Today we are praying for the country of Bolivia. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Bolivia by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
We were introduced to the danger of antichrists yesterday. Today we want to consider 3 characteristics of antichrists that will help us identify them. First of all, they depart. Verse 19 tell us, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” Someone who claims to be a believer in Christ, and especially a proclaimer of Christ, will maintain a very close and dependent relationship with the church and the body of Christ. Hebrews 10:23-25 warns us, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” We need the support and strength and fellowship of the body of Christ, especially as we see the day drawing near! A characteristic of the antichrists is that they depart.
Secondly, the antichrists deceive. Verses 20 and 21 say, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” He also tells us in verse 26, “These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.” Antichrists are always present trying to deceive us! Jesus Himself warned us in Matthew 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Satan is described as the Father of lies…and the antichrists will follow suit. Deceiving. John warns in his letter of several lies that we can be tempted to believe. Take note of the deception and lies that we are susceptible to in the following texts in 1 John.
1. 1 John 1:6
2. 1 John 1:10
3. 1 John 2:4
4. 1 John 2:22
5. 1 John 4:20
Consider 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and how the false teacher, antichrists, deceive and lead astray.
A third characteristic of antichrists is that they deny. Consider verses 22 and 23 of 1 John 2. “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” Antichrists are characterized by denying truth!
Take time to look up and consider 2 Peter 3:1-10.
There are several things made evident by this text. Peter agrees with Jude, that in the last days, scoffers will come. First, in verse 5, the scoffers deliberately deny Biblical creation. In verse 6 we learn that they deliberately deny the Biblical flood. In verse 7, they deny a biblical final judgement. The scoffers…if they affirmed a biblical creation and a biblical flood, would also be forced to affirm a biblical judgment, which would mean they will have to answer to a higher power with higher standards than the monkeys have…so they scoff.
These scoffers, and antichrists might scoff, but it will not keep the end of time, and God’s judgment from coming. Refusing to believe does not change the truth! Notice Peter’s Detailed Prophecy unfold in verse 10. The end of time will be unexpected. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…”. Who expects a thief? No one! And no one, especially the scoffers and mockers will expect the coming of the Lord. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” Jesus Himself declared in Revelation 16:15, “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”
The end of time, and coming of the Lord will not only be unexpected, but it will be rapid. Peter wrote in verse 10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar…” The expression “a roar” comes from a Greek word found nowhere else in the New Testament. It refers to the whizzing of an arrow rushing to its target. The heavens are going to pass away like an arrow whizzing by. Revelation 6:14 tells us, “The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
The end of time will not only be unexpected and rapid, but severe. Peter tells us again in verse 10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” The heavenly bodies will be destroyed by intense heat or fire. And in this fire, or intense heat, the earth and its works will be burned up or exposed…literally “found.” In other words just and perfect judgment will come exposing truth and hypocrisy and every secret. The mockers will no longer mock. The scoffers will no longer scoff. And the antichrist’s will bow their knees before the one true Christ and be cast into hell with all those who departed and were deceived.
Antichrists are characterized by denying truth, ultimately the truth of Jesus Christ. He tells us, This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” John wants to make this very clear for us. He writes in 1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” In his second letter he warns, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son” 2 John 7-9. Satanism in its purest form is to deny the need for Christ to come and die. Peter was told by Jesus at one point, get behind me Satan! Why? Because he was standing between Christ and the cross. There is only one way to be made right with God…by the way of the cross! If you try to get there any other way, you deny the need for Christ to come and die and you are antichrist-like. To annul the need and glory and importance of the cross is anti-Christ in its purest form.
Being prepared to persevere through the end times is not only dependent upon recognizing the antichrists, but also upon having the anointing. We will see this next time. Until then…
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