1 John 2:18-27
 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.  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 it might become plain that they all are not of us.  But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.  I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.  Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.  Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him
What does John mean by Last hour?
•John is referring to the return of Christ. There is an appointed time in the future when God will intervene in history for the purpose of judging the wicked and upholding the righteous. Jesus Christ will return and establish the new heavens and new earth
Are we living in the Last Days and how do we know this?
•Yes, ever since Jesus ascended to Heaven we Christians have been eagerly awaiting His return.
•And Jesus Himself guarantees that He is coming soon in Revelations 22:12-13, 16b, 20b: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star… Yes, I am coming soon”
Should we listen to those that claim to know the specific date of the return of Christ?
•No, obviously, Harold Camping has made the prediction of the end times popular, but there were many before him and there will be many after him so we need to have a Biblical mindset when people start making these outrageous claims. These claims are embarrassing to Christians and we should first realize that Christ specifically cautioned his disciples not to claim such knowledge. In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”
What does John mean by anti-Christ?
•The anti-Christ is a particular individual or a group of people who oppose God and His purpose. John’s view of the end-times seems to be that there is a singular antichrist coming but that the spirit of antichrist is already in the world and that it produces many preliminary lesser forms of the antichrist. The essence of the antichrist spirit is to deny that Jesus was the Christ or to deny that the Christ was fully incarnate in Jesus. The spirit of antichrist does whatever it can to diminish Christ and substitute other views or other persons for the true incarnate Son of God.
Is it important to be educated on what we believe or is just loving Jesus enough?
•Yes, it is important for us to be educated in these things because when we are asked to explain why we believe what we believe we want to be able to give an intelligent response.
•You might be the only Christian that some of your friends know and they are going to come to you and ask you questions.
•For example, the world is asking a lot of questions about Mormonism since one of presidential candidate’s is a Mormon.
•We want to be able to do better than what this guy did here.
•In addition, if we just love Jesus, then we will also love His Word; therefore, loving Jesus is not an excuse for ignorance.
So what about the other religions of the world? Is a sincere devoted Muslim, Mormon, Jew, Buddhist, etc. going to Hell?
- The next and most controversial by worldly standards comes to us in verses 23-25. Here John makes the bold claim that Jesus is the only way to the Father.
- Yes, we can conclude that no matter how sincere someone is in their faith that Jesus Christ as revealed to us in God’s Word is the only way to the Father and is our only hope that we have in eternal life.
- I could sincerely believe I could fly, but if I jump off the top of this church, I am going to drop like a rock. Truth is not subjective. The truth of the Bible is not just true for me, but also true for you, for the Muslim, for the Mormon, for the Jew, and for all nations and tribes in this world. Truth is truth and God’s Word is the only measuring stick we have of truth.
So how should we respond to this truth? With arrogance that we have the true knowledge and the only way to Father, through Christ?
- By no means should this produce pride or arrogance.
- First of all, it is not by our own power that we gained this knowledge but in verses 20 and 27 that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that revealed this truth to us.
- So we should respond in humbleness and earnest prayer that the God that opened our eyes will also open the eyes of the millions entangled in false religions and ideologies.
- They desperately need God’s truth and our prayers and maybe God is stirring in some of your all’s hearts to take the Gospel to them.
How do we know that our religion, faith, denomination, and our theology is true?
- Just like how U.S. government determines counterfeit money, we should do the same in the testing of our faith.
- The U.S. government determines if money is counterfeit not by studying all the many kinds of counterfeit money, but by studying the real thing, because the better they know the real thing the less likely they are to be fooled by a counterfeit.
- Therefore, since God has given us His Word in the Bible, we should study it and get to know it and then compare how our faith stacks up against God’s Word to see if it all matches up.