More pointedly, The Bible tells us that in the end time individuals will present themselves to us as Christ or as ones who profess to be like Christ but will display antichrist behavior.
“Children, time is just about up. You heard that antichrist is coming. Well, they’re all over the place, antichrists everywhere you look. That’s how we know that we’re close to the end” (1 John 2:18, The Message).
Beware of anyone (neighbor, friend, pastor, leader, or politician) who claims to be a follower of Jesus, yet who doesn’t bear the same fruit that Jesus did.
“If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches [proclaims] something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed” (Galatians 1:6, The Message).
What Offends God Most
Antichrist behaviors that are most offensive to God occur when people mistreat each other. Let me repeat it because it may sound generic and inconsequential. Humans do what God finds most offensive when they mistreat each other—are dishonest, spiteful, vindictive, superior acting, stealing, and name-calling.
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said, “In everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is [the essence of] the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, AMP).
In other words, everything written in Scripture is summed up in the maxim that we are to treat others as we want to be treated.
“These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him: A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that creates wicked plans, Feet that run swiftly to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths], And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19, AMP).
If we listen to talk radio or watch cable TV shows that do any of the above, we participate in something God hates! To put it bluntly, we are embracing the spirit of antichrist.
The Kingdom of God
If we want to be part of God’s Kingdom, we need to be careful not to miss it. It’s already here. The Second Coming of Christ is just the pick-up, the “bus ride” to heaven. Those who are kingdom-bound are presently engaged in Kingdom pursuits.
“Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. We must not become conceited, challenging, or provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:19-26, AMP).
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32, AMP).
God Wants to Save Everyone
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But some will miss out because they aren’t ready to let go of their vindictiveness. The only ones who will inhabit eternity are those who are “safe” to save. God will not allow heaven to be re-infected with divisiveness, bigotry, and greed.
The purpose of hell is not to destroy people. It is to destroy the antichrist attributes that have plagued the earth with misery and heartache for thousands of years. The only people who will lose out on eternity are those who insist on keeping their flawed character qualities. Some take pleasure in trashing others, and they aren’t willing to have that taken away!
Jesus alone can free us from our addictive antichrist ways. The path that leads to eternal loss is the one of least resistance—the broad way that’s filled with people who use whatever means they can (person-to-person dialogue, social media, small group gatherings) to admonish others. They accuse, name call, make hateful speeches, and lie. It’s so easy to do, like water rolling off a duck’s back. When someone is unkind to us, it seems quite appropriate—almost righteous—to dish it back. It’s the easy road, but it ends in hardness and ruin!
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Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.