Summary: This is the 8th message in the series. John describes three way you can remain FAITHFUL and not fall away.
TEXT: 1 John 2:18-27
TITLE: Becoming an Anti-anti Christ
SERIES: Letters from John
TOPIC: Falling away vs. Faithfulness
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, February 6, 2011
PROP.: John gives clear teaching that either you are with God…or you are not.
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Our text today is 1st John 2:18-27. Please open your Bible and be turning there this morning.
This is the 8th week we’ve been studying the Letters From John. John has witnessed Jesus’ ministry in it’s entirety. In fact, he is the LAST eyewitness of Jesus’ earthly ministry who is still alive.
And so, John is writing this letter to the churches in Asia minor and he is pleading and urging his readers to mature, to grow up Spiritually. He writes to them with the heart of a father. He loves the people in these churches because they are a part of his family…they are his church family! And he wants what is best for them!
In the previous verses as John talks about Spiritual maturity, he is telling the readers to mature and grow up. In today’s text, John is telling the readers to remain faithful. To cling to Jesus!
ILLUSTRATION: This is kind of a silly illustration, but it helps me understand John’s message even better. When I was in school in Michigan towards the end of the school year, we had my favorite day of the year! FIELD DAY! Do you remember having this day or do they have it around here?
Anyway, FIELD day was an ALL school competition between home room classes. Home room was 1st hour…and so in your home room class, you would sign up for different events in which to compete. I always signed up for the same three events. Pushups, sit-ups, and the free-throw challenge.
Here’s the thing, I HATED the pushup challenge. You had 2 minutes to do as many pushups as you could. And as two minutes was being counted down, the closer you were to time running out, the more difficult it became to do a pushup! Because your arms burned and ached. But you didn’t dare just quit. You pressed on through the pain and the ache because you knew in a little while, it would be over.
That is kind of like what John’s message is in our text this morning. “Remain faithful. Don’t quit. I know it’s getting hard and more difficult to be a Christian, but time is running out. Press on through the pain and the ache because in a little while, this will all be over…”
And so John’s message for us today is: REMAIN FAITHFUL!
Let’s read our text today:
1st John 2:18-29
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
Let’s stop there for a moment. In the first half of verse 18, you can hear the hear the of a father as he gives the warning…HOLD ON! REMAIN FAITHFUL BECAUSE IT‘S THE LAST HOUR!
And what I want to talk briefly about is this phrase “the last hour”. What is John referring to? Some have suggested that John is referring to his own death. He is 80+ years old and so some have suggested that he is telling his readers that he won’t be around much longer. But John said it’s the last hour and we know it’s the last hour because many antichrists have come. But what do antichrists have to do with John’s death?
Some have even suggested that John is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem…which is laughable because the destruction of Jerusalem happened 20 years BEFORE John was writing this letter.
“The last hour” can ONLY refer to the 2nd coming of Christ. “But Mark, I thought all scripture was inspired by God. John really seems to blow it. I mean it’s been nearly 2000 years and Jesus still hasn’t returned - how can John refer to it as “The Last Hour”
It is the last hour! For since the creation of the world, God’s plan is almost complete. The only thing that needs to happen is for Christ to come back. God is not concerned with dates. Remember “That one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as one day.”
I like how commentator B.C. Caffon put it: “By the Divine standard, times are measured, not according to their duration, but their importance; it is their meaning, not their extent which gives them value. What are the thousands of years covered by the Old Testament compared with the portion of a century covered by the new testament? When Christ ascended to heaven the last hour sounded. There may follow a silence (as it seemed to John) about the space of half an hour but (as human experience may prove) of half a thousand centuries. Yet the duration of the period, as measured by man, will not alter its essential characteristics; it was, is, and will still remain, “the last hour”.