TEXT: 1 John 5:18-21
18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
The Antichrist Spirit Already in the World Today (Part 1)
End times prophecy can be roughly divided into two phases: (1) God’s dealings with Israel, and (2) God’s dealings with the Gentile nations. As you will recall, we went through a long series titled “Israel and the End Times” in which we discussed God’s plans for His chosen people. Now, we are in a series titled “God’s Plan for the Gentile Nations.” It is a long series that is divided into several smaller series. The first mini-series was “The Times of the Nations.” And, we are now in the second mini-series titled “The Ruler of the Nations.”
We know from Scripture that, in the end times, the ruler of the nations will be a man known as the antichrist. However, as we saw in previous messages, the spirit of antichrist is in the world today. Why? Because the spirit of antichrist is the spirit of Satan who opposes God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We have looked at the spirit of antichrist in the church, and now, today, we will begin looking at the spirit of antichrist in the world.
As he closes out his first letter to believers, the Apostle John, who coined the term “antichrist”, tells us about the spirit of antichrist in the world by contrasting the believers who are in Christ with the nonbelievers who are in the world. In verse 19, he says, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” He is saying that there is a difference between us and the world. We are not the same because the world “lies in wickedness.” Other translations of this verse help to paint this picture vividly. One says, “the world around us is under the control of the evil one.” Another says, “the whole world lies in the evil one.” Another says, “the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” The literal translation of this verse reads, “the whole world lies in the lap of the wicked one.”
With the evil that is in the world today, we would be hard pressed to disprove the Bible’s assertion that the whole world is influenced by evil and the evil one. Even Jesus acknowledged this when He called Satan the “prince of this world.” When Jesus was being tempted by the devil, the devil showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world, and then said, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”
If the devil has such influence in the world, it is not hard to see why there is such an antagonistic spirit toward Christianity and the church in much of our society. In verse 18, John reveals the things that divide the people of the world who are under the influence of Satan from the people of God who are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. He writes, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” This verse reveals three important distinctions between us and the world.
First, we are free from sin, whereas the world is not. “Whosoever is born of God sinneth not.” This verse does not mean that Christians are sinless or perfect. However it means that we do not abide in a sinful state. In other words, we are not under the power of sin. Jesus has freed us from that. The Christian life ought to be typified by a person going days, weeks, months, and even years without sinning. Sin no longer has a strong hold on us. We can resist temptation because, unlike the world, we are not under the sway or influence of Satan. David Smith said, “The child of God may fall into sin, but he does not continue in it; he is not under its dominion. Why? Because, though he has a malignant foe, he has also a vigilant Guardian.”
That leads to the second distinction between us and the world. The Bible reads, “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself.” It might sound as though John is saying that the believer keeps himself. However, the word “himself” in our English Bibles is more accurately translated “him.” And the term “begotten of God” refers to Jesus Christ. John is saying that Jesus Christ “keeps” — or holds and protects — the believer. The only reason why the Christian is able to live a life free from the bondage of sin is because of the keeping power of Jesus Christ. It is His power that set us free and keeps us free from the influence of sin. It is his power that has delivered us from the wrath of God. Those who are still in the world and under the influence of Satan do not know this power, and thus they are susceptible to temptation and sin as well as the wrath of God.
Finally, we look at the phrase, “and that wicked one toucheth him not.” If there is one thing the devil wants probably more than anything else, it is to seize those who are saved and drag them back under the influence of sin. He is trying to do it all the time. Kenneth Wuest said, “The word [evil one] refers to Satan who is not content to perish in his own corruption, but seeks to drag everyone else down with himself to his final doom.” However, God’s Word promises that Satan cannot “touch” us. The Greek word translated “toucheth” means “to fasten one’s self to, to adhere, or to cling to.” It is a violent seizing and holding on to. This tells us that although the devil will still try to attack us, tempt us, and cause us to stumble, he will not be able to take hold of us permanently. He will not be able to pull us out of the grip of God’s hand. If we are truly saved, we will never again fall under his power.
It is often a difficult task living as a Christian in this world which is so influenced by Satan and the spirit which opposes Christ. On one hand, we are tempted to betray our beliefs and just go along to get along. On the other hand, we risk being ridiculed, mocked, and hated by the world because of what we believe and how we live. However, we must remember that we are able to see the world in its true condition: we see that it is clearly under the blinding influence of the wicked one. “We know that we are of God.” And we know that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.