“Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.”
The Apostle John, in 1 John 2–5, provides believers with ways we can be certain that we are united with Jesus, even though we do not live sinless lives.
What great assurance! Genuine fellowship with God can be tested and proved.
In this passage, John prepares believers for the reality that false teachers, false preachers, and opposers of Jesus are present. That number will surely increase, even more now that the last days are upon us.
These opponents of Jesus are antichrists, precursors of the ultimate antichrist. The antichrist, “the man of lawlessness,” as he is called in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10, is coming. However, believers can hold on to the promise of Jesus Christ. “I am coming soon” Jesus proclaimed in Revelation 22:12.
For many believers, the pain of a friend or family member who turns their back on Jesus, denying and opposing Him, is heartbreaking. However, we continue by faith with Jesus, praying for them, but soldiering on. We remain faithful to Jesus and the truth of the Bible.
Despite rejection from family and friends, the weight of persecution, and the opposition of values, a believer’s heart and mind must remain focused on Jesus. Adversity, hatred, and persecution will be a constant battle that believers face.
“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.”
John also teaches believers that these antichrists will fail. They cannot persuade or sway true believers away from Jesus’ teachings because we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Those who belong to Jesus will continue with Him, remaining faithful to Him and the truth of the Bible.
A believer’s ability to recognize and discern counterfeits can only come when we are saturated and penetrated with the authentic truth of God’s Word: the Bible.
When we stray outside of the safety and care of the Lord, we risk becoming prey to the many antichrists of our day. They will use crafty, subtle, attractive methods to convince believers, and we will be subject to their lies, accusations, deceptions, and temptations.
Yet, true believers will not succumb to their craftiness. We must remain faithful to Jesus and the truth of the Bible.
As Jesus’ return gets closer, more and more people will turn away from Him. Although these last days will progressively worsen, we shall continue to endure and persevere while clinging to God through every moment.
As we endure, we continue praying for those who have fallen astray, we continue reading and studying the Bible, and we continue pouring out the love of Jesus to everyone we encounter.
God has a great plan for those who remain steadfast in Jesus. Remain patient and alert, continuing in the faith, as we look forward to the joy of seeing Jesus face to face upon His return.
How has 1 John 2:8–9 encouraged and challenged you?
Peace and grace unto you,
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