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False Christ

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Will the Antichrist be a global tyrant, or a false messiah sent by Satan to deceive and destroy the Church?   Most often, popular preaching presents the Antichrist as the ultimate global tyrant and political leader, a dictator bent on subjugating all nations through military and economic means. But New Testament descriptions show far more concern about deceivers working within the church to cause apostasy than with world political developments.

Concerning Times and Seasons

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Paul does not detail the times and seasons since the Thessalonians understand that the Lord will come like a thief in the night – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Paul continues his discussion about the “ coming ” of Jesus by addressing its timing and how it will impact believers and nonbelievers. But rather than provide chronological information, he reminds the Thessalonians that the “ day of the Lord ” will come like “ a thief in the night .” No one except God knows the timing of that day.

Final Antichrist

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The spirit of the antichrist is raising up deceivers within the church, but a final Antichrist will also appear at the end of the age .  The only New Testament author who uses the term “ antichrist ” is John, and only in two of his letters. He applies it to “ false prophets ” who are active in his congregations, false brethren who deny that “ Jesus is the Christ ” and has “ come in the flesh .” Such men are inspired by the “ spirit of the antichrist ” that already is operating in the world.

The Antichrist

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The Antichrist is a deceiver intent on destroying the church from within and causing apostasy through deception .  In many interpretations, the  Antichrist  is a global political leader bent on world domination. Whether this proves to be the case, Jesus and his apostles expressed far more concern about the  deceivers who would ply their trade in the church . And in the few passages that refer to the  Antichrist , the concern is about deceptions that target the church.

Serpents in the Church

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Throughout the present age, the Church has been plagued with many deceivers intent on misleading believers and causing their apostasy .  The term “ antichrist ” occurs in John’s epistles. He warns believers that “ it is the last hour, and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come .” He does not deny that an individual “ antichrist ” is coming, but his point is that many “ antichrists ” are active even now in the church - [ Dragons - Photo by aisvri on Unsplash ].

The Mission

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The church’s mission between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all nations – Matthew 24:14. Jesus tasked his disciples with announcing his gospel to all nations, the message he summarized as the “ good news of the Kingdom of God .” In Christ, God’s rule is being established on the earth but in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By the day of his return, Jesus will establish his sovereignty over the nations and subdue all His “ enemies .” - [ Photo by  Jake Weirick  on  Unsplash ].