Summary: Warnings & Encouragement. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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."

(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.

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’.

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