Pentecostal Sermons & Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Will You Worship Christ or Antichrist? You Must Choose

Summary:  Jesus or antichrist? Heaven or eternal damnation? Eternal life or unending torment separated forever from God’s indescribable presence? There’s no middle ground. The choice is entirely yours.

First, a brief overview from biblical history

Joshua 24:15, NLT  Choose today whom you will serve…

More than 3,000 years ago, Joshua had led ancient Israel into the Promised Land that God had prepared for them. But the Israelites were already beginning to forsake serving God and were inclining their worship towards the demonic gods of the surrounding cultures. How quickly they had forgotten the very first of God’s Ten Commandments given to them at Mount Sinai!

Exodus 20:1-3  And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

Jump ahead many centuries. After King Solomon’s reign, Israel divided into the northern ten-tribe nation that continued to be called Israel and the two southern tribes that were called the nation of Judah. Israel and its ten tribes failed to serve the true and living God, choosing rather to serve the gods of the nations around them, with catastrophic consequences. Israel was conquered by the Assyrians and went into the Assyrian Captivity in the 8th century B.C. They never fully recovered from it.

Judah did not learn the lesson of its northern neighbor. They too continued to move away from serving the Lord God, and the majority chose instead to follow the demon gods of the nearby cultures. Like Israel before them, they also went into captivity, being conquered and exiled in several waves by the Babylonian empire. That captivity lasted about 70 years, and Jerusalem and its temple of the Lord were destroyed.

Now let’s jump ahead again more than five centuries. God sends His divine Son Jesus into the world, born of a virgin:

Matthew 1:20-23  …an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah 7:14]: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

A divine Son (“conceived…from the Holy Spirit”) would come to the world as its Savior, “to save His people from their sins.” He would be known as Immanuel, which Matthew translates for us, giving that Hebrew word’s meaning as “God with us.” His given name on earth was Jesus. Our English word Jesus traces back to a Hebrew word meaning that God/the Lord saves.

So much could be said about this Savior, this divine Son, Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul wrote descriptively, Jesus is the very heart and focus of the Bible’s Gospel message:

1 Corinthians 15:2-4  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Son of God, died on the cross to take our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead, so that we may in turn be saved, be born again, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

With that eternity-affecting truth in mind, let’s now address our opening question: Will you worship Christ or Antichrist? You must decide! Your eternal destiny depends 100% on making the correct choice.

Will You worship and serve Jesus Christ?

From His very birth Jesus received worship, even from non-Israelites — “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi [traditionally, wise men] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’ ” (Matthew 2:1-2).

As an adult early in His ministry, Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm, also empowering Peter to walk on the water (Matthew 14:22-32). Back in the boat, those early disciples were so astounded that they “worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’.” (vs. 32)

After Jesus restored the sight of a blind man and sent him away healed, (John, ch. 9), Jesus found him later that day, and the grateful man declared, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped Him (John 9:38).

After His death, burial, and resurrection proved conclusively to His disciples that He was the divine Son of God, the heaven-sent Savior, He appeared to His followers and gave them His Great Commission. The Bible says, “They worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:17).

The writer to the Hebrews (1:6) recorded that “when God brings His firstborn [Jesus] into the world, He says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship Him’.” That is very revealing! God the Father orders that even the very angels are to worship Jesus the Son.

Revelation chapter 5 shows some of the residents of heaven falling down and worshiping both God the Father and “the Lamb” (His crucified, resurrected, and ascended Son Jesus) — they “fell down before the Lamb” (vs. 8) … “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped” (13-14).

How much does Jesus deserve honor and worship? He Himself answered this while on earth. In John chapter 5, the antagonistic Jewish leaders were opposing Him. They were especially angered that Jesus “was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (vs. 18). Sadly, even though Jesus is indeed true Deity, they chose not to believe that truth. John 1:1 emphatically declares: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “The Word” Jesus became flesh and made His dwelling among us (vs. 14). But the resistant Jewish leaders rejected their divine Messiah, to their eternal loss. Undeterred, Jesus went on to insist “that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:23). How much should we honor the Son? “Just as” we honor God the Father! The Son is as fully worthy of worship and honor as is God the Father.

