1 John 2:15-29
We should remember that John’s reasons for writing this letter can be summed up in one single verse (5:13): “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Everything in this letter can be viewed in this overall context, and in fact falls neatly into an order of a sort when so viewed.
John is writing to believers to tell them the reasons they may have confidence that Jesus is in fact the Messiah and that His self-sacrifice on the cross is enough to deal with the penalty for their sins, as well as their subsequent sanctification, that is the making holy of those believers, right up to their glorification in the resurrection at the right time. In the last chapter, he pointed out that he and the other apostles all saw these things and were eyewitnesses to what he writes of here, and then he began a detailed analysis of the human with a concept called sin, the violation of God’s holy standard. In tonight’s text, John talks about what he calls an “anointing” from the Holy One, another name used for God by the NT writers. He uses the term antichristos two out of the four times it occurs in the Bible, the rest also occurring in the letters of John, once in 1 John 4, the other in 3 John. He defines the word here, and it is a bit of a surprise to me that it does not refer to that single individual in 2 Thessalonians 2. I also find it surprising that it is still the most common way of referring to the “man of sin” today. I don’t know what that means, but I do think it is interesting. He finishes up with a call for believers to remain in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so will we.
With that said, I divided up the text this evening as follows:
KV20: The anointing from the Holy One
20: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
15-17: Do not love the world
18-25: There are MANY antichrists
26-29: Your protection from those antichrists
KV20: The anointing from the Holy One
20: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
When I was a new believer, I used to think that the difference between saved and unsaved was that the saved had been forgiven by God and that the unsaved hadn’t turned to God yet and asked for His forgiveness. As it turned out, I was right, but I had made the error of thinking this to be the only difference. Hey, new believers, right?
What I eventually discovered as a part of a Biblical church with some decent teaching and my own personal research that dates back to things called books in days before the internet was a thing, was that this wasn’t the only difference. John in this text lists the main differences between those who believe and those who do not, and his list is not complete. That’s a side-effect of the way we are looking through this a few verses at a time. That is necessary, of I won’t be able to fit the study into the time we allow, and I’m not interested in long lectures like Paul used to give. I don’t wany anyone falling out of windows like Paul had, because I’m not an Apostle, and I do not have the Apostle’s gift of healing like he had to raise and heal the lad.
The most important difference is that real believers have what John calls an “anointing,” and we will discuss that in detail as we go through the text.
15-17: Do not love the world
Much can be said of those who love the world at a higher rank than that of the Saviour of Men, our Lord Jesus Christ. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus, put it this way: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Such men love the pleasures of life more than the Saviour; this causes them to pray with wrong motives of gain to spend things on their own pleasure, it causes them to do anything to get what they want, up to and including murder according to that greater passage. This is John’s version of the same message. Let’s just jump in and see.
15: Do not love the world nor the things in the world.
- John first says not to love the world. That word for “love” is a verb, and is the Greek agapeō, God’s divine and self-sacrificing love, a commitment that puts one’s own’s interests in a subordinate position to the object of the thing or one being love. Some like Sproul and MacArthur have called this a divine affection. That affection, says John, is not to be given to the world, the Greek kosmos. Kosmos is best translated as an order or arrangement of things, and is best understood here as the world system, or a set of governing principles that offer opposition to God, His Word, and His people. (MacArthur Bible Study Notes on this verse.). Like others, John is saying that our first love must be for Christ, and anything that gets in the way of that is not good. Examples of things that get in the way are money, property, personality, or combinations thereof, and this list is not exhaustive.
- John also says, relating to what I just said, not to love the THINGS in the world. What else would John be saying? It isn’t like he’s saying we would love a clod of dirt more, is he? Well, yes, and we sometimes do. A piece of property that you hold onto for sentimental value while your children starve, for example, is something that really only serves to underpin the ego of the property owner. Besides, we as God’s people don’t really own things here, he gives them to us as a stewardship to care for in His absence. If we really loved Him more, we would do what is really important here and care for our kids who need food and whatnot.
