Antichrist and the Apostasy: the Antithesis in Doctrine and Life
The Scriptures speak of the coming of an antichrist and of an apostasy. 1 John 2: "the
Antichrist is coming" (vs 18). 2 Thess 2 adds that the Day of Christ will not come unless the
apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed (vs 3). Jesus told His disciples to beware
of "false Christs" and "false prophets" who would surely come showing great signs and
wonders in an attempt to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Mt 24:24f). And John saw in the
Revelation shown to him some beasts rise out of the sea to terrorize the earth (Rev 13). What,
we wonder, is all this; are we to expect an Antichrist still to appear on the world stage? Or a
Man of Sin? Or a false Christ? Or those Beasts? If yes, what is the relation between them all?
If no, has the Antichrist appeared already? Or the Man of Sin?
The agenda of the Synods of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia follows a fixed pattern. Each Synod over the years has had as Agenda Item Five the point of "Delegates’ agreement with the Three Forms of Unity". This item forms the first item of business that Synod deals with after its constitution, and is usually a brief and straight forward (though significant – see below) procedure. Synod Launceston, however, took 10 meeting days to finalise Agenda Item Five. In what follows, I attempt to give an account of why it took this Synod so long to finalise this agenda item.
Some time ago I received a letter from an overseas preacher lamenting that he had not been taught at Seminary how to preach Catechism sermons (nor was he familiar with it from youth). Because of a lack of doctrinal awareness in his church, he had come to see the need for Catechism preaching.