Those who remain
Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us. 1 John 2:18-19 NLT
There is a philosophy that some says they have to which have proven to be erroneous: “As long as you are sincere, it doesn’t matter what you believe.” Is sincerity enough to make something true? Having faith in a lie will always result to destructive consequences for it takes more than sincerity to make something true. It matters that we believe in the truth and not lies. From the text, John emphasizes the importance of having a sure faith focused on the truth of who Jesus is, His claim as the Messiah, and that He is the Lord and Savior. John’s point is that there are those who joined them in their fellowship temporarily and had left for they do not belong to Christ. There was temporary presence coming to the visible church but not willing to persevere in the faith they claim they have for they really did not believe Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. John says from the text, “they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us.” John omits the details from the text but it was clear that they had left because they denied Christ in their life. Those who have tasted the goodness of God and received Him in their lives will remain in Him for they belong to His family. It is not the affiliation to a certain denomination or religion that saves a person. All true believers in Christ have several things in common. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Bible is the Word of God. They confess that they are sinners and that the only way to be saved is to have faith in Christ believing that He died as man’s substitute at the cross. Jesus was buried and on the third day, He rose from the dead. Those who believe in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and they anticipate the return of Christ for it is imminent. There are those that might have showed up in the church for a time but had left for they had denied Christ in their life. Jesus told His disciples that those who are true to Him will abide in Him. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Those who will remain in their faith in Christ will prove that their faith is genuine for they will endure in their commitment to Jesus. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).