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. 19 They 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 become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. – 1 John 2:18-25
My brother-in-law told me several years ago of a time when some colleagues where expressing grave concerns about the way they were being treated in a business deal. They imagined all sorts of scenarios by which their clients were out to get them. In an unguarded moment he said to them, “Evil thinks as evil does.” He regretted saying it, but he spoke truth. Innocent people – people without ulterior motives – think little of how others might take advantage of them. Those who imagine others’ motives to be impure are much more likely to think that way about others – or at least to have experienced such ill treatment themselves.
Once again John speaks to people who know about God and Jesus, and eternal life. He even states that he is writing to those who know the truth, because they know the truth. One might think that there is additional information, deeper insight, or new application to the truth of which he is reminding them. Perhaps there is.
Clearly, however, there is another issue at stake: There are those who want to deceive God’s people and point them away from Jesus Christ and the eternal salvation he has won for all who believe. In truth, it is those who know the truth who are special targets for Satan’s schemes. It wasn’t to fallen Adam and Eve that the Serpent appeared; it was to they who knew the truth and were completely innocent – in every sense of the word.
Satan is the father of the lie. He is set to destroy us and to deceive us into unbelief and other great shame. We do well to rehearse the Old, Old Story of Jesus and His love, lest we fall prey to another gospel which is really no gospel at all.