“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Although it is not so much a topic of conversation as it was a few years ago, there is a fair bit of interest in the idea and the person of the Antichrist. In popular literature of varying sorts, the Antichrist is going to be the figure at the end of the world who unites the forces of evil against the forces of good, and who must be defeated to avoid the end of the world. In the Scriptures, John’s vision of the end of the world in Revelation identifies a figure called the Beast who is the primary antagonist of the people of God. This figure is often imagined to be the Antichrist. He leads these deceived souls in an aggressive campaign of persecution against the faithful. Ultimately, he is soundly defeated by the Lion who is a Lamb (Jesus).
But, the word “antichrist” is never actually used in Revelation. Instead, the word appears only in 2 Thessalonians and here. What’s more, the person is never identified specifically as an individual, but rather much more generally as a class of individuals. John identifies an antichrist as anyone who denies Jesus is the Messiah and seeks to lead others in doing the same.
As followers of Jesus, we need not fear anyone. But we do need to stand against anyone who denies Jesus is Lord. We don’t stand against them after the way of the world, but rather with rhetoric and convincing arguments in favor of Jesus’ lordship, along with a lifestyle that backs up our claims.