Question: OK, I do not know why I worry so much about this but I cannot get it off my mind. Could someone that believes that Jesus is the messiah be the antichrist? I know it is not a good question, but I worry over it. I'm 14 and was born on December 25, and for some reason I think that I could be him. It makes me worry so much, and the idea of it makes me want to end my life so I won’t harm anyone. I love Jesus. Could you just give me comfort? I just need some type of comfort or reassurance. The thought of me being an enemy of Jesus makes me feel hopeless and full of fear. Is the devil deceiving me into think this? I know this is not really a bible question, but I feel so depressed and scared.
Answer: Greetings my young friend. Relax…and have hope, because our hope is in the Lord (1 Pet. 3:15)—and this is true no matter how lowly you are feeling right now. Additionally, there is no need for a person like you to be filled with fear, because there is no room for that particular spirit within us (Rom. 8:15). As for your question, it is indeed a legitimate Bible question, and I will be happy to talk to you about your worries today.
Although you are quite young when compared to me, we both suffer with the same type of problem, obsession. Obsession is not necessarily a big problem, but when you cannot get rid of something that is in your mind, then life can grind to a halt…and that is a big problem! And we are not alone in this. Nearly everyone experiences this anxiety from time to time. But people your age are more emotionally fluid than we who are a bit older. For adults, the big physiological changes are over, but you are still in a stage of rapid change. Your brain is still developing, and you are building up your physical, mental and emotional muscle. What this means is that you are a work in progress, and you are not stuck where you are. You will probably have to put up with this special type of anxiety for a few more years before you transition into “boring” adulthood—which will be upon you before you know it. So, hang in. Do not give up on your body, your feelings or your brain…and especially God’s Spirit—even during these episodes of discomfort.
Our emotions are one of God’s gifts to us. Just learn how to use them. Never make a life-changing decision based only on a feeling…like that thought about ending your life (albeit for a noble reason). Everyone has those thoughts—and far too many act upon them instead of managing them. It is not just you. None of us can really control what pops into our heads, but we can control what we do about it. Do you know how a bodybuilder gets so strong? He repeatedly works his body against some physical resistance. Mental and emotional strength works the same way. Every time this anxiety comes upon you that is the time to work against it. If you do this, you will get stronger with each repetition. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to mental and emotional hardiness, just as there is no shortcut to a bodybuilder’s physique. So, what particular exercise should you do? You should pray.
Sometimes God will just take the problem away. Usually he doesn’t, though. He allows us many trials so that we may work through them and become more able servants through these experiences. But the process is much more important than the end result. God wants to dialogue with you as a life habit, and if your life were just going along with no problems, would you (or would most people) take the time for him? Not as much. So, let your instances of anxiety act as a reminder to start talking to the one who (only and always) wants the best for you.
Talking to God is our primary weapon in the war against anxiety (1 Pet. 5:7), but not our only weapon. Please—also talk to a trusted adult about this soon…and keep trying until you find one who will listen. God helps us in a number of ways, one of which is to place us in a community of believers. Once you start sharing these experiences with other people, you’ll be surprised how many have similar problems (2 Cor. 1:4).
I really appreciate how you state plainly that you love Jesus and that you believe him to be the Messiah. Furthermore, I like it that you think that you would feel “hopeless” if Jesus were your enemy instead of your friend (1 Thes. 4:13). These things give me hints that you are truly a child of God and that you trust the Bible on some level. But your ultimate comfort will not come until you trust the Bible at its highest level—as the infallible word of God—a work which use sufficient to guide our lives in all matters of faith and practice. It is one thing to understand a few Bible snippets, but it is quite another to rest your life upon it as if it were a chair—and you would crash to the floor without it. Take that as your test. Whenever you feel in jeopardy of crashing to the floor, this means that you are focusing on wrong things instead of on God things.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
Concerning the devil deceiving you, it is unlikely that he would be doing this himself. I do not mean to insult you, but he has bigger things to attend to…like deceiving the entire world! (Rev. 12:9) This is not to say that some of his representatives are not badgering you. But if you are truly born again (and I think that you are), no agent of Satan could ever dwell within you because the Holy Spirit of God has already taken up residence there (2 Tim. 1:14). So, what is bothering you? It sounds to me like you are unpracticed in the art of Christian warfare.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:10–18, ESV)
When Paul called this the “whole armor of God” he was not kidding. There is nothing missing in this ensemble of war. It is true that the devil is our enemy, but we need to focus more on his schemes than on his person, because one of his main schemes is to rob a Christian of his confidence in Christ. This is what he has done to you. So, put on the whole armor. Did you notice which item Paul mentions first? It is (the belt of) truth. Satan is a liar. That means that he is non-truth—the opposite of truth. Do not listen to him. Every Christian will crumble who does not pray, read the Bible and serve in the Christian community. Satan is strong, and we are weak. But, he (Christ) that is in you is stronger than he (Satan) that is in the world (1 John 4:4). So, when you focus on the truths you know, and also live a life of truth, the lies of the enemy can only annoy you, they cannot convict you. Right now, you are being convicted by a lie—and you are suffering needlessly for it. So, you need to “soldier up.” You’ve been wounded. Check your armor for chinks.
Now for a few practical matters that I hope might make you feel a better about this antichrist business. It is cool that you were born on Christmas Day in 1999! But so were about 200,000 other people worldwide. Do you think, therefore, that you are all viable candidates to be the antichrist because you were born that particular date? Don’t get me wrong, you are special to God. But as the world goes…you are kind of common—and certainly not antichrist material—especially by virtue of a mere birth date! Furthermore, I do not recall any biblical warrant for the antichrist being born on Christmas (and you probably know that even Christ was not born on December 25th). So, if you are asserting a Christ-to-antichrist relationship because of that particular date, that would be off target. Additionally, those who subscribe to the view that the antichrist is an actual person who will soon hold sway over the entire Earth usually insist that he will come from Europe—or maybe the Mideast—but certainly not from North America like you.
Furthermore, there are plenty of people who do not subscribe to the Dispensationalist view of future events (as popularized by the Left Behind series of novels). For them, it is not necessary that the antichrist even be a person! He could be a literary figure used to describe the spirit of all that is against the Christ. If that is true, then there is no antichrist for you to become—and you would be anxious over nothing but a metaphor! (Phil. 4:6) Life is too short for that.
As a person who loves Jesus Christ, and as a person who believes him to be the Messiah, you have the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). You cannot now, nor can you ever be, anti-Christ—not in word, not in deed—and certainly not in person. Again, just relax. Keep growing in Christ. As a result, these anxious thoughts will give way to better thoughts without you even realizing it. So, do not expect to be able to shut these thoughts down as with light switch, but if you continue to pray, study, and fellowship with other Christians, not only will you win the war, but you will feel like you are winning the war…and feeling like you’re winning is the real battle for you at this time.
I will certainly pray for you, but let me repeat on the strongest terms that you must share these concerns with at least one trusted adult. Show them this question-and-answer if necessary to break the ice. Make it your priority to talk to someone else about these anxieties. Just because other people have these thoughts too does not mean that you should ignore them.
As a final thought, visit this link and read about salvation. Make sure that you understand it fully. You may pick up one or two things that you did not know that will give you peace. Again, my feeling is that you have already done business with God. Just make sure that my feeling is true.