Our Bible passage today is 1 John Chapter 2 verses 18-29, where John is warning his readers about opposition, which might come in the form of persecution but also might come in the form of false teaching.
He writes both about the antichrist (singular) and also many antichrists (plural). The first is also described elsewhere in the NT as “the man of lawlessness” in 2 Thessalonians Ch.2 and also “the beast” in Revelation Ch.13. There has been much speculation down the years in the church about who this might be – a person, a particular ideology or belief system.
I think what is more helpful is the simple definition of the many antichrists, those who deny that Jesus is the Christ, who don’t believe that He is the Son of God (vs.22-23). These may include people who seemed to be part of the church, but have now left (v.19). There may also be in the background those who claim to have special “knowledge” and needed to be listened to more than the apostles and their teaching.
So John encourages his first readers, and by extension us too, to trust the truth that they had received about Jesus, and to trust that the Holy Spirit who has been given to them (described here as an anointing) will indeed help them/us to understand the truth and apply it to our lives. This parallels the teaching that Jesus gave His first disciples in the Upper Room just before His crucifixion as we saw in the lead up to Easter (John’s Gospel Chapters 14-16). And again we see that little instruction to remain in him (v.27).So let us indeed remain in Him today.
In our prayers let us pray for 2 of our overseas connections – H. who as we recently heard is about to return to Tunisia; Fidel, Christine and family in Kenya at Gracepoint Church.