2019-05-12 – 1 John 2.18–23 – The Last Hour
Bible Text: 1 John 2:18–23 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: 1 John | 2019-05-12 – 1 John 2.18–23 – The Last Hour
(Baptist Children’s Home, Mother’s Day)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Happy Mother’s Day! Although this is not a religious holiday directly, it is one of the most universally celebrated holidays of all. I remember buying my mom a little carnival glass container once when I was old enough to have a paper route. That was 40+ years ago and you know what, she still has that little container. Mom if your listening this morning, I love you, and thanks for having me J
Last Sunday we studied verse 15 of 1 John 2, where it says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world”. Instead as written in Matthew 22:36, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” That is the Greatest commandment and it should be what fuels us, what drives us, what motivates us as Christians.
Today we are going to talk a little about the end times. We are going to see what it means to be a believer knowing that Jesus is coming back for us soon.
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 John 2:12, pg 1082 in the Pew Bibles, The Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
This book or letter from the Apostle John was written between the years of AD 90-95, some sixty years after Jesus had ascended into heaven. John was known to be the one Jesus loved of the disciples. He wrote the Gospel of John, then these letters and the book of Revelation. Today, our verse 18 of chapter 2 says:
18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. By this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.
I love how this section starts out here. “Children, it is the last hour”. And how appropriate that it is Mother’s Day. How many times had my mother and probably all of our mothers said that or something like it as we were getting ready for bed or getting ready for school in the mornings. It’s getting late! Time to wake up! Where would we be without our Mothers J Of course the apostle John here is not talking to literal children, Instead he is talking to you and to me. Wake up! It’s getting late! The time is near! Oh, how I want to scream that in the marketplace.
When John refers to “the last hour”, he is suggesting that it is the last hour before the coming Rapture and Tribulation, the time period between the first and the second comings of Christ. The Tribulation is the beginning of the end of this world as we know it, and the rapture happens before the Tribulation where the Christians are taken out of the world. Mind you this was written some two-thousand years ago but it still rings ever more true for us here today, these are the last days and last hours before the rapture. After these letters of John were written, John then pens the book of Revelation while he was held prisoner on the island of Patmos. God allowed John to see the future. Although never is there an exact date speculated, John saw the destruction of the Earth in a vision. I have studied and taught through the book of Revelation before and it is an amazing piece of work to say the least. I want to read to you the first paragraph of the first chapter of Revelation to you this morning, because by doing so, it says that you will be blessed. Anyone here want a blessing this morning? Then listen up.
Chapter 1 of Revelation, reads: 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.
That is the first paragraph, and now you have been blessed. I would love to read the whole book of Revelation to you, but I encourage you to read it on your own if you will. But notice this is the same sentiment that this same author-apostle John uses in our 1 John text today.
Then at the very end of Revelation, John leaves us with another blessing and a clear warning. Revelation 22:6 says, 6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
10 Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. 11 Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness, let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy.”
12 “Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely.
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.
20 He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen.
We are blessed today by the words of Jesus as captured by the apostle John here in Revelation. So when John says in our text today, “Children, it is the last hour”, now you have the context. John is telling us we need to be paying attention.
Then in our text today John uses the name of the “antichrist”. This is the first mention of that pronoun title in scripture. Here it refers to the coming final world ruler who is energized by Satan who will seek to unseat Christ from His throne. The antichrist is part of Satan’s unholy trinity. In summary, the Antichrist is the end-times false messiah or savior who seeks world domination so that he can then destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ.
As we worship the Holy Trinity, being God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; the Bible also reflects upon what is referred to as the unholy trinity, where Satan is the anti-God, the Beast is the anti-Christ, and the False Prophet is the anti-Spirit. This unholy trinity will in the end times persecute believers and deceive many, resulting unfortunately in their eternal death. But fear not, because we know according to God’s word that God’s kingdom will ultimately prevail. As Christ followers we have nothing to fear.
Revelation 12 and 13, and Daniel 7 contain prophetic passages that describe some of the main events during the second half of the seven-year Tribulation.
You will notice in our first set of verses here that John refers to the fact that “even now many antichrists have come”. In this context, John is referring to false teachers who appose God. As the apostles were spreading the Good News, there were also many who were distorting God’s word and leading people astray. Jesus warned them and us back in Matthew 24, that “Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. He also said “false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray”. We all should know that today false-teachers are spewing their deceptions all around the world, especially with the advent of mass media and social networking. Our Bible tells us to expect that as the time for Christ’s return is coming near. That is why it is so important for us to know God’s word.
Then verse 20 of 1 John 2 reads:
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; [but] he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.
The word anoint or anointing here comes from the Greek word Chrísma “anoint with oil” or in this context, the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, guiding the receptive believer into fullness of God’s will. If you are a Christian, then you too, as it says here “have an anointing from the Holy One”. God has given us His Word, His Holy Truth so that we will not be deceived, and He has opened our minds to receive it, to love it, and to understand it. Amen?
As written in John 4:23: “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” That would be you and I dear brothers and sisters.
Satan is prowling around in this world, seeking to find anyone he can devour. The Antichrist is his minion, doing anything he can do to keep people from reading God’s word. Doing anything he can do to keep people from praying, and from repenting, and from trusting in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He will entertain, he will confuse, and he will tempt people to keep them from serving Jesus and loving Father God. Don’t fall victim of Satan’s schemes. Keep your children and your family in church. That is why Jesus gave us His bride, the church, to keep each other strong in the faith. It isn’t just to hear a “great sermon”, it is so much more than that. We need each other, my beloved family, to stay in God’s will.
So now taking a look the first sentences of each of these two paragraphs should bring us much comfort. Although it is the last hour, and we know the antichrist is coming, we as Christians have nothing to fear. For we have the “anointing from the Holy One”, and we “know the truth”. In John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus also said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Based upon these verses, we believe in what is referred to as Eternal Security. Those who truly have God’s anointing Holy Spirit, can never be taken by Satan. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be influenced by sin, for we all are sinners and need much grace. But we have the promise of Heaven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross at Calvary. And for that reason, we come to church and we praise His Holy name. Amen?
God loves you so much. Like a parent He is watching you all the time.
I remember clearly many years ago, at school my mom and dad was in the audience as I was playing the Baritone for the middle school band. In my heart I knew they were proud to be there and watch their son doing his best that day.
In the same way, our Father in heaven is proud to see you choosing to step up and accepting His purpose for you right now. Jesus said himself that there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. If you haven’t yet taken that step of faith, would you consider that today?
Dear church, on this Mother’s day I would ask you to consider, not who you are, but whose you are today. Yes you are born to your parents, and that is a blessed thing indeed, but Your Father in heaven loves you more than even your parents, and His purpose is written on your hearts. Nothing pleases God more than when a person accepts His calling on their lives. Will you consider that today.
Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father..