July 21 2021
Today, Wednesday July 21
The Counterfeit Christian
1 John 2:18-19 “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.
Remember the term, "antichrist," describes three things: 1. a spirit in the world that opposes or denies Christ; 2. the false teachers who embody this spirit; and, 3. a person who will head up the final world rebellion against Christ.
We are looking at “truth vs. error”. There are false teachers that will deceive us with something that sounds like the truth but it is not true and it will lead us away from our love and fellowship with Christ. So, how do we identify the false teachers on internet, television, and in our churches today? John gives us at least three distinguishing marks of an “antichrist”, a false teacher.
The first it found here in verse nineteen. “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.”
One of the biggest questions I’ve been asked as a pastor over these past forty-six years has been, “Do I think a certain individual was ever saved?” My answer usually is a quote from 2 Timothy 2:19, “…the Lord knows those that are His…”. Only God knows those that are truly saved I really can’t be the judge of a person’s heart. But here John makes it clear that there are counterfeit teachers and believers that are in our churches.
At one time, these individuals were pastors, evangelist, Bible teachers, deacons, elders, church leaders and appeared to be one of the best “Christian” that we ever knew. But now they have left the church and they deny the truth and the Bible they used to teach and preach. In other words, not everyone who “says” they are a Christian, is one. “The Lord know those that are His.”
The danger for us is to get discouraged and disillusioned because of their defection. It is very disappointing to discover that someone that we trusted and listened to, was never really a true follower of Jesus. If we are not careful this can cause us to even doubt our own faith and salvation.
So John is warning us about this so that we can make sure that our faith is genuine and we can experience the full assurance that brings us great joy and confidence in our fellowship with Jesus Christ and other believers. Truth, love and obedience will be the distinguishing marks of our lives!
My prayer is that the Lord by His Holy Spirit will bless you today with this “Blessed Assurance”!