Summary: Christian’s response to false teachers. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
TWO PHRASES TO NOTE:
"The last hour” (vs 18a)
"The antichrist” (vs 18b)
SIGNS OF FALSE TEACHERS:
They depart the Church (vs 18-19)
They deny the faith (vs 20-25)
They deceive believers (vs 26-29)
Abide - stay close (vs 28a)
Appear - stay alert (vs 28b)
Ashamed - stay faithful (vs 28c)
• There is a story told about Abraham Lincoln;
• Who had a very heated argument with a political opponent.
• Lincoln asked his political rival,
• "How many legs does a cow have?"
• "Four, of course,"
• Came the disgusted reply.
• "That’s right," agreed Lincoln.
• "Now suppose you call the cow’s tail a leg; how many legs would the cow have?
• "Why, five, of course,"
• Was the confidant reply.
• "Now, that’s where you’re wrong," said Lincoln.
• "Calling a cow’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg."
So far in this short letter:
• The apostle John has warned the Christians about:
• The conflict between light and darkness (chapter 1 verse 1 to chapter 2 verse 6)
• The conflict between love and hatred (chapter 2 verses 7-17).
• In this section this morning;
• The apostle John warns them about another conflict,
• The conflict between truth and error.
The issue in this section is truth-or consequences!
• I once read about a man who heard his friend say:
• “There are 2 sides to every question”
• And the man replied
• “Yes, there are two sides to every question…
• Just like there are two sides to a sheet of flypaper,
• But it makes a difference to the fly which side he chooses.”
• When we ignore or reject the truth;
• That course of action will always lead to negative consequences.
• The apostle John is writing to warns these Christians;
• That the actions of false teachers among them will only cause them destruction & death.
• Before we pull out our key thoughts from this passage:
• We need to understand two unusual phrases that occur in verse 18:
• Because an understanding of these will help us understand the other verses.
(a). "The last hour”.
• K.J.B: "The last time".
• Amplified: “It is the last time” (hour, the end of this age).
• The term that is used is describing a KIND of time,
• Not a DURATION of time.
• He is talking about a specific time period;
• That is the time period between the ascension of Christ and the return of Christ;
• Often it is referred to in the New Testament as “The last days”;
• Or by John (only) here as “Last hour”.
• Parents know that when driving a long distance with small children.
• No matter how many activity books, games and tapes you bring,
• It’s never really enough.
• Sooner or later you hear that drone of, "Are we there yet?"
• There are of course many ways to answer;
• One parent was heard to say: "We’re closer now than the last time you asked."
• The second term, "antichrist," is again a phrase uniquely used by John;
• In both this letter and also in 2 John.
• ‘Anti’ simply means; ‘against, in opposition to, hostile or antagonistic’.
• ‘Anti Christ’ is therefore anyone that is hostile, opposed or antagonistic to Christ.