Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Antichrist His Names and Nature.
2 Thess 2:3-4   NAS

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Introduction
The title Antichrist is never given to any single person in the Bible.     To this day no one knows the Antichrist. His identification remains a secret. Many Christians believe he is alive today and try to place a present day person as the one identified as this person.

Most evangelical scholars believe the text we consider today is a text telling us some things about the Antichrist. I want to consider his names and nature in this sermon. Next week we will consider additional information about him.
 
 

1.    Antichrist His . . Names. v 3


3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction

Introduction
Two names for the Antichrist are listed here. Many Evangelical Scholars believe two more are listed in the book of Daniel. The titles "Little Horn" and "The Prince who is to come" and mentioned in Dan, 7:8 and Dan. 9:6.

A.    The . . Man of Lawlessness. v 3 b
            ". . . the man of lawlessness is revealed, . . . "

NT:459
anomos (an'-om-os); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:3551; lawless, i.e. (negatively) not subject to (the Jewish) law; (by implication, a Gentile), or (positively) wicked:
KJV-without law, lawless, transgressor, unlawful, wicked.

VINCENT
". . . The phrase "man of sin (lawlessness)" does not occur elsewhere, either in New Testament . .

". . . is revealed . . . "
Robertson
The implication is that the man of sin is hidden somewhere who will be suddenly . . . He seems to be the Antichrist of 1 John 2:18.

        1.    This is his . . Character.
        2.    This is his . . Conduct

Illustration
I have a joke that I tell to every biker that I meet. As we went to a wedding in St. Louis Saturday, we stopped at Cuba, MO and I saw a biker group. One of the men had the chains and the beard and the bandana on his head, etc. and I asked him a stupid question. I asked him, "Are you a biker?" And he kind of laughed and said, "yeah, are you Steve Allen?"

I think he thought maybe I was a man on the street wanting an interview. Anyway, I said, "I have a joke that I like to tell bikers. And the joke is this: A man stood in front of St. Peter and St. Peter said, 'you cannot come into heaven unless you can prove that you have done a good deed and I don't have a record of a good deed you have done recently.'

And the man said, 'well,' he said, 'I was standing on this corner and a little old lady had her purse rather obvious and this biker came by and yanked her purse out of her arms. I saw this and so I walked over and kicked the bike over and yanked the purse back from the biker and gave it to the lady.' St. Peter said, 'that is very impressive. How long ago did that happen?' The man looked at his watch and said, 'about 15 seconds ago.'

This biker laughed but before I told him the joke, he dropped his helmet off of his motorcycle and I noticed one very vulgar word and didn't look any further but the helmet was obviously full of vulgarities. The man was a lawless man. A man that there was not anything about him that you would say there is a righteous man, there is a law abiding man.

I took out a tract and I said to this man, "have you ever seen a booklet like this?" He read the cover which said, 'Have you reached a place your life that you know for certain that you have eternal life and will go to heaven when you die?'" He said, "I've not seen this one." And it was obvious he did not want to give me a lot of time to talk but I said, "Well, sir I'd like for you to read this." He looked at me and said, "Thank you."

Now he obviously was lawless but the question comes to me, would it be true that there are many lawless people who are that way because they have never had the gospel explained to them.

Illustration #2
We went to a wedding in St. Louis yesterday. A pastor friend of mine son got married. So that pastor, as well as the pastor of the bride, were involved in the wedding. The son-in-law of my friend is a minister, so he was involved also. So you had three different ministers involved. The wedding took about an hour.

There was a lot of scripture, there was some talking, or preaching, to the couple and the whole atmosphere of the wedding was one of obedience unto the Word of God and the principles of God. And I thought to myself how much our world needs to hear the truth of scripture related to marriage. You see there is a law about marriage, but the spirit of lawlessness doesn't want to be obedient.

