1 John 2:18-19 ESV
“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore 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 it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
The word “antichrist” means to be “against Christ,” to be opposed and hostile to him and to who he is and to what he is about and to what he stands for. Yet, it isn’t the name of “Jesus” or the name “Christ” that people are so much against, at least here in America, but it is the character of Christ and who he is and what he stands for (and against) that have people opposing him. And this includes many people professing faith in him, too.
They may profess faith in Jesus Christ, and thus they may not be opposed to the image of Christ they were taught, and/or they believed in, and so they may also not be opposed to the message of the gospel as they were taught it, false though it is. Still they stand in opposition to biblical Jesus and his gospel that he taught and that the apostles taught, and this they do by how they live their lives in rebellion against the Lord and against his commands (New Covenant), as well as by what they profess and say they believe.
So, in the time this was written they had many of these antichrists who went out from among the believers in Jesus, for they were not of them, for if they had been of them, they would have remained with them. But we live in different times from those, at least here in America we do. For now the antichrists (those against biblical Jesus and the things he taught and the truth of the gospel) are permeating the gatherings of what is being called “church,” which are mostly human-based businesses being marketed to the people of the world.
And they are filling these gatherings called “church” with the ungodly and the people of the world, for they are wanting to draw in large crowds of people from the world to their gatherings. And so these antichrists within these gatherings have altered the gospel message and the character of Jesus Christ and the gatherings of what is supposed to be the body of Christ, under the headship of Christ, being led by the Spirit of God. And they have done this to make “the church” attractive and acceptable to human flesh.
And so they have taken the gatherings of what is supposed to be the body of Christ gathering together for mutual edification in the Spirit and for teaching in the word, and for biblical Christian fellowship, and for prayer, and they have turned them into stage productions and places of entertainment and fun activities for all people in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And so they have also altered the whole meaning of “church” and the gospel so that they will not offend the people of the world with the truth.
And so these gatherings are not the church, the body of Christ, but they are institutions of men incorporated under the state and beholding to church denominations and their heads. And they are following marketing books and schemes and training sessions to teach them worldly means and methods for attracting the world to their gatherings. And so it is us who are following Jesus Christ with our lives who should be coming out from among them, for we are not to be partners with them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Revelation 18:4-5).
For we are to be God’s holy people, separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are to be being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are not to be in partnership (fellowship) with the people of the world, for there is no partnership between righteousness and lawlessness. So we are to come out from their midst and we are to be separate from them, says the Lord, so that we are not contaminated in our spirits by what is ungodly and unholy, and so that we do not take part in their sins.
Now this does not mean we are to have no associations with the ungodly at all. For our Lord has sent us out into the world with the message of the gospel and to love the people of the world. But we can live among them, and we can have associations with them without being in close intimate fellowship with them and without participating in their false worship of God and their false teaching of a false Christ and his false gospel. We should not be party to that in any way.
For what many of them are teaching is that we can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ and that we can have all our sins forgiven and heaven is guaranteed us when we die, regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. But that is a lie. And many of them are teaching that we do not have to repent of our sins, and we do not have to obey the Lord, and that we do not have to do any works at all. For repentance, obedience, and the works of God they are calling “works salvation”, which they are not.
So, we need to read the Scriptures in their context so that we can learn and so that we can obey the truth and not the lies. For Jesus taught that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life in him (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”