Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7)
Before we move into our passage, there is an important point to be made from this verse, which influences our theological perspective on another topic. Some years ago there was a great amount of attention given to the term “antichrist.” It seems we go through historical seasons, from time to time, when the world seems as though it coming apart at the seams and someone is identified as the Antichrist (with a big A).
However, our passage says “any such person” who denies Jesus has come in the flesh is “the deceiver and antichrist.” My personal opinion is we should not be nearly as concerned about a single Antichrist emerging as we should any such person who seeks to deceive us.
Actually, this does bring us somewhat to the subject I want to address today. There are those in our present world that have this spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist. They don’t have horns coming out of their heads, and they don’t gargle like demons when they speak. In fact, in many respects they seem normal.
And they are normal…meaning they don’t look like a Hollywood Antichrist figure. But their logic is flawed.
What in the world or who in the world am I talking about? I am referencing those who reject Jesus as the Son of God, or deny that He did, or could have come as God in human form.
To be honest, I can handle people who reject the biblical Jesus because they don’t believe He is who He claimed to be. I disagree with them, and weep for their souls. But at least they are looking at a body of evidence and reaching an informed decision.
On the other hand, I am troubled by those who distort the biblical facts, twist logic, and use flawed presuppositions to promote a selfish agenda. Every year I read portions of popular magazine articles focused on topics like “the true Jesus.” The articles are often written by experts on Christianity who are not Christians, and their scholarship is embarrassing, to say the least. In a few weeks it will happen again as we approach Easter…I promise you.
What is the “selfish agenda?” It is I believe a moral agenda. Jesus is a threat to any who choose to live apart for morality and absolute truth. The reality of Jesus, as taught in the bible, presupposes a Creator God, a sinful, fallen human race, and a need for boundaries which make it possible for people to live together in peace.
The false teachers of John’s had some unique perspectives on the spirit and the flesh, which led them to self-abasement on one hand, and self-indulgence on the other. And they claimed a “secret knowledge” (Gnosticism) known onto to the few…the false teachers…as we might expect.
When people use the Lord and spiritual language to twist truth for their own purposes, who needs a single Antichrist? The small “a” antichrists are potent enough.
Dear God, help me examine the evidence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.