Thought in contrast as I evaluate the people at the wedding I thought of this scripture. Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, NAS

B.    The . . Son of Destruction. v 3 c
            "the son of destruction, "

Perdition Destruction
NT:622
apollumi (ap-ol'-loo-mee); from NT:575 and the base of NT:3639; to destroy fully (reflexively, to perish, or lose), literally or figuratively: KJV-destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

NT:575
apo (apo'); a primary particle; "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative):
KJV-(X here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

NT:3639
olethros (ol'-eth-ros); from a primary ollumi (to destroy; a prolonged form); ruin, i.e. death, punishment: KJV-destruction.

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. KJV

        1.    Like Judas
        2.    A traitor and a Trader

Illustration
Recently in an email I Emailed a person, and rather saying that Judas was a traitor, I spelled out trader. A man came back and said it was kind of humorous that you called Judas a traitor and did not spell the word correctly. I emailed him back and said, you know, I did make the mistake in spelling his name but you know I may have a theological point that Judas was not only a traitor, but a trader.

And you know the young man came back with a sermon outline about Judas the trader. And the one point I remember was he said Judas traded salvation for silver. And friend that's exactly why this son of perdition is like a Judas. He also is a trader. He would trade silver for salvation.

Illustration #2
At the wedding last night, there was a gigantic reception. And Christa and I got there early and I went to get something to drink and got some tea and I noticed that there were these bottles that looked like champagne bottles. And I thought to myself surely my minister friend does not have champagne but I better check and see if maybe they've made a mistake.

So I lifted some of the bottles out of the ice and sure enough, if was sparkling grape juice. Well, when it came time for everyone to have their glass poured and for there to be a toasting to the wedding couple, we were sitting at a table with other persons who were members of my pastor friend's church and one of the ladies said to me, "what about this stuff? Can we drink it?" And I said, "Yes, I've checked it out and it's stuff that Baptists can drink."

But you know, she also wanted to ask to make sure. She asked the server, "what is this?" And he said, "it's grape juice, bubbly grape juice." Well she was satisfied. We had a good laugh about it but how much lawlessness in this world is a direct result of alcoholic beverage. Who is pleased by the increased sales of alcohol. It's certainly not God and it is those who are at the spirit of Antichrist.

Some of you are going to say, "oh, you're just being too strict. What's wrong with taking a little drink, what's wrong with toasting at a wedding? Let me reverse the question and say what's wrong with standing up and saying, 'I don't drink?'"

The reason some of you do is because you don't have enough conviction about yourself to stand up and say no, I don't do that. What's wrong with toasting with water rather than champagne or some alcoholic beverage?

Application
What evidence do we give that we are more like the Lawful One than the Lawless One?
 
 

2. Antichrist His Nature. v 4


" who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. NAS

A.    An Opposing Nature
        " who opposes . . . "

Robertson
" Like John's Antichrist this one opposes [anti- ) Christ and exalts himself . . .

B.    A Self Exalting Nature.
        ". . . and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,

Vincent
The opposer claims divine honors for himself.

Robertson
". . . to lift oneself up above others, only here and 2 Cor 12:7 in the New Testament), . . . "

Illustration
Under this emphasis of a self exalting nature, I think of the Governor of Minnesota, Governor Ventura. You recall that he had an interview with a magazine where he said that Christianity was for weaklings. I wish I had enough money to get John Jacobs of the Power Team, Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams and several other outstanding Christian athletes and all have an interview with him saying we just want to show you the kind of weaklings who are Christians. But he, the Governor of Minnesota Ventura, has a self exalting nature.

C.    A . . Deifying Nature.
        ". . . so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. . . . "

D.    A . . Contrasted Nature.
 

        1. CHRIST FROM ABOVE

        JOHN 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who
        sent Me.

        ANTICHRIST FROM BELOW
        Rev 13:1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea,
        having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were
        blasphemous names. NAS
 

        2. CHRIST CAME IN HIS FATHER'S NAME
        JOHN 5:43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in
        his own name, you will receive him.

        ANTICHRIST COMES IN HIS OWN NAME
        JOHN 5:43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in
        his own name, you will receive him.
 

        3. CHRIST HUMBLED HIMSELF
        PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to
        the point of death, even death on a cross.

