for us. Now He bore our sins in His own body upon the tree. Yes, John tells us that there are many antichrists that have come into the world,that they’ve come sometimes out from among us, that they deny that Jesus is the Christ, that the Christ came in the flesh. They try to deceive you, John warns.
Look at it again in 1 John 2:26. “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. Such deniers of the faith are doing all they can to lead us astray, too.”
The antichrists were not just running around in the first century trying to lead people away from God, but we have them today in our century, too. Oh, they might say that Jesus was a good man. They might say that he was a prophet or even a high angel. But they say he’s not the Christ. They say he’s not the Son of God, he’s not the savior, he’s not the Lord, he’s not alive for evermore.
No, they tell us Jesus was not born of a virgin, he was not tempted, he did not suffer and die in the flesh, he was not raised from the dead. They tell us that didn’t really happen. These are the antichrists. Many antichrists have gone out in the world. But let’s notice something else here today.
John tells us that we, those of us who are Christians who follow Christ, that we have an anointing. In the Old Testament scriptures we read about the priests and the kings and the prophets who were anointed with oil, indicating that they were chosen by God. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power according to Acts 10:38. Perhaps you remember from Matthew 3:16-17 how that Jesus came to John the Baptizer to be baptized by him to fulfill all righteousness. And you remember when Jesus came up out of the water, how that the heavens were opened, and the Spirit of God descended upon him as a dove. And a voice from heaven said, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
Yes, we, too, have an anointing. The Bible says you know the truth. Look at verse 20 and verse 21. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth”
You know the truth. I know the truth. That is, those of us who are Christians. Because you see, Jesus taught his apostles, and Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit upon those apostles to guide them into all the truth according to John 16:13. In Acts the 2nd chapter we read about how the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles with great power, revealing and confirming the truth. It was in the city of Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost when the Jews had gathered from all over the world. And it was then that the Holy Spirit fell upon those apostles, enabling them to speak in the languages of all of the people. And the people were amazed at the message of Jesus Christ.
Peter stood up among the apostles and plainly proclaimed how that it was God’s plan all along to have his son come and suffer the death of the cross to pay for the sins of the world, how that he would be buried in the tomb, but that he would not stay there, rather, he would be raised up on the third day. And Peter tells them how that he and the other apostles are witnesses of all of these things, that Jesus is now having ascended into heaven at the right hand of the throne of God. He is there as King of kings and Lord of lords as God continues to put all of his enemies under his feet, that Jesus is both Lord and Christ.
Yes, Peter wanted them to know that day that that one they had crucified not many days before was in fact their king. He was in fact their savior, their deliverer.
And when they heard this, according to Acts 2:37, the Bible says they were cut to the heart. They were convicted of their sin. And they cried out for salvation, saying, What shall we do?
And it was then that Peter and the other apostles responded, saying, Repent. That is, make that decision in your heart to turn away from sin, to live for God. And he said, Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. All of them having made that decision to turn from sin were to give themselves to Jesus Christ in baptism so their sins might be forgiven. And you know, Peter began to go on talking about that, trying to persuade the people to accept that truth so that they, as the promise says in Acts 2:38, might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some three thousand souls that day gladly received the word, were baptized, God added them to his church.
And you know, we, too, today who have heard that same message, been taught that same message about Jesus Christ, have responded to it in faith and obedience just as they did, we have the truth, we know the truth concerning our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
That word that was first spoken by the Lord and confirmed by those that heard him, and also God bore witness by the wonders and the powers and the miracles of the Holy Spirit according to Hebrews 2:3-4, that truth we have, we have responded to in faith. It has saved our souls. It has delivered us into God’s kingdom.
We must allow that truth to live in our hearts.
Look what John goes on to say down here in verse 24. “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
And also notice it in verse 27. “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you. And you do not need that anyone teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it is taught you, you will abide in Him.”
Yes, we’ve got to let that truth live in our hearts. Do not forget it. Do not ignore it. Do not cast it away or let some antichrist steal it from you. Because this is how we stay connected with God. With that anointing comes a wonderful truth, a wonderful promise from God. We have the promise of eternal life.
In verse 25, John says, “And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life.”
Yes, one day we’re all going to stand before the throne of Jesus. You read about that in Matthew chapter 25, how that Jesus will come again; and sitting on his throne, all the nations of the world will be parted, some to his right and some to his left. And to those on his left he’s going to say, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Because he never knew them.
And these the Bible says will go away into everlasting punishment, Matthew 25:46. But then he’ll turn to those on his right.
And those on his right, he’ll say to them, Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. And verse 46 tells us that these shall go away into eternal life. The only thing that will matter on that day is whether you are for or against Christ.
So what is your answer this morning?
Are you for or against Christ?
In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said that “he who is not with me is against me.”
In other words, you cannot be neutral when it comes to Jesus Christ. You’re either for Christ or you’re against him.
What will it be?
Recently I attended a graveside funeral of a Christian woman with a very strong faith. And it was her desire for her family to one day join her in heaven. I remember what the minister said, that that was only possible if they, too, lived an obedient life for Christ. You know, he spoke the truth. And God’s desire is for us all to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved, 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
If you’ve never made that connection with God, you can come to him today, turning from your sin, confessing Jesus the Son of God as your Lord and Savior, and being baptized into Christ.
If you’ve lost that connection you once had, come back to God. Come back to his church.
Let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.
SINGING>> Be with me, Lord, I cannot live without thee.
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life unaided.
I need thy strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
if storms of trial burst above my head,
if lashing seas leap everywhere about me,
they cannot harm or make my heart afraid.
Be with me, Lord, no other gift or blessing thou couldst bestow could with this one compare,
a constant sense of thy abiding presence,
where’er I am, to feel that thou art near.
Be with me Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
when I must weep amid the fires of pain.
And when shall come the hour of my departure for worlds unknown,
oh Lord, be with me then.
SINGING>> This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world.
I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees,
of skies and seas, his hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world.
The birds their carols raise.
The morning light, the lily white,
demand their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world.
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear him pass.
He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world.
Oh, let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world.
The battle is not done.
Jesus who died shall be satisfied
and earth and heaven be one.
ROBERT >> I want to thank you again for watching our program today.
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SINGING>> The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord lift his countenance upon you,
and give you peace, and give you peace,
and give you peace, and give you peace;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you, and be gracious;
the Lord be gracious,
gracious unto you. Amen, amen, amen, amen.