- The basic principle is best worded by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5–“You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (LSB) God is clearly to be first in our affections. To give the world system of order first place is a not so subtle form of idolatry.
16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
- John now gives some detail of what he means, and it always comes back to these three basic attacks of the enemy on the human race. John says this is “all that is in the kosmos.” What are these three things?
- The lust of the flesh: Here it is used to express “the seat of sin” in man according to Vine. The Greek word is sarx, and it means “flesh,” but like many things, has an expanded meaning in the New Testament than just the literal meaning. Jesus showed us this Himself in the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. That this keeps showing up like this should surprise nobody. This can literally be taken to mean that which gives satisfaction, nourishment, and strength to the seat of sin in us. This can be obvious like the drug or even TV addict, or it can be more complex like those who hide behind circumstance or occasion to do nothing so as to avoid injury to themselves or their own ego. I have seen plentiful examples of both.
- Lust of the eyes: Again according to Vine, this expresses the eyes as the “principal avenue of temptation,” or the primary instrument in us of evil desire. The Greek here is opthalmon in the manuscript, where we get out English word “Ophthalmologist,” or eye surgeon. This is a “we look on it, we want it” kind of phenomenon. Many a heresy has begun here, with the phrase, “I want…” Examples could be as simple as wealth or material things, but could include things like tangible position.
- The boastful pride of life: That English phrase “boastful pride” is a single word in Greek, alazōneia, and it means to practice quackery. It is, according to Vine, the display of arrogant, vainglorious “vauntings” (KJV). Life in this sense comes from the Greek word for the duration of one’s own life, so lifetime. So this is the boastful arrogance of those claiming importance to the general public, that is they claim to be famous, or are famous, and want everyone to know about it. You have sometimes heard me refer to such individuals as those who make commercials about themselves and about how important or beautiful they are and how nothing would get done around here without them. THAT is the pride of life: Fame–self-proclaimed or otherwise.
- John is flat-out saying that there is nothing of spiritual benefit to the believer in any of this. This is from that world system that opposes God, His Word, and His people, and impedes Him and us any way it can. There is a reason there are very few celebrities that are real Christians, and most come to Christ after they have experience the “fame” of the world and it has chewed them up and spit them back out. Ask Kevin Sorbo or his wife Mel or Kirk Cameron (just to name a few at random) what it’s like to get work in HorrorWood.
17: The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
- All these things in the world are fleeting, according to John. The world and everything it promises (and never delivers I might add) is passing away. You may recall that we looked at this in 2 Peter 3:7 which says, “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” All of this [grad gesture motion to everything] is going away permanently. Not just the stuff, but the very system, the kosmos itself, will be destroyed, and everything that is associated with it, especially its sin and the pull it has over fallen man. But what does John say about it? The same thing Peter does.
- “…but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” And what is that will of God John just said? DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. That is all ending, and if you follow it, so will you, and in ugly, permanent, and eternally painful fashion.
If there is a message of import that John was trying to send along to fellow believers, Beloved, this is it. Don’t put the world system or anything it controls before God in your hierarchy of what is important to you. God has His commands that He gives us all to follow. To put anything else in front of those is as I said earlier a form of spiritual idolatry. God has made all real believers a part of what the Bible calls the Bride of Christ. We can pick up that symbology of a Galilean wedding feast another time, but if a bride, even a betrothed one who has not yet consummated the relationship with her husband, lies with another man, that is adultery. That imagery makes idolatry the same thing as spiritual adultery. That’s a violation of the 7th commandment, Beloved. Don’t be found in that state. And if you are in that state, then there is still hope, because He has not come yet.
Repent and believe the gospel. The Greek word metanoia is the word we translate into “repent.” It means to change your mind. That means you must change your mind about what you are doing. Admit that it is sin. Then cease from it. Not because you were caught and called out, but because you are truly sorry you ever did it. Then confess it to God and ask His forgiveness for your actions and attitudes. Then believe in your heart that Jesus’ willing sacrifice on the cross was enough for your sins personally, believing the proof–that He rose from the dead to show the entire world that His payment for sins was enough! That’s repenting and believing the gospel. It’s the same solution for the lost sinner and the fleshly believer, friends. To do otherwise is to play directly into the hands of the coming evil one. Moving on.
