“Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.”1 John 2:18-19
God has always made his dividing line of revelation a solid one. In a post truth era, this can be quite jarring, but there is a strange comfort in acknowledging that there is a clear and hard line for truth. A large focus of John’s letter is on relationships. It was written in an imperial time of intrigue and upheaval. So the call to have relationships was radical and met with many questions and cost. Would Christian’s have to have relationships at any cost.? Would they always have to die for those who clearly betrayed them? Here John presents the hard truth. There are some for whom Christ died that are not going to be saved. There are even some who were called brothers. Christian’s should not lament as if they have lost a relationship that never was. On the one hand, they didn’t actually lose a brother who never was one. On the other, they might still gain a brother if they stop assuming his allegiance and begin exposing the real gospel to him. Hard truths are important ones.