“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour” (I John 2:18 NASB). [Reading the entire chapter will keep this verse in perspective]
When John is writing to the Believers in the early church, he reminds them of a number of things. He reminds us that we should not sin, but if we do, we have an advocate in the person of Jesus Christ. He reminds us that some of have known the Truth for a while, but may have strayed from it. He reminds us that those who cannot love those they can see will continue to walk in darkness. He reminds us that if we say we know God, but are not willing to obey God, we are liars. In his earlier writing--Jesus tells us through John that Satan is the father of liars; so if we lie, we declare Satan is our father. John is constantly reminding us of the love of the Father towards us and the love that Jesus demonstrated for us.
If we believe that God loves us, why can’t we do what we are supposed to do–obey His Word? Simply put–we have difficulty obeying God because we have allowed the world to influence our thinking and behavior–through the anti-Christ–those who are against Christ and His teachings.
How do we know this is the hour of the anti-Christ? We simply need to look at the environment in which we live. Sin abounds and those things that God has called sin is now refuted by the anti-Christ. Kids are killing other kids, no one wants to control their temper and killing seems to be the only means of resolving a difference. Lives are destroyed by the abuse people suffer–drugs, alcohol, mental, physical, and sexual–and the anti-Christ gloat and say there is no God. Lying seems to be second nature to some and they do it as easily as they breathe–without even thinking about what lie they are telling. Many practice deception in order to gain something from others because they know if truth were known, they would never have anything. What is Satan’s job? His role in the atmosphere is to kill, steal, and destroy, deceive, and encourage people to lie. There is no truth in him so he can only lie.
Watch those around you. What are they doing? Do they practice to deceive others in order to illegally or immorally gain benefits from it? Do they lie so much they cannot even keep up with what they have said? Are they capable of seeing themselves as they really are or do they make excuses for living outside the will of God?
Even though this is the hour of the anti-Christ–all is not lost. There are a number of born-again Believers who will not stop praying for the lost, who will not stop praising God for His goodness, who will not stop loving all–unconditionally, and who will not stop promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ–no matter what!
We can be encouraged by our affiliations with those who have a relationship with God, and with continued study of the Word and communication with our Father. We know that He will never leave us alone. We know that we can call upon Him at any hour of the day or night. We know that when we cannot stand against the winds of evil, He gives us strength to carry on. We know!
Therefore, we know–that this “hour” of the anti-Christ will only last for a season--not for all eternity and because we understand these things must come to past, we can be rest assured of the outcome because we know–the end of the story. We Win, in Jesus’ Name!
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to keep our spirits encouraged and our minds focused on You. We can survive the attack of the anti-Christ because recognize the tools they use to manipulate those who do not know You. Strengthen our resolve to keep pushing forward, sharing the Gospel where ever we go and spreading the love of Christ that is shed abroad in our hearts. Amen!