18-25: There are MANY antichrists
Before we start this paragraph, I need to point out something about the Greek prefix “anti.” It can absolutely mean the opposite of something, like matter and antimatter as an example. Christ and antichrist are a couplet that kind of means that, but there is an added nuance. Anti in this sense can also mean “in place of, instead, a substitute.” Christos is the Greek word we translate or almost transliterate into English, but it really means “the anointed One.” Antichrist certainly is the opposite of Christ, but he also means to supplant Him and substitute himself. Anyone or anything that purports to be an anointed one outside of God the Son is a substitute christos, or antichrist. With our Greek grammar understood for our purposes here, we can turn to our text.
18: Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
- Children here is a diminutive of children, making it a term of affection. It can refer to either male or female, and is something akin to “lads” or “gals.” “Kids,” or “gang” would be a kind of plural, and again my list is not exhaustive.
- It is the last hour: This is literally eschatē hōra, “last hour.” Vine tells us that in this verse, it is used as a period that is more or less an extended period, a season of sorts (though I hate that word because it sounds so charismatic). The length of that period is not defined here, but however long it may be, it is the last.
- Just as you heard that antichrist is coming: This is something that John knows that his readers have heard. I wonder if it is because John himself taught them this among other pastors and teachers. It is worth knowing that “heard” is in the aorist tense, and is such kind of punctiliar, so I mention it. It isn’t my purpose to teach Greek grammar, but the aorist tense simply says that it happened without really referencing when. Verb tenses are different in Greek than in English, so call that a handful on purpose. This is the first of four uses of the word antichristos in the Bible, and all of the uses are in the letters of John, two of them in our text this evening. And yet EVERYONE knows the word, and usually are referring to the beast, the man of sin, the lawless one, like that. Interestingly, there is no article in this use, making this an indefinite reference. John is saying that you heard antichrist is coming, and that is what has happened.
- In fact, John says that antichristoi polloi have appeared, and that literally means “many antichrists” in English. Remember, this is anyone or anything that would substitute itself or that you would substitute as the anointed One in your life; your priorities, your desires, your wants, or in any other way imaginable. It is that thing with which you commit your spiritual adultery; whatever you are making a higher priority than God. In fact, John tells us that because there are so many of these things around, this is how we can knnow it is the last hour, the eschatē hōra.
19: They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
- The first word here is “they.” That always makes me ask, “Who are they here?” We can figure it out easily from the context that “they” are the many antichrists from verse 18. What does it say about them? Disturbingly, it says they went out from us! This does not mean they are people necessarily, ideas can leave us as well, sadly usually escorted by the ones who have those ideas, but the greatest source of heresy in the church are people in the visible church itself. A recent example of this would be when Andy Stanley was ready to “unhitch” from the Old Testament God because he couldn’t resolve the “differences” he saw between OT and NT, we already had a name for the heresy he engaged in, and it turns out that it had come out in AD 144 in the person of a man named Marcion. The heresy still bears his name; we call it Marcionism. Andy took that, added a touch of Antinomianism [against law], and he was off to the races. More recently, Andy has made his departure from orthodox Christianity more clear by separating from orthodox understandings of marriage and what is called sin by the Apostles themselves.
- Why did these people and these ideas go out from us? Well, John’s answer is straightforward and simple. It is because these individuals and ideas were not really a part of us from the start. Further, John states that if they were a part of us, they would have remained with us, but since that wasn’t the case, they clearly weren’t a part of us from the start. We pray that God would actually grant them repentance so they can truly be a part of us. However, as it stands, they went out because they really were not a part of us, despite an early showing.
