Summary: Warnings & Encouragement. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: 1 John chapter 2 verses 18-19.
• 4 boys in secondary school had a reputation of playing truant;
• One morning they turned up very, very late for their lesson,
• They told the teacher they were late because the car bringing them had a puncture.
• Looking at them they could tell that the teacher was not too impressed.
• Nervously they started to embellish their story by saying;
• “Honest sir, in fact we had to fix it for ourselves so that we could get here”.
• The more that they spoke, the less convincing they sounded
• So the teacher said to them; “Show me your hands”,
• They were spotlessly clean
• And so he decided to get to the real truth.
He ordered each boy to stand in the corner of the room facing inwards:
• He gave them all a small piece of paper and a pen,
• And told them of his simple test to determine the truth!
• “One question I want you to write the answer to it”, said the teacher.
• “Which wheel had the puncture?”
• If those boys were found out not to be telling the truth:
• Then they would have to face the consequences!
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!
• A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree.
• A crow remarked,
• “You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.”
• “Let it die,” said the pig. “Who cares as long as there are acorns?”
• 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 false teachers will only cause them destruction and death.
Now Before we pull out our key thoughts this morning:
• I need to explain two unusual phrases that occur in verse 18:
• An understanding of these will help us with 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.
Chapter 2 verses 12-14.
• John wrote to three groups of people.
• ‘Little children’, ‘young men’, ‘Fathers’
• It was not physical ages but spiritual ages that he had in mind.
• E.g. ‘Little children’ were recent converts who needed milk not solid food to eat
In a similar way John uses this term:
• N.I.V: "The last hour". K.J.B: "The last time".
• Not as a duration of time, but to describe a kind of time,
• That is the time period between the ascension of Christ and the return of Christ;
• Is referred to in the New Testament as “The last days” or by John (only) 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.
This term, "antichrist" describes one of three things in John’s letters:
• (1). A spirit in the world that opposes or denies Christ.
• (2). Any false teachers who embody this spirit.
• (3). Referrers to a person who will one day lead the final-world rebellion against Christ.
• The ‘Antichrist’ (singular) is the appearance of a "satanic world leader";
• He is also called "the man of sin" (or "lawlessness");
• Read about him in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 1-12.
We are concerned in these verses with ‘antichrists’ in the plural:
• That is false teachers who pretend to preach and teach the truth;
• But actually are preaching and teaching lies and falsehood, that which is ‘anti’.