“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
If you have not been around the church for very long, maybe you wont have the same baggage that others of us do when you hear the word antichrist. I grew up thinking of the antichrist as the character who would one day be a part of a scary end of the world battle. In this passage, the term “antichrist” is far less about a singular character that incites the end of the world and more about people who are against Jesus. The word means “anti” (against) “Christ” (Jesus).
So why is John talking about antichrists here? For John, one’s affiliation with Jesus was the fundamental issue. Those who were against Jesus were considered antichrists and those who were seeking worship and living like Jesus were called children. Like a Trojan horse in the enemy’s camp, there were some right in their midst who were not a part of them. When it was all said and done, the issue that separated them was their association with Jesus. This group had decided to reject the way of Jesus and that meant they could no longer associate with other Jesus followers.
As we consider our lives today, faith in Jesus is what separates children from antichrists. There is pain when we see loved ones and friends who don’t profess Jesus. Take some time and write out a list of 5-10 loved ones and friends who don’t follow Jesus. Pray that they would see the beauty Jesus and would become children of God.
By Aaron Bjorklund