MESSAGE SERIES: 1 John
SCRIPTURE: 1 John 2:18-29
Vs. 18 Let’s look at two ideas that stand out: “antichrists” and “last hour”.
- “antichrists” were those who were against Christ. Whoa; wait a minute. There’s not just one antichrist – there are more? There were ungodly false teachers in John’s day, and during the intervening centuries they have increased both in number and in influence.
- “If it was “the last hour” in John’s day, why has Jesus not yet returned?” The phrase “last hour” or “last times” describe a kind of time, not a duration of time. “The last hour” began back in John’s day and has been growing in intensity ever since. There were ungodly false teachers in John’s day, and during the intervening centuries they have increased both in number and in influence.
Who are the “antichrists”?
- Vs. 19 They came out of the church
- Vs. 22 They deny Christ
So what do we do now?
Vs. 20 – “But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth.” Listen to the Holy Spirit within you. John is emphasizing that the Holy Spirit will teach you in the ways of the right and wrong. There will be times when you will hear something and you will sense that it isn’t right. Does this mean we don’t need bible teachers? Teachers are a gift to the Church and we need them to lead us in the Word.
Vs. 24 – “So you must REMAIN FAITHFUL to what you have been taught from the beginning.” The word “remain” means to take root. Get rooted to the truth! What truth? The truth that Jesus is the Christ and he is central to our faith.
Vs. 28 – “And now, dear children, REMAIN IN FELLOWSHIP with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.” For more about “remain” see John 15:1-17.
- What does your relationship with the Church say about you?
- What do you learn about false teachers in this passage?
- Has there ever been a time in your life when the Holy Spirit made you aware of false teaching?
- Why is it important to regularly ask the Holy Spirit to teach you?
- Apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit, another way to combat false teaching, according to John, is to know and remember the gospel. Out of everything he could have said, why do you think John said this? (See Paul’s presentation of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1–11 as another example.)
This week, pay close attention to what friends, pastors, leaders, the media, etc., say about your family, humanity, society, and God. Write down as many statements as you can. At the end of the week, consider each of these statements and evaluate whether they are wholly true, partly true, or completely false. Discuss your findings and conclusions with the group.
1. Pray that the group’s love and devotion to the Church mirrors that of Jesus.
2. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give the group greater discernment to detect and expose false teaching in their daily lives.