Will You worship and follow the antichrist?

First, let’s define “antichrist” biblically:

1 John 2:22  Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3
  …every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1 John 2:18
  Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.

John the apostle wrote 20 centuries ago that “even now many antichrists have come.” What did he mean? The verses just above give us some significant insights:

1) “Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ…is the antichrist.” The prefix anti means against. All who deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah and only Savior sent from God to redeem the world from sin are, by definition, “anti-“ or against Christ. There are multitudes like that on earth today whom God is calling to repent of that fatal error and to turn to Jesus Christ in faith for their salvation. Sad to say, many of those will, to their eternal loss in hell, fail to turn from being against Christ to receiving Him as their Lord and Savior. So in the broadest sense of the word, there are billions of antichrists in the world today.

2) Satan's demons are clearly against Jesus. Also there is a spirit, an attitude, that John describes as “the spirit of the antichrist.” He defines that as: “…every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus…is the spirit of the antichrist.” There is no neutral ground, no innocent place of agnostic indifference. Every living person either acknowledges Jesus — that is, is for Jesus — or is against Him. Jesus Himself said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23). To be against Christ is to be anti-Christ.

3) John wrote further that “…you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.” There is, said John, a spirit of antichrist that was already in the world of his day. That’s true of our day too. There are many around us who, as noted above, either “do not acknowledge Jesus” or “deny that Jesus is the Christ." But John remarked that they had correctly heard that “the antichrist is coming.” Before closing, I want to discuss "the antichrist" briefly.

Revelation 13:1-8, 15  The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea… [2] The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority… [4] and they worshiped the beast (KJV) [5]…and the beast was given [power]…to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world… [15] The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed… [14:9-12] “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

A quick summary: Bible scholars generally agree that this “beast” of Revelation 13-14 is “the antichrist,” a phrase John had used in his epistle. The dragon Satan (Rev. 12:9) will give him great authority to rule in a reign of terror for 42 months in the end times. All over the world there will be those who worship the beast. Notice who those beast-worshipers will be: “all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb [Jesus] who was slain…” (13:8).

Those who choose to worship the antichrist will face eternal damnation: they will drink the wine of God’s fury (vss. 14:9f). They will be tormented with burning sulfur for ever and ever (14:10f).

Choose today whom you will serve. Your eternity depends on it

Joshua 24:15, NLT  Choose today whom you will serve…

The choice is yours. Every living person faces it. Will you worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Or will you worship and serve the antichristal, Christ-denying spirit and ways of the world? And if, as many Bible scholars believe, we are in the end times, the last days, will you choose 1) Jesus and eternal life or 2) the antichrist and eternal damnation, with the smoke of your torment rising for ever and ever?

The choice is clear. I made that choice as a young adult 51 years ago. I have never regretted a minute of that decision. Jesus saved me from the guilt and punishment due to my sins. He has given me a wonderful life full of His presence and His blessings (He’ll do the same for you too!). And best of all, He has clearly promised to all His followers that beyond this life we will enter the unimaginable glories of eternity in His matchless presence. As the apostle Paul declared, eternal life with the Lord is “better by far” (Philippians 1:23) than all this life can offer.

To my fellow Christians I say, to echo Joshua’s bold words, continue to “choose today whom you will serve…we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, NLT).

To those whose heart God is touching to make an initial or renewed commitment to Jesus Christ, do it today! It will be the greatest decision you’ll ever make. And I can assure you by the words of Jesus Himself that, after your last breath on this earth you’ll hear His words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!…Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)

If you need some help in making that connection to Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please let the late, respected evangelist Billy Graham help you here to fulfill that greatest decision of your life.

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©2020, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons &
Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.