20: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
- And as if to contrast we the faithful, John tells us, “but you…” Gee, you’d think he knew Paul or something. Of the 421 uses of that phrase in all the epistles, Paul used that phrase 302 times. What is it we have that all of these so-named antichrists do not have? “…an anointing from the Holy One.” God, it seems, has given His children a kind of knowledge-expanding tool that these “latter-day ain’ts” will never have unless they too become born again or from above. An anointing. That Greek word is chrisma, a form of the related word christos, or Christ. We should discuss what this means.
- Chrisma is literally a kind of unguent, a salve or ointment that sooths a wound while it cleanses it. In the NT it is only ever used metaphorically, according to Vine. In this passage, it is used by metonymy of the Holy Spirit Himself. In fact, here is what Vine says in that note on this word: “That believers have “an anointing from the Holy One” indicates that this anointing renders them holy, separating them to God. The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth.” In fact, this could also be a direct reference to Christ, the anointed One of God. Whether it refers to the Holy Spirit of Christ here matters little, it refers to the same God. And as a result, it says we all know, a form of oida [oidate], to perceive or know by observation, truth when we hear it. I won’t say that we shouldn’t discern what is said at all times, we should, and John will get to that in a chapter or so.
21: I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
- Further to John’s point here, he makes the statement that he isn’t writing to these fathers and youths and newborn babes in Christ because they do not know the truth, but rather because they DO recognize it when they see it or hear it. John isn’t saying a believer can’t be fooled or exercise discernment here. We should at all times. He is telling us to test everything we hear that talks about how Christians should live. How Christ saved us, how the Father loves us, like that. We must, it is His command, which he will state in 4:1 of this letter–“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We MUST test what they say, and he will even discuss what to look for, but we will leave that until we get there. John is here making the point that no lie is of the truth, and we will recognize the truth when we hear it if we are walking in Christ. In fact he gives some pointers here as to what to look for as well, so we will cover that.
22: Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
- The very first thing to watch for, and it is a big red flag, Beloved, is things which call into question that Jesus is the Christ. These are nothing less than attacks on Jesus as the second person of the Godhead, God the Son. People saying these kinds of things are in fact liars. That pretty much makes liars of all JWs and Mormons, incidentally. Now they will try to argue, but if they are saying that Jesus is not the Messiah, not the anointed one that makes us holy, not the Son of God that died on the cross and rose again to pay for the sins of the world, they are liars, and from earlier in this letter, the truth is not in them. John goes so far as to name them as antichristos, the one who denies both the Father and the Son. These are against Christ, and usually have some scheme to substitute some belief in some strangeness in their place. If one does not believe in God the Father AND in God the Son from this text, they are liars and specifically false teachers. Recall we talked about them in 2 Peter as well, because he wrote that whole letter to address those individuals. It is the Father that anointed the Son to carry the sins of the world and to pay the atonement for them. If you mess with that, you’re messing with the most basic and fundamental doctrine of Christianity: the gospel. And he doesn’t stop here.
23: Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
- John says that those who deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and more importantly God the Son, do not have the Father. That means they don’t know God, don’t love God, and don’t proclaim God, regardless of what they are saying. Jesus is not a created being, Beloved. Anyone who says that is not a real believer. You can get as mad at me as you like over that statement, but I didn’t say it, John did. I agree with John. Jesus is not a lesser being who evolved into a God so that he could die for the sins of his own planet. He is The eternal Son of the eternal Father, and He agreed to pay the cost of redemption for all those who would turn to Him in the faith that He gives us by His grace in Himself. Anyone who says otherwise is making up lies to tell, and woe unto them unless they repent.
- But beloved, for those that will repent of these ideas born in falsehood from hell, for those that will confess the Son, well John tells us that such a one has the Father also. And beloved, you can’t have one without the other. Don’t believe me? On your own time, check out John 17, the entire chapter. This is a very simple litmus test. Deny the son, you are not a real Christian. Confess the Son, you are. It’s not complicated. I don’t need to attend five 2-hour video seminars put on by the latter-day ain’ts to understand or be able to explain that. I can explain it in English in eight words. “Jesus died for our sins and rose again.” That’s the whole gospel, and it is simple to understand.
