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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Survival and Fruitfulness in the Last Days, #3
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (II Thessalonians 2:4)
The key to the understanding of Antichrist. The Antichrist spirit in man is that of self-will, of man making himself God. It is as simple as that. Our present age emphasizes the importance of the rights of people, meaning that the person who is in control of his circumstances and destiny is the one who is functioning correctly.
The False Prophet (Revelation 13:11) is religious man seeking the works and glory of God but who is reserving the right to be himself. "I will be like the most High." We can see that Antichrist and the False Prophet are closely related in that neither is willing to submit to the authority of God. The False Prophet supports the Antichrist.
The only way of protecting ourselves from partaking of the spirit of Antichrist and the False Prophet is to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the Lord Jesus. It is only as we lose our life that we can survive and be fruitful in the last days.
Salvation is primarily for God's benefit. Today's preaching is so filled with the spirit of Antichrist and the False Prophet (the spirit of religious delusion) that the Gospel is perceived as being the means whereby man can be forgiven, healed, blessed financially, brought to success in all areas of life, and admitted to Paradise when he dies.
Although one would think so from current preaching, God was not created to serve the needs of mankind. People were created to worship and serve God whatever the cost to them personally.
It is no wonder that Christians and their activities are mocked and scorned by the secular world.
The fact is, salvation is primarily for God's benefit. While it is true that man can be forgiven, healed, and blessed in many ways through Christ, the purpose is so he can worship God in righteousness and do the will of God. It is not what God does for man that is utterly important but how man can be brought to the place of worshiping and serving God.
On numerous occasions throughout church history, to receive Christ and be baptized in water meant the loss of one's family and property, torture, and death. In this case the Good News became bad news as far as the flesh is concerned. But the Gospel is always Good News in terms of the Kingdom that is coming.
We are not truly converted until we have died to our own desires and have presented our body a living sacrifice to God. This is our reasonable service of worship.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1,2)
To be continued.