TEXTS: 1 John 2:18; Rev. 17
1. We, as believers, are not free to hate anyone or anything besides our own personal sin. If we allow envy, strife, hatred, anger, and bitterness to rule our hearts, it will produce devastation in and around our lives.
2. Followers of Christ are called to refrain from “loving the world.” Why is the Bible so emphatic and bold about this topic? God offers us something better than this world. If our hearts are infatuated with this present world, we will endeavor to save and preserve it. That is significant because those who will make war against the Lamb will consume themselves with saving this broken and sinful world (and that is not the side of the battle we want to be found on).
3. How can we recognize the spirit of antichrist? The antichrist spirit seeks to distort the image of God. Therefore, anything that is designed to image God will come under attack by the spirit of antichrist. We can see this happening currently in four key areas: (1) the Trinitarian nature of God, (2) marriage, (3) gender, and (4) abortion.
4. The powers of darkness distort and mess with what images God. God’s children must never be a part of it (even in seemingly small and inconsequential ways). God calls us to stand unashamedly in the face of such darkness and proclaim the truth and gospel of Jesus Christ. The cultures who approach the four things listed above in an unbiblical manner will find themselves thrust into a vicious cycle that will devastate and destroy that culture.
5. An affluent culture will struggle with becoming focused on what man can do (instead of what God has done/can do). The abundance and widespread availability of “stuff” creates many temptations for humanity.
6. To stand unashamed in the face of darkness and evil, we should remember and think upon three realities: we are (1) called, (2) chosen, and (3) faithful.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. What does it mean to love the world? How would you define it?
2. Why do you think the spirit of antichrist is so focused on distorting the image of God? What are the implications of God's image being distorted?
3. Why is it significant to remember that we are called, chosen, and faithful? What does each reality mean and how does each one equip us to stand unashamed in the face of darkness?
4. What are some of the temptations that we face as a result of existing in an affluent society/culture?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- That our hearts would be free from hatred, envy, bitterness, and strife
- For boldness and wisdom; to stand unashamed