Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. . . This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:18-22
It’s much easier to stay in an addiction than it is to stay in recovery. In my addiction, it took very little conscious effort to remain there. It was simply my status quo. Recovery though, has taken daily, deliberate work to find and remain in it. In recovery, I’ve realized that there are many choices every day that I make that either push me towards my old life or towards the new one. Do I get up early tomorrow morning to read, pray, and work on recovery, or do I sleep in? It’s a small decision and if I sleep in once, I’m not going to relapse, but there’s a domino effect with bad decisions. When I make one, it’s easier to make another. If I quit getting up early to point my life towards my faith and recovery, I don’t think it would take long until I was making other self-destructive choices. They may be minor, but eventually, perhaps in a few months, those poor choices would add up, leading one place – back to following me – back to my addiction.
In today’s passage, John warned us of that which is anti-Christ. He didn’t say The Antichrist. Rather, he introduced the idea that there are now many antichrists. He said these antichrists will be found even in our church (verse 19), pretending to be one of us. John went on to define antichrist just the way it sounds – anything or anyone that is anti-Christ. If it leads us away from God, it is, by definition, an antichrist.
My addiction and recovery have made me realize this truth about my faith – Daily, I make a myriad of choices which push me either towards Christ or towards myself and away from him. Yes, there are mundane choices that mean nothing – What flavor of toothpaste do I use? But I often don’t realize the gravity of many of my choices. For instance, I may think that my breakfast has nothing to do with spiritual matters. But, if I eat six donuts (which is easy), then I’ve made an unhealthy choice, surrendering to my self-destructive nature. That little bad decision easily dominos into the next one and the next one. I’m not saying that a donut can make me relapse. I’m just saying that I daily make choices that push me towards God and the new life, or towards me and the old one. If I desire new life and recovery, I must daily follow Christ, abandoning all that is anti-Christ.