In the last days
Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. By this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. 1 John 2:18-19 CSB
John, caring deeply for his readers, referring to them as “children,” warns of the impending arrival of “Antichrist,” and many “antichrists” in their midst because it is the “last hour,” meaning the time between Jesus’ ascension and eventual Second Coming. We see this time frame often as the “last days,” in which we are currently living in, awaiting for Christ’ return. In the meantime, John was given a revelation of the end times, in which the Antichrist would appear and deceive many people, a topic which we can discuss for another day in detail. What is to note here is that there are many antichrists, which in the simplest translation individuals who deny that Jesus is the Christ, thus, anti-Christ. These people “went out from us,” meaning that they were in the midst of believers, with a key distinct factor that “they did not belong to us, for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us.” Simply put, those false teachers and antichrists were not genuine believers to begin with; they never had a relationship with Christ and did not submit their lives to Him at all, only giving the appearances of a believer. John echoes Jesus words, “‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven’” (Matthew 7:21). John warns believers to keep an eye out for these people, because they can be deceptive in their teachings (such as the Gnostic belief we touched upon the past couple of days). “‘For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many… For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray’” (Matthew 24:5, 24). Looking back at the previous verses, we were given clear distinct actions that help us determine whether we are in the light or are following the darkness. The presence of people who deny Christ is definite proof that we are in the last days.
Isaac De Guzman