Today’s AMI QT blog, provided by Pastor Barry Kang of Symphony Church (Boston), was first posted on March 11, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
1 John 2:18-23 (ESV)
Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
The word “antichrist” evokes different imageries in our minds. For me, the movie entitled The Omen immediately came to mind, which terrified me in my youth (I don’t recommend that you watch it) because the central figure in the flick is the Beast (i.e., the Antichrist of Revelation). However, Apostle John, being the only New Testament writer to actually use the term “antichrist,” refers here to anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ.
I am convicted by this thought, for the word “antichrist” should primarily evoke a sense of urgency in regard to missions, rather than fear and discouragement. The spirit of the antichrist is real. There are many people around us who deny that Jesus is the Christ. They may be sincere in their beliefs and may even live “good” lives. However, John is quite clear that you cannot have the Father except through the Son. If we accept this biblical reality, then our hearts must burst with the desire to proclaim the Son to all who deny it.
Prayer: Father, please use us to combat antichrists wherever we may find them. Help us to declare that Jesus is the Christ and all that this signifies. Help us to live lives full of your light so that we may be part of Your dispelling of darkness. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 14
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 10:9-15: [If] you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Questions to Consider
- What is required for someone to be saved?
- What is our role in God’s work of salvation?
- Is there someone that God is calling you to share the good news with today?
- Believe! The way Paul describes it here is so simple, but it’s the truth. One only needs to believe the truth of the gospel: Jesus died on the cross for our sins; that God raised him from the dead; and that Jesus is Lord of their life.
- Our role is to preach the gospel. The way Paul puts it, it is as if people will not believe or know the gospel unless believers are sent out to preach it to them. God can certainly do miracles and bring people to salvation without us, but that’s not what He decided to do; instead, God has sovereignly assigned this work to the church so that, through the Holy Spirit, she can be salt and light to the world.
- Personal response
The spirit of the antichrist is present wherever people deny that Jesus is the Christ. How might you battle this spirit this week? Is there someone that God is asking you to pray for?