1 John 4:2,3 “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh<sup class="crossreference" value="(D)”> is from God,  but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist,<sup class="crossreference" value="(F)”> which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

     This is a complex world and it can be very antagonistic.  There are so many people who are eager to tell us what not to think and what not to believe.  Those who worship humanism look down their noses at people of faith.  Religion is at best a silly delusion and at worst, toxic.  They say; “Don’t believe it!”   We have actually come around again to a point in time where being a disciple of Jesus is disreputable.  Our world is openly hostile to Jesus; “God should be executed for crimes against humanity” (Bryan Emmanuel Gutierrez)

     Scripture predicted this;  “. . . , that in the last days perilous times will come:   For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of -God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).  Jesus warned us; “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”  (Matthew 10:22)

    Yet, John was not writing about those outside the church when he warned about the spirit of the antichrist.  We expect disbelief from those who have not yet found the Way.  John was battling Gnosticism in the church and the denial of Jesus that it brought which harmed many believers. The spirit of the antichrist was working in the early church and sadly, we see that same spirit working in our church today.  John Shelby Spong and others like him work against God’s Word while wearing the garments of pastor and priest; “He rejects the historical truth claims of some Christian doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth (Spong, 1992) and the bodily resurrection of Jesus“.

      Some churches are behind enemy lines and in the grip of the spirit of the antichrist.   How can we tell when the spirit of the antichrist is at work in a church? Look for the denial of Jesus.  The battle is over His Word.  How do we stand against this tide?  Stick with the Gospel.  Believe it. Live it. Walk in it.  Share it.  Speak the Word; “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

     Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6)

     Praise the Lord!

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