In the last post we looked quickly at the only four occurrences of “antichrist” in the scriptures (1 Jn 2:18,22 4:3 and 2 Jn 7). At the end of the post I asked the reader to spend some time in these verses alone and answer this question.
How would you define antichrist?
When looking at the verses, I think 2 John 7 really sums up everything.
2 John 7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! (NRSV)
The theme of antichrist (ἀντίχριστοι) follows the larger theme of idolatry, prophecy and devotion of the entire scriptures. The desires that cause us to fall away from God are not grey matter...but they are the works of what tear us away from God. What fights for our allegiance away from God?
1 Jn 2:19 gives us more of look at what and where the issues stems from. “...But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us”. The larger discussion in chapter 2 about antichrist surrounds what defines Christian orthodoxy, a very important matter in those days. It was necessary to have proper thought about who Jesus was in relation to YHWH, the chain of Father->Son was crucial.
John doesn’t write from the place of the academic theologian, but from the place of the pastor. He cared about his people. His primary concern is voiced at the end of this section in v.28
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.
We are beginning to see that this idea is much more important to us as individuals, and bears on our current fate, than the expectation of some single person in the future. What tears us away and causes us to turn our hearts from God? What causes us to fall into sin and idolatry?
Next, I want to look more at the biblical spirit of antichrist, getting into the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation. We often hear the question "Who is the AntiChrist?" but how often do we wonder how we ourselves feed into the idea?
Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, world without end.