Summary: Christian’s response to false teachers. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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Sermon Outline:


"The last hour” (vs 18a)

"The antichrist” (vs 18b)


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)

Sermon Text:


• 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."

(b). “Antichrist”.

• 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.

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