“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
John now begins to warn against another foe – the coming Antichrist. There are enemies to fellowship that John’s readers need to alert themselves. These adversaries of Christ will especially put believers off track. Thus, verses 2:18-28 show that there are enemies to fellowship with God. Many people will attack temporal fellowship with God. They have their own pseudo-systems of spirituality.
In the first part of this chapter, John applies a character test; now, he applies a doctrinal test to indicate his reader’s spirituality’s genuineness.
John has been dealing with the idea of light. God is light, and Christians need to walk in the light. In this verse, John deals with the problem of counterfeits to light.
The words “little children” here mean a small child. John’s readers stand in need of a very steep learning curve. They are babes in the midst of raving spiritual wolves. They need the mature warnings of the apostle John. They needed to grow up spiritually.
1 Co 3:1, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”
New Christians are more vulnerable to spiritual attacks than mature Christians.
A new convert is a babe in Christ. He does not have very much light. All he has is life and not much light. We do not expect a baby to know much. Just as long as the baby is normal, you do not worry about him getting light, for we will educate and train him. If he feeds properly, and all other things are equal, in due process of time, he will grow up.
When a baby does not grow or develop, then you have parents with a real heartache. Whenever you find a person who has been born again but has not grown, has not developed, does not progress, something is radically wrong. This is a case of arrested spiritual development. We have a case of spiritual retardation on our hands. Churches today are filled with people like this. They are saved as much as anyone else, but they have not developed spiritually.