Deceived or Devoted?

The Purity of the Church in the Last Days

1 John 2:18-27


I. Description of the Deceiver (vv. 18-19) The word for antichrist means deceiver and to oppose Christ. The concept of an antichrist is first used in Daniel Chapters 7-8; 9; and 11. Also the prophet Zechariah describes the antichrist in Zech. 11:16 “For behold, I am raising up in the land a shepherd who does not care for those being destroyed, or seek the young or heal the maimed or nourish the healthy, but devours the flesh of the fat ones, tearing off even their hoofs.” God is allowing this person for our good and His glory! John talks of many antichrist and refers to one main one in Revelation. If you’re interested in studying more about the antichrist you can see Rev. 6:2; 16:13; 19:20.
a. A Deception of Christlikeness. Based on these verses, these were people within the church. As the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus would say they were at one time warm toward the gospel, but either twisted it, and became deceptive toward the truth. Paul too spoke of some leaving the church and falling into deceptive teachings. Timothy 3:1-5 states, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” What did Jesus say in Matthew 24:12-13 concerning people in the last days? Jesus said, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
b. A Departure from Christ-Centered Community. These are people who did not have guanine faith in Christ. The band of brothers and sisters under persecution is seen as God’s institution on this side of eternity for His glory! Some say, “but pastor I don’t enjoy hearing instruction from God, or singing about Him!” You will not enjoy Heaven, and I’m 99 % sure you will not be there! Sure, the church has hurt people. We’re people! Don’t try to gain healing from people, gain healing from Christ! We mess up, but we need one another to clean up this mess! They left the fellowship departing from the faith. Pastor don’t you believe in the security of the believer, yes, but if you denounce Christ, you were never truly saved! John 10 and Romans 8 affirm this doctrine of security.
II. Depiction of the Devoted (vv. 20- 21)
a. Knowledge of the Savior. (v. 20) The word anointed in verse 20 means that the Holy Spirit has supernaturally revealed your need for Jesus. You’ve craved and accepted this need by faith. It’s the miracle of salvation.
b. Knowledge of the Truth. (v. 21) Because of the Holy Spirit’s craving, you long for the Word of God! You desire to abide in the truth. Jn 8:31-32 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Why do people leave the truth? Because they’re not abiding in the Word, instead they’re affections are for this world.

III. Display of the Destructive (vv. 22- 23)

1. Denounces the Truth (v.22).
2. Denies the Faith (v.23).

I believe there will be a purification of the church in the last days. I believe it will be a slow fade. It might start with making families busy, add a few plagues, and persecution will happen.

1. People will leave the church because of social issues that the Bible condemns. It will no longer be popular to be identified as being a Christian. You will be looked at as being intolerant, yet you love them anyway. (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
2. People will leave the church over financial reasons. (Rev. 13:16-17) “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
IV. Determination of the Dedicated (vv. 24- 27)
a. A dedication to the Word of God. (v.24)
b. A devotion to an eternal home. (v.25)
c. A determination to abide in Christ. (v.27)