“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.” (1 John 2:18)
As the year ends, St. John in today’s first reading draws our mind to the end of the world; the last hour. According to John, a sign of the last hour is the coming of the antichrist. Who is the antichrist?
In our Gospel passage, John answers this question; “The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not…” (John 1:9-11).
Put simply, the antichrist is anyone who refuses to receive Christ. Anyone who is opposed to Christ either by word, deed, or thought. Looking around us, there are a lot of antichrists who work relentlessly day and night to ensure that anything about Christ is totally removed from our society. As Jesus noted, they are more clever (shrewd, astute) than the children of light. (Cf. Luke 16:8)
St. John adds: “They (the antichrists) 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 be plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19). In other words, antichrists are within and outside the church. As Jesus noted, they are wolves in sheep clothing; pretenders, fake Christians. (Cf. Matthew 7:15).
The greatest blow against the Christian faith in our land is not coming from outside the faith. It is from within. Being a fake Christian is just as bad as being a non-Christian. Tonight, our churches would be packed full with persons who claim to be Christians but are not willing to live like Christ. They want blessings for the New Year, they want people to tell them exactly what they like to hear. Unfortunately, they would return home as antichrists.
Let us take some time to examine ourselves today and ask sincerely: “How have I lived this year? Have I been a Christian or have I behaved like an antichrist this year?”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, into your hands I commend my spirit. Amen
Bible Study: 1 John 2:18-21, Ps. 96:1-2,11-13 John 1:1-18).