We Have Opponents
Read 1 John 2:18-27
Again we see John referring to readers with “children” as a term of endearment. This section is a warning about antichrists. An “antichrist” is somebody who denies that Jesus is the Christ. The existence of antichrists is frightening as well as those who try to deceive Christians and go against the Gospel. The world often does this. It presents us with something that seems good and like it will bring temporal happiness, but it directly goes against the Bible. When we stick to the teachings of the Gospel, we have something more concrete and lasting than happiness. We get joy. Joy is not dependent on our situation like happiness is. We can have joy because it is “the last hour.” The last hour began with the person of Jesus. The last hour began with his death and resurrection. He promised he will come again and his second coming could happen at any moment. John says that we know it is the last hour because so many antichrists have come.
John acknowledges the fact that there are those who have left the community of believers. We see people fall away from the faith. Some denominations argue that they did not have genuine faith to begin with. I would argue it is because they did not have a solid foundation. It is not for us to judge who has genuine faith or not. I have had a friend who attests to having had genuine faith, but through a lot of questioning decided she did not faith any longer. However, to have genuine faith is to have joy. Faith is not a feeling, but a decision. Joy is a decision that comes from knowing Christ and having confidence in eternal life with him.
John writes because he is concerned about the antichrists. They deny that Jesus is Christ. There is only one way to the father. Jesus proclaims that he is the way, the truth, and the life in John 14:6. Nobody can come to father except through him for they are one in the same and his sacrifice allows us to be made righteous.
Let the Gospel live in you. Have a firm foundation. If the Gospel lives in you, then you will abide in both the Son and the Father. Because of this, we are promised eternal life with him. Don’t listen to anything that contradicts Scripture. Scripture proclaims who Jesus is. His fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Abide in him. This means having confidence in your spiritual identity as a child of God and living that way. Living like we are royalty. Micah 6:8 says the Lord requires us to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.