The letters John wrote are heavy letters with lots of deep doctrines, warnings, exhortations, and encouragements. One of the reasons for this is that all the apostles were dead with the exception of John himself. He was the last of the apostles, which is why many scholars believe the “last hour” is referring to the apostolic age coming to an end. Many also believe the phrase “last hour” also refers to the time between Jesus’ resurrection and second coming. We are living in “the last hour.” 

One of the problems the church encountered during this time was of false teachers or “antichrists.” This is not referring to that one figure who will hold a lot of power and deceive many people. Here, the word “antichrists” was referring to those who were teaching lies about Jesus, and doing so with passion and persuasion. That is what “antichrist” means, against Christ or Messiah, and in John’s day there was more than one. The term “antichrist” was not used for people who simply got a few minor things wrong in their teaching. These “antichrists” were teaching things completely contrary to what Scripture taught about who Jesus is and what he did. 

What were some of the things they were teaching?

These false teachers or “antichrists” denied many things, including the deity of Jesus. They did not believe He was the Redeemer and Savior of the world. They also denied Jesus came from the Father but was instead a created being. Some believed God the Father did not create the world but angels did.

Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.1 John 2:22

…but every spirit that refuses to confess Jesus, that spirit is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist!2 John 1:7

We could spend a lot of time discussing all the dangerous things these people were teaching, but we find the same thing in our day as well. People who are religious, know all the right words to use and are teaching something dangerous because it is contrary to what the Bible actually says. They may sound like they know what they are talking about, but they preach a false gospel, one that is dangerous because it keeps people from looking to Jesus as their hope for salvation. 

The way we protect ourselves from dynamic, well spoken yet dangerous teachers is by knowing our Bibles. Arm yourself with the truth! 

Don’t blindly follow what others say, test it against God’s Word to make sure it is right. Don’t be taken by new ideas or false teachings no matter how good they make you feel. Our feelings are not always accurate and our heart is deceitful and cannot be trusted. 

The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably badJeremiah 17:9

Know your Bible! Read it, study it, pray about it, discuss it with others, and read it again! 

The better you know the truth the easier you can spot the lie and remain steadfast in your knowledge and faith in God. 

Looking to Jesus,

 

 

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