24: As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
- Beloved, John here turns to address the real believer. He speaks directly to us with the statement, “As for you…” Let that abide or remain in you what you heard from the beginning. What is it that we heard at the beginning? I don’t know about you, but at the very beginning, I heard the gospel. I heard that I was dead in my sins, and that Jesus had died for those sins and risen to show that the penalty for them was paid in full, and that He now commanded us to repent of (change our mind about) our sins and believe the gospel (that He died in our place and rose from the dead to show the price was paid) about our sins. Beloved, if you started somewhere other than that, what a muddle your thinking must be! Start with this: You have committed cosmic treason against the ruler of the universe. He has demanded you be executed for that crime. How will you deal with that? Will you try to appease Him by being a good person for the rest of your days? It won’t help, because it does not satisfy the need for justice. Or will you throw yourself on the mercy of the court and admit you have sinned and offended God alone, and ask for His forgiveness? If you will, He has already made payment in full for your sins.
- John then says it again. Do you remember our little sidebar from my New Year’s Day sermon? Something said twice is for emphasis and to show truth. John is employing that device here. If what you have heard from the beginning (the gospel) abides in you, then you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the Greek future tense, and it describes simple actions, in this case a prediction of sorts, the results of an if-then statement, the meeting of conditions. Meet these conditions, John says, and you will be a real believer.
25: This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
- John ends this thought with the promise the Lord Jesus Christ Himself made if we will meet the conditions that John stated. If we will abide or remain in the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, Jesus Himself guarantees us eternal life. I like the way it puts this in Greek: tōn zōēn tōn aionion. The life of the ages. It sounds like something that one can stir themselves up or motivate themselves for, doesn’t it? Like “the crown of life.” The life of the ages.
- The word zoe means life as God has life, in the absolute sense. The Father has it in Himself, and He gave it to the Son to have in Himself. In that day, because we died with Him and because we will live with Him, We, through Him, will have this life in ourselves. The word aionion indicates ages of ages, and with only three exceptions to this in the NT, is used in the sense of undefined length because it is a permanent and unending condition, as it is used here. Partakers of the divine nature indeed, Peter. Not of His power necessarily, but of the character and of certain benefits that God gives.
What started in this paragraph as a description of how there are many who oppose Christ and those ones have gone out from the Church, that is us, ends in a promise that if we will remain in the gospel, we will on the day He decides for us, we will also enter into the life of the ages, that is, our eternal state. It’s a huge concept, and I can only treat it in passing here, but it is truly an amazing concept.
26-29: Your protection from those antichrists
Just as there are definite rewards to remaining in the faith, there are those antichristos that are seeking to draw you away from the faith. For those that will really trust Christ, He has given us certain protections from this. We have already kind of considered them in brief, but here we can expand as we may as we delve into the text.
26: These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.
- John begins this paragraph with a statement. He is about to talk about those that are trying to trick us away from the grace of God (if that is possible, and I really do not know and do not want to find out). Concerning those who are trying to deceive you: like that.
27: As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
- John here is now disclosing what I see as the identity of the “anointing” we have. John tells us we received it from Him. Beloved, I think, and I am stating this as an opinion, that this is the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to live in us at the moment of our Justification before God. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to go about the difficult task of proving a negative, and its all one God anyway, so I’ll stick with that. John with that says that no one needs to teach us. I find that both confusing and encouraging, to be honest. My style of learning is best when I can be shown how to do something and then I can replicate it. I can also learn other ways, but that is how I learn best. John said that no one needs to teach me. What could this mean?