        ANTICHRIST EXALTS HIMSELF
        2 TH 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that
        he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
 

        4. CHRIST THE TRUTH
        JOHN 14:6 Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the
        Father, but through Me.
 

        ANTICHRIST THE LIE
        2 TH 2:11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might
        believe what is false,
 

        5. CHRIST THE HOLY ONE
        MAR 1:24 saying, "What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to
        destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!"

        ANTICHRIST THE LAWLESS ONE
        2 TH 2:8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His
        mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
 

        6. CHRIST MAN OF SALVATION
        LUKE 1:69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant--
        ACT 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has
        been given among men, by which we must be saved."

        ANTICHRIST MAN OF SIN
        2 TH 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for {it will not come} unless the apostasy comes
        first,  and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
 

        7. CHRIST SON OF GOD
        LUKE 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
        power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called
        the Son of God.

        ANTICHRIST SON OF PERDITION
        2 TH 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for {it will not come} unless the apostasy comes
        first,   and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
 

        8. CHRIST THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
        1 TI 3:16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: #He who was revealed in
        the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed
        on in the world, Taken up in glory.

        ANTICHRIST THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
        2 TH 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains {will do so}
        until he is taken out of the way.

Illustration
On September 1, 1939, Adolph Hitler launched his attack on Poland. Then, in six short months, his armies rolled practically unopposed through Norway, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, and Belgium. In April 1940, he was ready to invade France. The French believed, along with most military experts, that the German advance would be stopped at the French border. Helping the French were more than a quarter-million British soldiers - nearly the entire defensive force of England.

The French army was routed. 40 days after the German assault began, the Germans had advanced to within 15 miles of ultimate victory, trapping nearly 500,000 French and British troops in the town of Dunkirk. The British parliament was in a panic. If the force at Dunkirk were lost, as seemed inevitable, Britain would be left defenseless. That was the situation on May 23, 1940. 500,000 troops waited at Dunkirk, expecting to be killed or imprisoned by the Germans. But that day in England, the churches, supported by King George VI, their political leaders, and the nation's newspapers, issued a call for a national day of prayer to be held on Sun-day, May 26. 24 hours after the call for prayer went out, Adolph Hitler, to the amazement and dismay of his own generals, ordered his armies to halt. Two days later, on May 26, the people of England met to pray. They poured into the churches to plead with God to spare their husbands, sons and fathers at Dunkirk.

At 7:00 o'clock that evening, an order was issued to attempt a desperate evacuation of Dunkirk. Anything that could float was sent across the English Channel to rescue as many men as pos-sible. And while the evacuation took place, Hitler's armies re-mained in place, allowing 336,000 Allied soldiers to be rescued.

To this day, it baffles the historians. Hitler held victory in the palm of his hand, yet he prevented his troops from finishing the job. Many have speculated on why Hitler held his soldiers at bay, but from a military perspective, none make any sense. But there is, in light of the Word of God, a very plausible explanation. In response to the prayers of a nation, the same God who parted the Red Sea and stopped the mouths of lions halted the armies of Hitler.

Many historians see Dunkirk as the turning point of World War II. Hitler never regained his momentum. And if Dunkirk was the turning point of the war, then the outcome of World War II was not ultimately determined by the entrance of the United States into the war or Hitler's foolish attack on Russia. Hitler's defeat began when thousands of men and women fell to their knees before an Almighty God and asked Him to save their nation.

Source: Focus on the Family Newsletter, May 2000. Based upon the book, Five Days in London, by John Lukacs

Conclusion
A skeptic once confronted Richard Trench, archbishop of Dublin. Trench had been sharing several testimonies of answered prayer, and the skeptic challenged, "Your 'answers to prayer' are nothing but coincidences."

The archbishop responded, "Whether my answers to prayer are coincidences or not, I know not. I only know this: The more I pray, the more coincidences I have, and the less I pray, the less coincidences I have. So I'll just keep on praying and watch all these coincidences keep on happening."

Knowledge concerning the Working of Satan before and after the Antichrist must be bathed with prayer if we are to have the Victory Christ can give.