The Antichrist

In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist refers to people who opposed Jesus Christ and substituted themselves in Christ’s place.  The gospels also used the term false Christ and false prophets, sometimes singular and sometimes plural.  The five uses of the term “Antichrist” or “Antichrists” in the Johannine epistles do not clearly present a single individual Antichrist.  In the gospels, there were false messiahs and false prophets who produced great signs to lead Christians astray.  The Antichrist was a group of people.  Among the patristic Christian writers, this Antichrist concept shifted to various political leaders and heretics.  In fact, Jerome in the fourth century warned against saying that the Antichrist was the devil.  In the Middle Ages, Antichrist became a term for individuals or groups of people that someone did not like.  Thus, the sixteenth century reformers used this term to apply to the ruling papal authorities, the pope as the Antichrist.  Only with the enlightenment in the eighteenth century did the concept of the enemy as the Antichrist die out.  The rise of recent evangelical Christian churches has renewed this term of the Antichrist as the devil incarnate or concentrations of demonic power filled with lawlessness.  Thus, the term Antichrist is still prevalent in religious circles today.  What do you think about the Antichrist?

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