- It does NOT mean that “I received a download from the Holy Spirit.” Actually, this is John objecting to something I mentioned earlier. I once wasted my time at the request of someone claiming to be a believer and his girlfriend who he later confided in me that they were having premarital sex and met with him, her, and a pair of Mormon Missionaries (yep, complete with badges that said Elder so-and-so) in a park north of Carling near the Civic Hospital. I didn’t want to waste time, so I just went straight for the gospel and preached it. Then I was astounded as these Mormon soldiers said that they agreed with me, and then said I needed to come to their series of five 2-hour video sessions to unpack what I had just said. I think you could have scraped my jaw off the picnic table we were all sitting at. I simply said, no, they didn’t, and then proceeded to dump everything I knew about their “Jesus” and how he was not God, how Joseph Smith their founder had been convicted and jailed on three counts of divination, which was not a Christian practice, and then unloaded on how Smith claimed that He has translated the book of Mormon using invisible glasses that allowed him to see invisible tablets written in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphs that even today have no translation key. I told them I had a more accurate way of describing that: Smith made it all up or lifted a large portion of it (10,000+ verse by actual count) from the King James Version, including the translation errors!!! Their turn to have their jaws scraped off the table. I cited Encyclopaedia Britannica as my source, and included the page numbers and what floor to find them in the library at Carleton University, where I was a student at the time. My original contact was stunned. He and his squeeze followed me as I walked away from the table and we talked about how some people will always want to “explain” things in ways that skewed the truth if I’m recalling this properly. I do remember I never saw him or her after that. John says, what I said was simple enough to say in 8 English words (5 or 6 in Greek I think). I don’t need any further explanations from those of you who will twist it. We can go back a week or to a couple of recent sermons I’ve preached. Words have meanings. If I am trying to alter those meanings, then I am trying wrongly to alter the meaning of Scripture and not doing my primary job of accurately handling the Word of Truth. The anointing from Christ taught you this stuff. Your connection with Him will help you understand the truth when it is correctly presented to you. Remain in what you heard from the beginning. Make sense? Moving on.
28: Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
- We’ve talked a lot about abiding in what you have heard from the beginning, and that being the gospel, but I think it can also be stated as John puts it here: Abide in Him. Why? John explains that He is coming back! When He does, we who have abided in Him will have confidence (not the same as arrogance) and not be ashamed at His return. Beloved, isn’t that a great thing? Our Lord will return, and we can stand before Him unafraid because we are unashamed because we abided in Him by keeping and obeying His word to us? That’s what John is saying. He may be saying some of it in what can seem like a roundabout way, but John had to speak in code because of the Roman persecution which had been in full swing at times and for decades at this point.
29: If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
- This just makes sense if all of the spiritual things are true. You must be born again or from above, and you must be walking in the Spirit, just as He is. This is the only way one can truly see that He, Christ, is righteous. And if you can accept that as an axiom, then everyone else who really practices doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing before God is also born from above or again.
- There are those that would call God’s law and His rules into question regarding what is true righteousness. These people sit in judgement of God, accusing Him of doing wrong, being immoral in his injustice toward man, and the unfairness of it all, like that. I’m sure we have all heard the tripe or seen the videos accusing God of wrong. All I can say is that one day soon, you will eat those words and thoughts because God will reveal Himself to you. You will not be able to deny it, and you will see for yourself that He is God and not you.
It is my hope that He will reveal Himself to you by calling you to repentance. If He does, repent! Change your mind! There is nothing actually evil that will happen to you because of that. If He reveals Himself to you and calls you to faith, you will answer, and He will justify you before Himself through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross at Golgotha. If that happens, then I look forward to someday meeting you in Glory.
However, it seems likely that He will reveal Himself to you through one of the coming acts of divine power on the earth. One of those will be the disappearance of literally hundreds of millions of people from the earth all at once. We won’t get into the details of that here, but we will when we get to our studies in Revelation after we deal with Jude. Suffice it to say that what happens next will be the greatest chaos that the world has ever known, and the greatest hardship mankind has ever know, and all of it self-inflicted. The wrath of God will begin to be poured out on the earth, and when you see that begin to happen with the signing of a 7-year peace treaty with Israel, you will be faced with a choice. Will you finally surrender to the living God, or will you continue on in the greatest deception that mankind will have ever seen (or not seen by those who fall into it)? Literally between a quarter and a half of the population of earth will die in a few short months. What will you do then? The choice is yours. Why go through that? Turn to God now and repent of your sins, believing that Jesus died in your place and rose again from death to show that they have been paid in full?
That’s what I saw in the text this evening.