ANTICHRIST – BEAST OF REVELATION
Our study today will consist mainly of the Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation, and further information about the Antichrist and his actions. The two witnesses are persecuted and martyred by the beast, that is, the Antichrist (see Revelation 11:7; and 13:1-10). Deeper study of Matthew 24:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4-9).
Now before we get too far into the above stud, I would like us to think about today for a minute or two. You might ask why? We are supposed to be thinking [studying] about prophecy [the future of things], not the present.
However, I would ask you to be patient. There are a lot of people out there, many millions and millions, who do not know Christ as their personal Savior. I would ask all Christians who hear our message on the air in this country and around the world by our web site: openbibleministries.net to please pray for the lost (John 3:16).
We will begin with a common question. “What does it mean that today is the day of salvation” in 2 Corinthians 6:1-2? Let’s be plain about this, God has told the sinful world, in no uncertain terms, to repent:
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED in His name among ALL nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47, KJV).
“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:18-20, KJV).
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT:” (Acts 17:30, KJV).
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached THAT MEN SHOULD REPENT.” (Mark 6:11-12, KJV).
NOTE: To repent means to change your mind from the embracement of sin and rejection of Christ to rejection of sin and fully embracement of Christ. Those who refuse to repent and turn to Christ in faith will suffer eternal consequences.
Given the fact of hell, mankind in his sin is in a dire situation. Why would anyone delay repentance? Yet many do, even while admitting their sin and claiming to see their need for salvation.
There are several reasons why man should not delay repentance.
FIRST, the Bible’s command to repent is accompanied by an urgent appeal to do it now: Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8, which speaks of “the day of salvation.” Then he says not to delay: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Repentance should take place as soon as God, the Holy Spirit, CONVICTS US OF OUR SINS. In other words, TODAY is the day of salvation.
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8, KJV).
“Today, if only you would hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 95:7-8).
“O come, let us worship and bow down: Let us kneel before the LORD our MAKER. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err IN THEIR HEART, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they SHOULD NOT enter into my rest” (Psalm 95:6-11, KJV).
Another problem with delaying REPENTANCE IS THAT NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY HE OR SHE WILL DIE.
FACT: After death, immediately comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). After one dies there will be no time left for the individual to repent of their sins and to accept Christ as their personal Savior.
The rich fool in Jesus’ parable (Luke 12:16-20) thought he had plenty time to enjoy life, but God had news for him:
“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he THOUGHT WITHIN HIMSELF, saying, ‘what shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?’ And he said, ‘this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ BUT GOD SAID UNTO HIM, ‘THOU FOOL, THIS NIGHT THY SOUL SHALL BE REQUIRED OF THEE: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21).
Notice verse 20. God is plain, we have today – we have the present moment – and we should use it wisely. Another reason to not delay repentance is that every time we refuse to repent, we continue to sin and our hearts get harder.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit] saith), today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not our hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7-8).
Every time a person says “no” to what’s right, it becomes a little easier to say “no” the next time. There is a gradual hardening of the heart, “A SEARING OF THE CONSCIENCE.”
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH A HOT IRON” (I Timothy 4:1-2).
This is a condition that can numb an unsaved person to the point of being past feeling. This is a dangerous spiritual condition to be in.
NOTE: a person who is truly saved should pay attention, for loss of rewards could be involved with a seared conscience.
Further, the harder a person’s heart becomes, the more “force” God will have to apply to bring him or her to repentance. This is illustrated in the increasingly severe plagues in Egypt. As Pharaoh continued to harden his heart, the plagues continued and worsened until culminating in loss of life in every Egyptian household (Exodus 7-11).
NOTE: God warned Paul with a pointed statement “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14).
There is another warning that fits here as Paul says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Corinthians 13: 5).
This warning is important for it brings with it some instructions.
- This warning directs our attention to the fact that believers must examine themselves to make sure they are in the faith.
- Believers need to make sure they are genuine believers. Living in sin makes a person’s faith suspect. Some were living in sin: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.”
- The believers needed to make sure that Jesus Christ was in them and that they were not reprobate (adokimoi). The word means to be tested and disqualified and rejected; to be found unfit and disapproved; to be doomed and condemned to perdition.
- They needed to know that they were not reprobate. The ONLY WAY the Corinthians could know these things was to examine themselves.
“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD” (Lamentations 3:40).
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).
“But let a man EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” (I Corinthians 11:28).
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
How do you examine yourself? READ the following verses:
Do you believe, John 3:16-17?
“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
If you don’t or not sure then maybe you are not saved.
Please study these verses, not just read, but STUDY.
Romans 10:9-13 “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 with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Then ask yourself the question, Do I believe on the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior? I’m praying your answer is YES.
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