OceanSide church of Christ
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by: Dalton Gilreath
Many opinions have been distributed among the religious world regarding the notorious “antichrist”. Among the most popular is the belief that a man living today will soon rise to become a world-wide dictator. Some have recently suggested Obama is the antichrist while others believe it is the position of the pope. In fact, sermons in the Lord’s church have been offered “proving” such to be the case. However, many would be surprised to learn that the concept of a single antichrist is not mentioned once in the entire Bible. In fact, the term “antichrist” is used only five times within four passages of scripture, none of which are in Revelation, and is always referring to a multitude of antichrists (1John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, 2 John 1:7).
Reading through these four passages reveals that there are many antichrists and there have been since Christ came into this world. John explains that an antichrist is anyone who denies Jesus (1 John 2:22). All those in this world who do not believe in God’s existence are antichrists. All those who do believe in God but deny Christ’s deity are antichrists. However, some argue that there is also a single antichrist separate from these we have reviewed that is found in the book of Revelation. The reference many are thinking of comes from the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. The entities identified here are called “beasts” not antichrists. However, even these beasts are not a reference to a ruler rising to power in our generation. In fact, all of these visions John witnesses were going to “shortly come to pass” (Rev 1:1 KJV). These two beasts have already come and gone. The identity of the beasts will be a discussion for another time.
In summary, Christians need not be concerned with a supreme ruler taking over this world. Instead, the concern must lie with these precious souls who need to learn of Christ and His Word. Furthermore, Christians need to be careful not to send a message through their own actions that might suggest they are really antichrists themselves. Denying Christ can happen not only through words but also through works (Titus 1:16).