Would we suffer if we neglected the doctrine of the anti-christ?
I don’t know.
Out of all of the doctrines of last things we’ve covered in the past couple months, the doctrine of the Anti-Christ appears to be one we could live without.
What I mean by that is this: This doctrine is not a lynch pin to the Christian faith.
We could neglect the doctrine of the Anti-Christ and not suffer. Our theological architecture wouldn’t collapse.
Or would it?
Anti-Christ in the Bible
Here’s what the Bible says about the Anti-Christ:
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. 1 John 2:18
The word “anti-christ” never appears outside of 1 John. But it’s got a presence in one of Paul’s letters and the book of Revelation.
In it’s rock-bottom definition it means “anyone against Christ.”
But while “many anti-christs” were present, John narrows his meaning to a person who rejects Christ as the son of God and denies Jesus’ humanity.
Paul calls this person a “man of lawlessness” who will oppose Christ and exalt himself as God.
Is [Insert Historical Figure Here] the Anti-Christ?
Throughout the ages, Christians have been tempted to name a religious or political figure the Anti-Christ. Nero was a target. So was Arius.
But the fact is, all attempts fail.
The end-time tyrant’s deeds will overshadow the acts of even the worst historical figures.
Here’s what we know: the influence of the Anti-Christ runs through the thread of Scripture–from the Serpent in Genesis to the Beast in Revelation.
And his spirit of deception dwells upon the earth now. That means the doctrine of the Anti-Christ is NOT a doctrine of idle speculation.
No. The main reason the Bible discusses the Anti-Christ is to urge believers to stand firm in their faith and resist his deceit.
Fortunately, the Anti-Christ will not prevail. Jesus will return to conquer and judge. And that’s not an idle hope. But something we can sink our faith into.