In the church, the word antichrist usually calls to mind the prophesied leader in power during the tribulation. But in the Bible, it more often refers to an anti-Christ spirit—in other words, demonic forces opposed to truth. Examples include false teachers (1 Timothy 4:1) and the negative influence of the world (see 1 Corinthians 2:12). John urged his readers to stand against enemies of the faith by using scriptural principles to evaluate their words and actions.
We are living in an “enlightened” age—or at least people think we are. Anyone with an opinion and a platform is welcome to share his or her version of truth. Subtly false messages come from places we might not expect, such as the business world, the entertainment industry, or the media. We could be tempted to think that these venues are separate from our faith. But just as our beliefs are to impact every aspect of our being, so a bit of poison injected into our professional life or leisure pursuits can contaminate other areas.
Believers, therefore, must be aware of the type of information and attitudes that enter the mind. We need a discerning spirit so we can look past a speaker’s charisma and eloquence and be able to rightly assess the message. But we will recognize an anti-Christ attitude only if we have a heart full of Scripture against which to compare it.
Your local bank tellers know when a counterfeit bill comes their way because they’ve memorized the details of a real dollar. In the same way, believers with sound biblical knowledge will recognize and discard an anti-Christ message or attitude when it reaches their ears.
Bible in One Year: Acts 18-20