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The Last Hour - 1John 2:15-29

Since we are living in the last hour, and since Jesus' return is imminent, abide, persevere, remain faithful

1John 2:15-29; John 14:1-3; Luke 9:23-26

Jun 08, 2014 12:00 AM

[15] Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

[18] 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. [19] 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. [20] But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. [21] I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. [22] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. [23] No one who denies the Son has the Father.  Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. [24] Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. [25] And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

[26] I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. [27] But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you.  But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

[28] And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. [29] If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:15-29 ESV)

In previous weeks, we’ve already looked at various things in this passage, but today I want to emphasize John’s six eschatological references which I’ve highlighted in the text for you:

The world is passing away (v17)

It is the last hour (v18)

We know it is the last hour (v18)

And this is the promise He made to us--eternal life (v25)

When He appears . . . His coming (v28)

But let’s review the other things that are said here as well.

1 John 2:15-17

Where does love for the world come from?  The love of the world is not from the Father, but from the world.  The world causes, or influences us to love it.  Love for the world comes from a world that is against God, a world that produces antichrists.

Where does love for the Father come from?  The love of the Father is not from the world, but is from the Father.  The Father causes us to love Him.  That is the only way we can or will ever love Him.  Our love of the Father is the result of His loving grace toward us.  We love Him why?  Because He first loved us.  (1 John 4:19 ESV)

So why would we as believers, as lovers of God, love and desire a world that is passing away?  Why invest our hearts and minds and lives in something so temporary and destined for destruction?  How can we love a world that is entirely opposed to God?  Well, the answer is, we can’t.  As believers, we love the Father, and in doing so, we abide forever.  And not only does the Father last for eternity (unlike the world), but we also will inherit eternal life.

1 John 2:18

We certainly should not pursue the world considering it is the last hour. The world is temporal, it is on life support, it is passing away, it is dying, and quickly.  Loving the world is at best, futile, and at worst, sinful.  We cannot love a system of thinking and operating that is entirely against opposed to Christ.

One of the major effects of the anti-Christian world is its creation and promotion of antichrists within the church.  We absolutely must not pursue such a world.  The presence of apostates influenced by worldly thinking is an indication that the last hour, i.e the last hour of redemptive history, is upon us.  God is in the final stage of His work of bringing many sons to glory (Hebrews 2).  The world, along with its antichrists is coming to a close.  This world is not eternal.  It is moving towards a conclusion, a last day, a last hour, a final chapter.  The end of this world will come at last when Christ returns.  But whoever does the will of God abides forever (v17).  It is then that we enter into our heavenly life and rest.

1 John 2:20-22

How did that happen?  How did we acquire eternal life?  How is it that whoever does the will of God abides forever? The Christian is a Christian specifically because the Holy One, the Lord Jesus, has anointed him with the Holy Spirit.

"The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth." (Vine's Dictionary)

Specifically, the truth of the Gospel, the truth that brings conviction of sin and saving faith in Jesus Christ.  John was writing these things to these people, genuinely regenerated people, as opposed to the apostates, the liars, the antichrists who left the church, who deserted the truth, who denied Jesus as the Son of God in the flesh.

The lie of the apostates and antichrists, the specific way in which they sought to deceive the believers of John’s church is through their contention that one may have a right standing with the Father to the neglect, and even to the exclusion of the Son.  “I can have fellowship with God while I deny that Jesus Christ is His Son.“  That lie has endured until the present day particularly among the Jews but in many other religions and cults also.

1 John 2:23

John refutes their lies quite simply: The Father and the Son are inseparable.  It is impossible to have one without the other.  Jesus also stated it very clearly: "No one comes to the Father but by Me."  "No one can come to me unless the Father draws him."  "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."  "I and my Father are one."

To reject Jesus is to reject God.  To deny who Jesus is (God in the flesh) is to forfeit any possibility of a saving relationship with His Father.

But, whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.  This is the prescription for eternal life.  The world with its liars and apostates and deceivers and antichrists would have us believe Jesus is unnecessary, that we can enjoy fellowship with God apart from an acknowledgement of Christ as His Son (and therefore as God) in human form.

This is the grand lie.  It is specifically Jesus Christ who continues to be vilified, hated, denied, rejected, despised, and crucified in the minds of His enemies.  All those who stand opposed to Him will find themselves opposed to the Father when this final hour in which we are living comes to a halt.

1 John 2:24-25

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you -- Namely, that Jesus is the Son of God, sent by God as the promised Messiah.  Abide, continue in that truth.  Do not be swayed by those who are trying to deceive you (v26), those antichrists who seek to draw others into their unbelief and rebellion and denial of Christ.

Persevere in your faith.  Cause your faith to continue, to remain, to abide.  Believe what Jesus promised us--that He himself would secure eternal life for us.  It comes down to this: Who we will believe, Christ or a world of Antichrists?  The promise of Jesus, or the claims of apostates?

1 John 2:27

See verse 20.  Anointing was a sacred act usually reserved for kings, priests, and prophets.  It was an act of sanctification.  The anointing we receive is from God, or possibly more specifically from Christ.  It is He who has sent and who gives believers the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God resides within the life of every Christian.  Therefore John says to these particular believers that they do not need anyone, especially the apostates, to teach them anything.  They already know everything they need to know in regard to the person and work of Christ.  They know the gospel message.  Now they are to remain in it, stand firm in the truth of it, and not be deceived.  They are to abide in Christ Himself, and . . . .

1 John 2:28

When He appears -- John has already stated it is the last hour.  Now he ties the second coming of the Lord Jesus to this last hour, this final stage of the redemption story.

For multitudes of believers, any talk of the last hour of our time here on earth brings with it a certain foreboding of trouble and darkness and tribulation.  There are many who say the last days and the last hour usher in a period of seven years referred to in Scripture as the Great Tribulation.  Consequently, a lot of people worry about the coming of Christ and the final hour and the times of trouble.

Beloved, the last hour is a good thing!  This is a term that is synonymous with the phrase, the last days.  Every since the first century, we have been in the last days, the final hour of world history.  We are now living in the final day, the culmination of all God's redemptive work.  John’s phrase, the last hour, anticipates the Lord's imminent and sudden return for us.  We should not fear the last hour, but eagerly anticipate it as the time of Christ's coming to earth to usher us into glory.

[14:1] “Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me. [2] In my Father's house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3 ESV)

However, we must persevere until that day and that moment when we see Him in the clouds.  Our abiding, our remaining, our steadfastness of faith in Him will be (and is being) challenged. Many antichrists have come. It is in being found faithful to the end that we meet Him with confidence and not shame.

[23] And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [24] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. [25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? [26] For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26 ESV)

There were those in the church who became ashamed of Christ and His words.  They denied Jesus, they rejected His words, they walked away from the church because jesus became for them an embarrassment.

Are we ever embarrassed by the Lord Jesus?  Are we ever afraid of what others might think of us if we speak up for Him?  May God deliver us from any evil thing we might be tempted to do that would cause us to shrink from Him in shame at His coming.

Beloved, the last hour is upon us.  We must remain faithful in the face of pressure, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation that insists Jesus cannot possibly be who the Scriptures say He is.  Abide in Christ.  Do not listen to the liars.  Look for His return.  Anticipate heaven!

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.



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