**I wrote this 12 years ago and have revised it just a little. It’s amazing how the world has changed since it was written.
Delightfully loved friends, don’t trust every spirit, but carefully examine what they say to determine if they are of God, because many false prophets have mingled into the world. (2) Here’s the test for those with the genuine Spirit of God: they will confess Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh. (3) Everyone who does not acknowledge that Jesus is from God has the spirit of antiChrist, which you heard was coming and is already active in the world 1 John 4:1-3 (Passion Translation).
The spirit of antiChrist is already busy on earth today. It manifests as a spirit of religious tolerance and religious inclusiveness. The idea is that all religions lead to the same God. It is rapidly gaining ground in the social and political discourse and ideology in our nation. It already dominates Europe. And the elites of our nation and the educational institutions are now under its’ diabolical control.
In the period to come, believers in Jesus will be more and more persecuted, labeled as extremists and castigated form the public social dialogue as harboring a belief that segregates, divides, and demeans. The idea is that all religions are good and that we must not speak against any of them, nor should we seek to proselytize anyone from another system of belief.
The idea of tolerance and inclusiveness has rapidly taken over in the workplace, and is normal in public schools and in colleges and universities. It’s the reason during this season for the push for Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. It’s the reason that a hundred years of traditional Christmas songs and displays are being sidelines when the public refuses to protest.
We’re entering a dark period culminating in a severe worldwide test from Almighty God commonly called the tribulation. And it’s coming fast, perhaps faster than we think. The only restraining force holding back this antiChrist attitude and keeping it in check during this time is the church. We are going to be here for the first part of this tribulation time. And the darker it gets, the brighter we will shine. We have been the salt and the light of the world ever since Jesus ascended to heaven.
So, this Christmas season, greet others in public with a Merry Christmas instead of the lame Happy Holidays. Be bold in your witness for Jesus. Choose joy when others give you a disagreeing glance, or a curt response. Choose kindness and love filled words to counteract the angry, bitter dialogue of today’s social climate.
I want to give you the promises of God for the persecuted. These promises will guide you in the days to come and will give you boldness and strength to stand undeterred in confrontation with this antiChrist spirit as it works through people.
Matthew 5:11-12 (Message Paraphrase) – Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. 12 You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Luke 6:22-23 (Passion Translation) – How favored you become when you are hated, excommunicated, or slandered, or when your name is spoken of as evil because of your love for me, the Son of Man. 23 “I promise you that as you experience these things, you will celebrate and dance with overflowing joy. And the heavenly reward of your faith will be abundant, because you are being treated the same way as your forefathers the prophets.
1 Peter 4:14-16 (Passion Translation) – If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you. (15) Let none of you merit suffering as a murderer, or thief, or criminal, or as one who meddles in the affairs of others. 16 If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One’s name.
2 Timothy 3:12 (Message Paraphrase) – Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.