Many Anti-Christs (contd.)
Verse 19: Why does John say that anti-christs come from us? What is
it that makes these individuals unique? John calls the false teachers,
anti-christs. These individuals who were acting against the teachings of
Scripture, the Apostles and most importantly Christ, were men who had been
part of the local Christian community. Some speculate that they had been
members of the Apostolic churches in Jerusalem. It may be that they had actually
withdrawn from the church to which John was writing.
Often, some of the greatest heretics are individuals who came out of the
Christian community. This was true in John's day, and it continues to be
true in ours. This confirms the "last hour" has continued since the time
of the early church. For since the birth of the church and until Christ does
return, the greatest attacks on truth come from those who call represent
themselves as Christians. But these individuals are in reality anti-christs.
And, we must be willing to recognize them as such. John's concern is that
believers always stand firmly for God's truth.
These individual's false teachings are proof that they never were believers.
We have seen this quite clearly, as some well known televangelists have gone
from simply bad teaching, such as positive confession, to full-blown heresies
- such as "we are all little gods" and that Jesus' descent to hell, not his
death on the cross,