Summary: There are many antichrists and we protect ourselves from they by hold to the teachings of Scripture.
Warnings For the Last Days
Text: 1Jn. 2:18-27
1. Illustrations: The movie world seems to be obsessed with the end of the world. There has been a steady stream of films coming out of Hollywood around the theme of end time events and takeoffs on the book of Revelation. Films like “End of Days,” “Armageddon,” “Deep Impact,” and “Independence Day” are just some examples.
2. However, Hollywood is not the only segment of our society that is obsessed with the End Times and the Antichrist.
d. Even the Church
3. What all of these people do not realize is how they will know the antichrist, and in fact, many antichrists are already here.
4. Read 1 Jn. 2:18-27
Proposition: There are many antichrists and we protect ourselves from they by hold to the teachings of Scripture.
Transition: First, we must realize that...
I. "The Antichrist" is Coming, But Many Antichrists Are Already Here (18-19).
A. The Last Hour
1. The first thing that John tells us is "Little children, it is the last hour..."
a. We see John’s care and concern for the church in referring to us as his children, and as a loving parent he wants to warn us about what is coming.
b. The first warning that he gives us is that it is the "last hour."
c. Now we see the term last days often in the New Testament, but this is the only place in the New Testament that the term "last hour" appears. What exactly did John mean?
d. In his framework, the last times formed a last hour in which the struggle with evil and the unveiling of God’s power would intensify (Burge, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: The Letters of John, 126).
e. As we see the events of human history unfold, we can see that we are living in that last hour, and we must be watching and waiting for Christ’s return.
2. He also reminds us that "as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming..."
a. The word is a combination of two Greek words. Anti, meaning "the opposite or oppossed to," and Christos meaning "anointed one."
b. It refers to "one who is opposed to Christ, in the sense of usurping the role of Christ —Louw & Nida: NT Greek-English Lexicon
3. There are tremendous differences between Christ and antichrist.
a. Christ came from above. Antichrist will ascend from the pit.
b. Christ came in His Father’s name. Antichrist will come in his own name.
c. Christ humbled Himself. Antichrist will exalt himself.
d. Christ was despised. Antichrist will be admired.
e. Christ will be exalted. Antichrist will be cast down to hell.
f. Christ came to do His Father’s will. Antichrist will do his own will.
g. Christ came to save. Antichrist will come to destroy.
h. Christ is the Good Shepherd. Antichrist is the evil shepherd.
i. Christ is the “truth”. Antichrist is the “lie”.
j. Christ is the “Holy One”. Antichrist is the “lawless one”.
4. John tells us that the antichrist is coming, but "even now many antichrists have come..."
a. From the earliest days of the church in and around Ephesus, false teachers had been a problem.
b. When Paul bid his final farewell to the elders of the Ephesian church, he warned, "I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you" (Acts 20:29).
c. These are merely precursors to the one Antichrist. Throughout history there have been individuals who epitomized evil and who were hostile to everything for which Christ stands.
d. These antichrists have lived in every generation and will continue to work their evil.
e. There are many cult leaders today who, through their teachings, draw people away from true faith.
5. Some are more notorious like Jim Jones and David Koresh, but still others are more subtle.
b. Jehovah’s Witness
c. Because they look nice and clean on the outside, but they teach doctrines that are taught by demons.
6. John tells us that "by which we know that it is the last hour."
a. How do we know that it is the last time, that the world is about to end and Jesus Christ is about to return?
b. Because there are many antichrists now, many who oppose and stand against Christ.
c. The antichrist has his forerunners just as Jesus Christ had His prophets as forerunners.
d. Therefore, we must be on our guard and we must look out for those who are opposed to the truth of the gospel.
B. They Went Out From Us, But They Were Not of Us
1. What John says in the next verse should both shock and sadden us. He says "They went out from us, but they were not of us..."