Week six of Quietly Through 1st John is here. Have you learned anything new through this study? Is your faith growing? Have you been challenged to walk a little closer to Jesus? I hope so and I hope you continue to as we keep moving through this short, but powerful book of the Bible. Please leave me a comment at the end of today’s study and let me know what verse or insight has made the greatest impact on you so far.
Deceptions of the Last Hour
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:18-23)
IDEAS TO CONSIDER
- Where does John say the antichrists come from (v19)?
- What is the reason that the antichrists left their fellowship (v19)?
- How is a Believer able to identify an antichrist (vv 20-21)?
- What makes a person an antichrist? (vv 22-23)?
(This is just a little bit of what I took away from the passage. Remember, I’m human and severely flawed. Don’t just take my words as God’s truth. Be sure to be led by the Spirit, not me.)
“…even now many antichrists have come…” These antichrists aren’t the same as the antichrist prophesied in Daniel 7 and who has yet to establish himself here on earth. However, these antichrists do still exist, even today, and John mentions them here.
The original Greek word is antichristos and means an opponent of the Messiah. In other words, it would be someone who, whether blatantly or not, opposes Christ and the gospel.
The gospel says that Christ resurrected and has victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).
And, the gospel says salvation from sins cannot be earned, instead it is graciously offered by Christ to anyone who simply believes — simply has faith — in what He accomplished on their behalf (Romans 5:15; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Those who oppose Jesus and the gospel say: 1) Jesus is not the son of God and he did not die for our sins; 2) He did not live a sinless life and is not able to redeem a sinner; 3) He did not raise from the grave; and/or 4) salvation can be earned.
So why is all this important? Because, as Believers in Christ and His gospel message, we know the truth. And knowing the truth we need to use it to discern between followers of Christ and those who oppose Him.
There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their purpose is to pile burdens on your shoulder. They want to confuse you about who Jesus truly is and why He came. They want to destroy your faith and rob you of the free gift of salvation.
So, consider who you listen to, what you read, and who you imitate. Do their words fall in line with the character and mission of Christ? Or do they oppose Him?
Christians, especially those young in their faith, wrongly believe that they need someone else to hold their hand and lead them through their Christian walk. Don’t get me wrong. Fellowship and discipleship are necessary, but it is the Holy Spirit who anoints us with knowledge. Listen to Him. Ask Him what is true and what is false. Seek His guidance above everyone else’s. Expect Him to teach you, because he will.
Lord in heaven, thank you for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Please forgive me for the times I have replied more on the teachings of men than on the knowledge that has been bestowed by you. Teach me your ways, your truth, your will, and set me on a mission that is in line with your mission — the gospel. In your name I pray. Amen.
Here are few questions to ponder. Please, feel free to answer any of them in the comments section or contact me privately.
- Do you believe you are equipped to identify an antichrist?
- Which antichrists are the trickiest to spot? Why?
- What are some subtle ways that people oppose Jesus and His gospel message?
FURTHER STUDY IDEAS
Here are a few study ideas to do between now and next Tuesday. I suggest doing one or two a day in order to keep you thinking about the passage all week long.
- Start or continue a double entry journal.
- Hand write the passage.
- Do a word study for Christ in verse 22. How will this help you identify any antichrist that you meet?
- Did this passage make you think of other passages in the Bible? Share those passages with the rest of us in the comments.
- Make a T-chart. One one side list the characteristics of Christ. On the other write the opposite of these characteristics. If you get stuck:
- Write a summary of what you’ve learned from this passage. If you are a blogger, write a post and share it in the next #QuietlyThroughThursday LINK UP.
- Read 1 John 1-5. Yes, ma’am, the whole thing.
If you missed any of our online study of 1st John, click on the image for a complete list of previous posts.